As expected, Representative Scott Garrett voted against the stimulus package yesterday. What was surprising, at least to me, was that so did the entire Republican delegation. Maybe it was a case of being political sore losers; or maybe all of the Democrats touting the "we won" mentality hurt their feelings. Or maybe both.
Granted, this is only the first vote and we won't know what the actual stimulus package is going to look for a couple of weeks, but it's kind of a tragic statement on politics that they're all still acting like a bunch of seventh graders down there. Symbolic vote or not, it really was a bad example for all of those new to politics. More than anything else, America voted for not only a change in policies but a change in tone.
There's no proof the stimulus will work. We'd like to think it would, but there's no proof. People talk about the jobs it will create and the money that will flow back into the economy, but unless people spend their money on made in the USA products it's little more than a one off.
Then there's the matter of corruption and waste. Herb Jackson over at the Record did a great write-up on what New Jersey would be getting from the bailout. One giant red flag for all of us should be the $420 million that will go into the coffers of the at times corrupt and often wasteful New Jersey School Construction Corporation. That's just one example, but it's something we'll have to be vigilant over. Pouring money we're borrowing from ourselves into corrupted hands won't help recovery.
Granted, President Obama will attempt to use Recovery.gov to help us see where the money is going, but as with the money we've poured into the quicksand in Iraq, knowing it's gone and getting it back are two different things. I don't know how many people they're going to staff it with, but our state alone will probably need a small army to watch over and report on the progress and use of our funds.
I hope the eventual package works, I really do. I just wish that the politics of it all could be put aside. Democrats being boastful and Republicans pouting isn't going to solve our economic crisis.
We need the best solutions, no matter where they come from.