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Shape of the Earth: Views Differ

I give the Democrats a hard time over the fact that they never stand up for themselves, but the truth is that when you see articles like this from the AP, you realize they're not exactly on a level playing field.

The article makes it seem like the parties are equally to blame for not being able to approve disaster relief spending. It's 15 paragraphs in before it's revealed why the bill isn't getting passed, and when you finally get there, it's a very poorly written explanation. Maybe i just have poor reading comprehension, but i already knew about the dispute and i could barely parse the explanation as written. After 15 paragraphs of "a plague on both your houses", i don't think anyone's going to be trying too hard to figure out what the problem is.

The issue is that the Republicans are demanding, without precedent (not "Democrats complained that it's unprecedented", it is unprecedented), that all relief aid be offset with spending cuts. Of course, the relief aid will be temporary and the spending cuts will be permanent. And in a recession, there is no need for spending cuts. And the amount of money involved is so small it's irrelevant (The article unhelpfully says it's a "small part of the almost $4 trillion budget", and later says it's about $2 billion in relief. So .05% of the budget?).

So far from "On spending, Congress can't agree on easy stuff", this is a clear case of Republicans being villains: holding relief money hostage in order to pursue an agenda they couldn't otherwise pass. If that's too partisan, how about just an article explaining the dispute, maybe with some quotes from economists explaining the budget impact and relief agencies about what the funds will be used for?

By fnord12 | September 26, 2011, 9:35 AM | Liberal Outrage