Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Obama stimulus plan--opportunities for the right

The Obama camp claims the coming stimulus package won't contain pork:

"President-elect Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan won't include money for politicians' pet projects and will include provisions aimed at ensuring his administration is open and accountable to taxpayers and Congress, a transition official said Tuesday. As part of the package likely to cost as much as $775 billion, Obama plans to establish an oversight body to meet publicly and issue reports to Congress on how the money is being spent. The president-elect also plans to create a user-friendly Internet site to allow people to track the flow of dollars."

Well, gosh, that sounds so great. But pork has been a part of Washington D.C. politics forever.
It won't be easy for Mr. Obama to get rid of it. Has he bitten off more than he can chew here? This reminds me of the first days of Jimmy Carter's presidency, when he too declared that things would be different and that there would be no pork, etc etc etc. But in the end, Carter alienated congressional Democrats and was never able to get back on the right track with them. Could this happen to Mr. Obama?

What Republicans and conservatives must do now, meanwhile, is scrutinize this stimulus package down to the last detail and blow the whistle on any pork that sneaks in.