Very few people are left in Washington, D.C. who believe the "stimulus" bill is anything like a genuine stimulus bill.
People aren't debating whether or not it will work to quickly inject energy into the lethargic economy. They know it won't.
People aren't debating the priority of the public works the bill proposes, because there are very, very few public works proposed.
And the United States Senate isn't fulfilling its reputation as the "greatest deliberative body in the world," because the Senate isn't deliberating.
"More than 300 amendments have been offered, but only 20 were debated. No hearings were held, no expert testimony heard," the D.C. Examiner observed.
“When the American people learn what this bill contains they will reject it," Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn proclaimed, but the truth is, the public already has rejected it. Opinion polling shows support for the porkapalooza dropping fast. Thus the Senate's rush to push it through.
"[T]he process stinks, and the substance of the bill sucks," Senator Lindsey Graham bluntly declared in an interview on my radio show. Graham and his colleagues were speaking freely against a very popular and newly elected president because the bill he has demanded is so deeply flawed that there is no choice but to speak against it. A dozen Democrats in the House rebelled when Nancy Pelosi first kidnapped the idea of a stimulus and used it as a Trojan Horse for every program and wish list denied the Democrats through the Bush Years. The Bush Years were hardly those of fiscal discipline, but they look like models of sobriety compared to the first fortnight of Obama. A pack of House Blue Dogs bolted, but not enough to force real change on the "real change." It would be up to the Senate, and no doubt more than a few House Democrats who know this bill is the legislative equivalent of bleeding the patient hoped that the Senate would recast the "stimulus" into, well, a stimulus.