Limbaugh’s bipartisan compromise
posted at 8:41 am on January 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
How badly have the Democrats bungled against Rush Limbaugh this past week? They provided him an opening to look less partisan than themselves, and he’s taken it with both hands. While Nancy Pelosi refused to negotiate with her Republican counterparts and stuffed the stimulus bill with Democratic power-building pork, Limbaugh offers a rather common-sense compromise that acknowledges Democratic gains and gives both tax-cutting and public-works approaches a chance to compete:
Rasmussen finds that 59% fear that Congress and the president will increase government spending too much. Only 17% worry they will cut taxes too much. Since the American people are not certain that the Obama stimulus plan is the way to go, it seems to me there’s an opportunity for genuine compromise. At the same time, we can garner evidence on how to deal with future recessions, so every occurrence will no longer become a matter of partisan debate. …
Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let’s say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion — $486 billion — will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% — $414 billion — will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.
Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people’s wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth.
I’m not sure I’d support this approach, either, but it’s a lot better than what Democrats rammed through Congress last night. The problems with the stimulus are that it’s simply too much money to spend and that the vast majority of it does nothing to stimulate the economy in the short run, which is what a “stimulus” bill should do. The recession will be over by the time the federal government can possibly spend most of this money, and the commitment will drag on the private sector for years to come. We need to lop off about $700 billion as a start and focus only on spending and tax incentives for investment that can occur in 2009.
However, as a compromise, it’s actually a pretty good plan. Why not try both? I’d even call it 60/40, roughly the split between Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of Congress, just to make it a little easier to calculate. We could then set up metrics to determine which approach gets capital flowing into the markets more quickly, which will create or salvage the jobs that Americans need to stabilize the economy.
That’s certainly a lot more reasonable than anything heard from Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama during the stimulus bill debate. Limbaugh offers compromise, where Pelosi offers silence and Obama sniffs, “I won!” Remind me again — who are the hyperpartisans here?