Senator Specter responsded to my letter on his stimulus package vote.Â Here’s a section I want to highlight:
I was impressed with the position of the United States Chamber of Commerce which was for the bill very solidly.Â The Chamber is for the bill because it supports pro-growth tax initiatives.Â The Chamber is for the bill because it applauds the inclusion of tax relief.Â The Chamber is for the bill because many of the spending-side provisions in the legislation will also provide stimulus to get Americans back to work, focusing on infrastructure spending for roads, rails, public transportation, aviation, inland waterways and ports.
Here’s a recent press release by The Chamber.Â Tell me if you think this is “for the bill very solidly”:
Ever since the election, the Chamber promised to work with the Obama team to develop and then pass a stimulus bill that would apply a defibrillator to our economy and shock it back to life â€¦ a bill that was timely, targeted, and temporary â€¦ a bill whose most important objective would be to create and save American jobs.
Unfortunately, thatâ€™s not what the House of Representatives delivered.
Its bill contained massive amounts of wasteful spending â€¦ infrastructure projects that would come on line too slowly â€¦ an insufficient level of tax cuts â€¦ and billions of transfer payments, rather than incentives to create new business and jobs.
House leaders prevented anyone other than themselvesâ€”including, apparently, the presidentâ€”from shaping the bill. As a result, it was a prescription for bigger government, more debt, and ballooning deficits as far as the eye can see.
The Chamber worked hard to win improvements in the Senate version. Itâ€™s betterâ€”it contains more tax cuts and curtails some of the wasteful spending, but we would have liked to have seen more improvements.
In the end, they supported the Senate version, but that sounds rather tepid to me.Â If Arlen is looking for cover for his vote, he’s going to have to try harder than this.