Monday, August 03, 2009

Republicans Target "Cash for Clunkers", McCain to Lead Filibuster

From the NYT, we learn that the party that couldn't account for $9 billion in spending in Iraq suddenly has concerns that because the government couldn't process the paperwork from "Cash for Clunkers" in less than a week, this is proof that government doesn't work and we shouldn't even try to reform health care. Yes, that's quite a stretch, but it shows the lengths they will go to for obstruction, and that the Republicans have no intention of bipartisanship on this or any other issue.

So, wave goodbye to increased auto sales, consumer enthusiasm, all those advertising dollars, and the boost to manufacturing jobs that this incentive will provide. The Republicans, led by John McCain, will put a stop to all that nonsense.

On Friday a spokeswoman for Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said Mr. McCain would lead a filibuster against the bill to give the program more money.

“Within a few weeks we will see that this process was abused by speculators and people who took advantage of what is basically a huge government subsidy of corporations that they already own,” Mr. McCain told Fox News last week.

Why does John want to stop the taxpayers from recouping the dollars we spent on the automakers? Must be that he wants the government to own GM forever. OK then. Shame on all you consumers who took advantage of this program and bought yourselves a new car. What were you thinking?

Jim DeMint does him one better in the absurdity department. Let's ignore all those car sales, a web site crash just proves that government has no business doing anything at all, ever, and we need to obstruct everything we can, right now!

Republicans say the problems with the program are another strike against the Obama administration as it pushes for a speedy overhaul of the health care system that would involve a government-run insurance program. They argue that government involvement in any industry is a recipe for disaster.

Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said the “cash for clunkers” program was an example of the “stupidity coming out of Washington right now.”

“The federal government went bankrupt in one week in the used-car business, and now they want to run our health care system,” Mr. DeMint said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “This is crazy to try to rush this thing through again while they’re trying to rush through health care, and they want to get on to cap-and-trade electricity tax. We’ve got to slow this thing down.”

One billion bankrupted the whole federal government? Wow. You would think someone would have mentioned that on the news.

Will the Democrats stand up to this insanity? Between Feinstein insisting on two miles more to the gallon and McCaskill tweeting before she thinks, it's not looking good. They have given the Republicans a huge hole in the defense to run through, and as evidenced above, they are taking advantage of the situation and blowing it way out of proportion. As usual. They are really good at that.

Mr. McCain may have some support from Democrats who are also feeling skittish about the program and its potential cost. In a tweet on Friday morning, Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, said she would “vote no on any extension” of the clunkers program, saying the “idea was to prime the pump not subsidize auto purchases forever.” A few hours later, she added that she would need to review the details of the House bill and how the program was working.

If the program was intended to boost auto sales and manufacturing while also helping the environment, it was working great. It is wildly popular with dealers and consumers alike, and any paperwork glitches are simply minor details that will be fixed later. Dealers themselves can help with that by making sure that the information they turn in is complete.

But if Democrats are going to let these frivolous issues thrown up by the people who want to see this administration fail stop them from acting to revive our economy and manufacturing base, well, we probably can kiss any effective health care reform goodbye too. The Republicans obviously are going to reach for everything they can to obstruct progress on important issues. The only question left is whether or not the Democrats will point out the nonsense and move forward in spite of the obstacles the Republicans want to put in the way.