Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Analysis of the 'Stimulus' Bill

I am extremely bothered by the dishonesty of saying it is a stimulus bill when there were vast areas in the bill that deal with unrelated topics, such as the electronic collection of medical data and the board that will give doctors gratuitous feedback about their treatment decisions. How can a representative democracy work if I know an elected official has no compunction about lying to me?
I am very bothered that so massive a piece of legislation would be passed with next to no public discussion. NOBODY EVEN KNEW WHAT WAS IN THE BILL. And it was repeatedly said that there is no time for discussion because the crisis is so dire. If the crisis is so dire an honest man will only use such an argument to enact measures that deal directly and immediately with the crisis. And, now, Treasury Sec. Geithner seems to feel there is no great rush to implement this 'emergency' bill. There doesn't even seem to be any rush about filling senior positions in the Treasury Dept. even though we would need such to deal with a financial crisis, if the administration even believes there is a crisis. Especially since some of the cited behaviors would point away from any sense of urgency in the executive branch.
A basic tenet of our system of government is that the consent of the governed is the basis of power. Enactment of nonemergency measures without the public knowing they are in the process of being enacted and the public being forbidden to discuss them before they become law totally breaks the link between power and the consent of the governed. You can't pull stuff like this without it having an effect on public trust and we’re royally screwed if the public loses trust in the government.


Above is a comment I made on another blog. I have edited and improved it.
The blog in question is Betsy's Page. It is a great site since many commenters from both sides congregate there. And some of those on the left are quick witted and intelligent. I feel that my mind and arguments are improved by the wider and wilder discussion. Echo chambers with only slight divergences of opinion have a place. But the more broadly attended exchanges are essential for mental health and good for the republic. Another site where I have run into this kind of thing lately is Reflections From A Murky Pond.


Joe said...

The guy who "took you to task" on Betsy's Page was guilty of the very things he was trying to accuse you of. He was non-specific and vague, while you were spot on, naming what you did not like in the "stimulus" bill.

Chris M. said...

I have to admit it was partly my fault because my first comment was poorly written and strongly hinted that I believe things I do not believe.
That is so often the approach of liberals: attack and accuse and make your opponent defensive. But it doesn't work with a conservative who is clear about what he believes and does not take the bait from the liberal and does not try to answer emotion charged side issues that are thrown in by the liberal.