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Posts from the "Michele Bachmann" Category

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Good News and Bad News: Obama’s Plan Would Work, But GOP Won’t Pass It

This morning brought some useful indicators about the outlook for President Obama’s jobs bill. Good news first: Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says President Obama’s job creation plan will likely add 1.9 million jobs, cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, and grow the economy by 2 percent.

Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics said Obama's plan will create jobs and grow the economy. Photo: Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The plan includes $50 billion for infrastructure, with an emphasis on transportation and schools, and the creation of an infrastructure bank capitalized at $10 billion.

House Speaker John Boehner said Obama’s ideas “merit consideration” but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell was less magnanimous. “If government spending were the answer, we`d be in the middle of a boom right now,” McConnell told reporters. “We`ve been on a spending spree over the last two years.”

Republican candidates for president didn’t hesitate to slam Obama’s plan. Rep. Michele Bachmann said everything in the speech had “already been tried and failed before.” Gov. Rick Perry said the true path to jobs was “smaller government, less spending.” And Gov. Jon Huntsman, once an Obama appointee himself, called the speech a “list of regurgitated half-measures [that] demonstrates that President Obama fundamentally doesn’t understand how to turn our economy around.”

Which brings us to the bad news. Despite Moody’s upbeat analysis of the president’s proposal, stocks tumbled this morning. According to Bloomberg, the gloom wasn’t about the merits of the plan but the likelihood of Congressional passage. ”Even as President Obama made an effort to put that plan together,” said James Dunigan, chief investment officer in Philadelphia for PNC Wealth Management, “there’s not a whole lot of confidence that Congress will pass [it].”

I guess it’s not enough for an independent financial institution like Moody’s saying it’s a good plan. As long as a Democratic president proposes it, it’s dead in the water to Congressional Republicans.

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Bachmann: It’s Not an Earmark If It’s for Highways and Bridges

The first phase of the lame duck ends today. Has Congress done the heavy lifting of finding consensus on extending tax cuts, or unemployment benefits, or Medicare physician payments, or the surface transportation authorization, or the federal budget?

It's nice that Michele Bachmann thinks transportation funding is important, but does it need to go through earmarks? Photo: ##http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/16/bachmann-wants-earmarks-r_n_784267.html##Huffington Post##

It's nice that Michele Bachmann thinks transportation funding is important, but does it need to go through earmarks? Photo: Huffington Post

No. But they named a few post offices. And they re-elected their same leaders to keep on leading them. And the emboldened Republicans have made it clear they’re steering toward a ban on earmarks, a sign to the electorate that they’re going to tackle the “wasteful spending” they lambasted during the campaign. (Their effort to start by eliminating funding for NPR was quickly disposed of today.)

Tea Party darling Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has taken a hard line against earmarks in her second term, after getting nearly $4 million in earmarks her first term. “It’s all bad, as far as I’m concerned,” she told Fox News this spring. “All this pork is bad.”

This week, she told the Minnesota Star Tribune that she wants to redefine earmarks so that they don’t include transportation earmarks. Meaning, she wants an absolute ban on earmarks, except the ones she really, really likes. “Advocating for transportation projects for one’s district, in my mind, does not equate to an earmark,” she said.

Actually, that’s exactly what an earmark is, and that’s why they’ve been so controversial. They’re one of the primary ways that the legislative branch exercises control over spending. Many lawmakers see them as indispensable, since, they assert, they know better what the needs are in their districts than federal bureaucrats in Washington.

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