Saturday, August 01, 2009


I expect this from McCain and Collins, but et tu, Feinstein and McCaskill?

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, tries to take up the House-passed "Cash for Clunkers" bill next week, he will hit a series of bipartisan road blocks.

Fox has learned that Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, will oppose any move to take up the House bill. Around here, we call that a filibuster....

Together with [Senator Susan] Collins, [Senator Dianne] Feinstein released the following ominous statement last night, "We will not support any bill that does not meet these goals. We will insist than any extension of the program requires that the minimum fuel economy improvement for newly purchased vehicles be at least two miles per gallon higher than it is under the enacted Clunkers program. It is also important to include lower-income consumers who are disadvantaged under the current program. So, we would also include a voucher for the purchase of fuel efficient used vehicles."

... Now this in a Twitter posting from Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-MO, who was very wary of the government bailouts that passed earlier this year, though she supported them. McCaskill, an active tweeter, today said, "We simply cannot afford any more taxpayr $ to extend cash for clunkers. Idea was to prime the pump, not subsidize auto purchases forever."...

Look -- I get it. The fuel standards in the current bill aren't particularly green. This is a real gift to the auto industry. And so on and so on.

But think for a second: This is a government intervention that's actually stimulating the economy, and that's wildly popular with car buyers. The point of stimulus was to pump some much-needed economic activity into the economy, and this is doing it. And unlike other Obama proposals, this is easy for Americans to grasp. They like it. And that means it stands as a rebuke to the right-wing notion that everything the government does on the non-military side is evil and a willful attempt to crush the American people.

So, sure, improve the bill if you can without killing it, or without letting it lapse, but just don't let it lapse. Certainly not for weeks and weeks over the recess. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

At a time when people claim they can't see evidence of stimulation from the stimulus, here's a whole heaping mess of very visible stimulus. If FDR were alive, he'd think Democrats were crazy if they were even dreaming of letting a program like this go.

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