Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stimulating Talk

Following up on Rachel Maddow’s story, The Wall Street Journal — no, seriously — cited a number of examples where Republicans voted against the stimulus bill and carried on about how it was a waste of money and wouldn’t create any jobs but were all too happy to write letters begging for the money for their district, saying it was a great use of money and would create jobs.

Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who called the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree” that “misses the mark on all counts,” wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in October in support of a grant application from a group in his district which, he said, “intends to place 1,000 workers in green jobs.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Ryan said the congressman felt it was his job to provide “the basic constituent service of lending his assistance for federal grant requests.”

Republican Reps. Sue Myrick of North Carolina and Jean Schmidt of Ohio sent letters in October asking for consideration of funding requests from local organizations training workers for energy-efficiency projects.

In November, Ms. Schmidt said in a statement, “It is time to recall the stimulus funds that have not been spent before the Chinese start charging us interest.” Aides to the congresswomen said they had always supported local organizations in their requests for federal funding.

The list goes on; Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas, Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah, and the entire House and Senate delegation from Alabama all had their hands out begging for the money. Their spokespeople — the ones that would talk to the press — said that once the bill was passed, they wanted to be sure that they got their fair share.

Summon Captain Renault: I’m shocked, SHOCKED, to find hypocrisy going on here.

More to the point, though, is Steve Benen’s observation that is a candid admission by the Republicans that the stimulus package worked.

For all their palaver about how government spending is simply incapable of creating jobs and generating economic growth, we know they don’t mean it — we have the written requests for stimulus funds to prove it.

Tell me again why we should take the Republicans seriously about anything?