In case you want proof that GOP nowadays stands for nothing more than Gut the Obama Presidency – no matter how badly it damages the public welfare – I’ve got a story for you. The essential background involves the way GOP pols won’t shut up about the “failed” stimulus, even though almost all analyses of the facts show that the stimulus spending was one of the factors that saved us from a flat-out depression. Some of you have also no doubt read about the numerous instances where GOP pols who voted against the stimulus and who continue to lie about its success, have also tried to take credit for projects that the stimulus brought to their states.
Which brings us to the 112th congress where the House of Representatives is dominated by the gentlemen of the Spiteful Old Party who are getting ready to kick, scream, and hold their breath until they turn blue and pass out, or until they get their way. And it seems that what they want is to destroy the economic benefits created by the stimulus – for no more reason evidently than to deny the other guys a tangible success, even one that has already been misrepresented almost out of political existence.
One of the ways they are planning to achieve this goal is by canceling the authority to expend the small amount of unspent money allocated to the stimulus – although such funds are almost all already committed to in-process projects. This move packs, as Think Progress observes, a double whammy:
… By cutting off stimulus funds to current projects, Republicans could leave projects half-finished and force mass layoffs at stimulus-funded sites. This wasteful idea is even more cynical given the fact that Republicans have taken credit for major stimulus projects that are still ongoing and could be affected by their new anti-stimulus budget:
Guess what Missouri project fits this description? If you guessed the Highway 141 expansion that isn’t due to be completed until September 2012, you’d be right. And guess what Missouri Tea Party Caucusing GOPer is giving his imprimatur to recalling the funds for the project? This time, you’d be right if you said Todd Akin (R-2). Now remember back to the time when work on the Highway 141 project first began, and Rep. Akin was on hand to bless the highway project and try to garner his little bit of credit for the jobs it would create and infrastructure improvement we would all enjoy. He wasn’t a bit shy about trying to hog the camera then.
Akin has been pretty blatant about claiming credit for stimulus projects in the past – we wrote some time ago about how he falsely tried to take credit for securing funds for the old Gravois bridge that was rebuilt with stimulus funds he voted against. Of course, ignoring the source of the funds for the expansion of Highway 141 in St. Louis County wasn’t in the cards, so Akin tried to hijack part of the credit for the project while simultaneously backhanding the stimulus:
This was paid for by a bill that I hate.. I didn’t vote for it and I still wouldn’t vote for it and on the other hand.. we ended up getting the money for this project which I think is a very high priority,” he said. “It’s unfortunately just a very small part of that bill.
Much of the spending in that bill went to similar projects and to tax cuts. I wonder what it is Akin hates? Especially now that he wants to leave all those projects in the lurch without funds that have already been allocated.
While it’s sometimes fun to watch a hack politician try a delicate balancing act, the performance leaves me with another question. Just what would it take to wake up the complacent individuals who have continued to vote for Akin in election after election? Surely, few individuals, even everyday, rank-and-file Republicans, want to endorse hypocritical politicians who can turn on a dime and sacrifice the welfare of their constituents in order to score political points?