Monday, January 26, 2009

Being for the Stimulus Package II

It is not enough any longer, considering the incredible time our country now faces, for a political party to simply define itself by long held ideology without actually bringing something to the table. House Minority Leader John Boehner described the stimulus packaged as "big government boondoggle." Well, that's not going to cut it.

We need less rhetoric and more action. Any ideas? The whole idea of Democrats being for big government and Republicans being for business is archaic and farcical. If we have not had big government in the past 8 years, I do not know what we have had. President Obama has inherited $482 billion in the 2009 budget year. The reality is that there should be vigorous debate. But let's also create solutions, not simply offer ideology and criticism.

6 comments:

CJ said...

I hear alot of complaints about the Obama plan. But what I don't see is the Republicans offering any fresh ideas of their own.

What I do keep hearing from them is tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. (For whom?)

I will begin to respect some of their ideas if they offer something other than the same old failed economic policies of the Bush era.

judith ellis said...

CJ - I could not agree with your comment more. It seems that they have no ideas themselves. I also think that they are sort of on the fence; many are up for re-election soon and they do not want to be seen in opposition to a popular president. But they most certainly have to answer to their constituents.

Most recently, it appears that the talking heads have now placed dissatisfaction at the feet of President Obama's own party. It will probably not get large bi-partisan support; however, it does not seem to be from a lack of effort on the administration's part.

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

Funding a program or agency is one thing. Insuring that policy, program, or agency is well managed and producing results is another. Management, accountability,and oversight is not exactly a strength of our government regardless of the party who is in power. I see a great deal of funding being given to programs that I know from first hand experience don't work. I also have seen first hand how from the time I spent working with public schools that the problem really isn't the total amount of money spent. It's how little of it actually makes it down to the folks who it was designed to help. Far to many administrative and bureaucratic "hands" getting paid as the funds make their way down down to the "front line".

I'm not sure the line between stimulus and "pork" is all that fine. As you know however, if folks get involved and engaged in the schools, the neighborhoods we can see where the problems are and take action to make folks accountable. Think we can ge folks out to join us?

judith ellis said...

Dave - I agree with you wholeheartedly about accountabilty and responsibility of all involved and fully believe that we can do it together.

As a consultant for large and small cities and nonprofit agencies who receive funding from large foundations, believe me when I say I have seen a many programs upfront, the distrubution of funds and the outcomes.

I mentioned in another post that I don't want to hear it when we are talking about helping the middle class or working poor or even the flat out poor, when billions upon billions are given to Wall Street banks.

I also do not want to hear that a certain party is for smaller government and the other isn't when both parties have run up the deficit. Another fallacy is that one party is for business while the other isn't. These are all fallacies and frankly I'm sick of them.

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

Outstanding and why I have always felt that "when you're elected", that would be real change.

I'm changing my thinking to a degree and have been doing a great deal of reading on the process of community development. Advocacy and change at the community level today does has unique opportunities and challenges that were not present in past years. Lots of resources and goodwill get wasted for sure.

Love the "I don't want to hear it" spirit and the fact you hold both parties responsible and accountable. The government has the funds, the folks on the "front line" (schools, neighborhoods, communities) know best how to use them yet they have no voice in how things get done. That needs to change!

judith ellis said...

Dave - Thanks for the vote of confidence. But I have always felt as if I would do better outside of government. But I might be convinced to at least consider it. You most certainly have mentioned it more than once. :-) "The I don't want to hear it" spirit comes from simply being feed up with the same old same old.

In my family we are of different political parties. This is just fine. In fact, it makes for very interesting discussions. My mother raised 12 very independent children who respect the opinions of others; we do not have to agree about everything in order to get something done and respect others.