Stimulating hypocrisy

I'm not the biggest fan of this stimulus bill. Something had to be done, but I'm not sure this was the great solution we've been promised.

One thing that kills me are articles like this one from Politico:

Nine GOP House members from Florida, all stimulus no's, joined nine of their Democratic colleagues, all yesses, in asking the feds to grant a waiver giving them access to, you guessed it, hundreds of millions in state stabilization stimulus cash.

“This critical funding is vital to protecting our schools from budget cuts and teacher layoffs. Because Florida has been hit especially hard by a rise in foreclosures, unemployment, and recent natural disasters, we are experiencing a crippling budget crisis. Now more than ever, we must invest in our state’s future,” said the letter.

The Republican co-signers: Adam Putnam, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Tom Rooney, Mario Diaz-Balart, Ginny Brown-Waite, Cliff Stearns, John Mica and Bill Posey.

So I gave a call to Ileana and Lincoln's offices. Ileana just said she didn't support the package and had no comment on the waiver. It's that great type of constituent service that makes her the ideal Congresswoman!

Lincoln's office was actually responsive. They told me that he'd attempted to throw in an amendment to the bill about education, since he's in the minority [and may I add the tone used by the legislative assistant at saying that was both sad and funny.] they didn't let the amendment go through. The gist of the amendment is that there is a requirement for Florida to fund schools, to a certain level, but due to falling revenue for the state it's not gonna happen. If they were able to fund correctly, there'd be more money for students. The Stimulus bill though allows for states to apply for a waiver, which is what they're doing.

In fact the rather charming legislative assistant sent me the letter which i've uploaded for those who want to see it here you'll need a PDF reader though.

However she stressed to me that Lincoln's backing this because it's for education, but he disagrees with the pork in the bill. Isn't this a way for them to obtain pork though? And without the stimulus bill, there wouldn't be a waiver huh?

Apparently the local three are slowly joining the ranks of those GOP members who voted against the stimulus in a bet that it'd fail and are now queuing up to get their cash. This is ridiculous from where I sit. There's an estimated 206,000 jobs either created or saved estimated for Florida.
As the Sun Sentinel Reports:
More than a million Social Security recipients in South Florida will get $250 checks.
Which if I'm not wrong s pretty Keynesian. But there's also some tax cuts in the bill like the largest middle class tax cut in the history of our country:
A payroll tax credit will be the most direct aid to almost 6.9 million Floridians and their families.

Workers making less than $75,000 a year will get a $400 credit for 2009 and 2010. Couples making up to $150,000 will get $800.
and then I know that both sides bashed it for not helping average families. Well...

College students and their families will get help in two ways. First, there's the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a $2,500 partially refundable tax credit for college tuition and related expenses for 2009 and 2010. About 195,000 Florida families will qualify, according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis.

The stimulus plan also includes a boost in the maximum Pell Grant for low-income families by $500, to $5,350.
Hmm... While it doesn't do enough to stimulate the economy and has some huge problems, it's also got some good stuff in it. As the Republicans are starting to discover now. This credit claiming on behalf of Lincoln for this amendment is laughable, considering it was a Democrat pushed idea into the bill. When legislators try to have it both ways....

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