Claire took a lot of heat on this site over her remarks about holding Bush and Cheney “accountable”. Her attitude about spending taxpayer money sensibly is less likely to raise your ire. She responded to a question about her no vote on cap and trade legislation by explaining that in the form it was offered, we were committing ourselves to fifty trillion dollars in pre-spent money–unnecessarily.
She seriously did say fifty trillion. She’s holding out for a better bill.
Similarly, Claire is cautious about the stimulus:
“Let me talk about the stimulus real quickly. I … I …. I hope I can vote for it. And the reason I say that is I’m nervous. I’m very nervous. I’m very, very nervous. You take the idea that we’re going to spend 500 billion to 700 billion dollars in America and you hand it over to the appropriators. There is a real fear I have that there will be people who will substitute projects in this bill that are not good stimulaters in terms of the economy. This bill is not about solving the problems in America. That’s not what it’s for. It’s not to solve the health care problem. It’s not to help solve the education problem. It’s not there to solve any social problem we have in this country. It is there to create jobs. And if we do not have the discipline to make sure that every dime we spend in the stimulus package is in fact going to create jobs, then we’re going to be throwing away some of your money. And we can’t afford to be throwing away any of your money right now. (…) There’s a lot of ways to create jobs–shovel ready projects, infrastructure–is one way. There are other ways we can create jobs, but that’s the test: that we can create jobs and that we can realistically create them–this is the sticker–within ninety days. So this is not for a long term stimulus; this is for a short term stimulus.”
I want hundreds of billions of dollars spent on creating jobs. I want it spent quickly. But Claire is right. We spent money bailing out banks that are now refusing to lend money to deserving companies. That bill should have been better crafted, and I appreciate Claire’s caution about what gets into the stimulus package.