Friday, February 06, 2009

The revealing DeMint amendment

Andrew Koppelman

This blog is not ordinarily a venue for the reporting of straight news, but a major vote in the Senate Wednesday evening has been ignored by the press. Senator James DeMint offered a substitute bill for President Obama’s stimulus package that would consist of nothing but tax cuts, most notably a massive reduction of the top income tax rate from 35% to 25%. The amendment was defeated, but 36 out of the 41 Republican senators voted for it.

The vote makes clear that most Republicans fundamentally disagree with the Keynesian premises of Obama’s stimulus package. Their public statements have harped on details of spending, but the DeMint vote shows that they are opposed to any attempt to stimulate the economy by government spending. They are unalterably convinced that tax cuts are the universal elixir for any economic problem. Under these circumstances, bipartisanship is a delusion. Democrats and Republicans have nothing to negotiate about.

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