Time magazine is clearly dispensing with "news" reporting this week. Michael Grunwald started his article "How to Spend the Stimulus" with this sentence: "It's hard to take Republican leaders too seriously when they criticize the recovery plans for the economy; it's sort of like those geese criticizing the evacuation plans for US Airways Flight 1549."
That would be the geese that were ground into the jet engines of the airliner that crash-landed in the Hudson River.
Clearly impressed with his own comic stylings, Grunwald continued: "Their critiques seem even more comical when you see their alternatives. They warn that President Obama's stimulus package will explode the debt – so they want to make George W. Bush's debt-exploding tax cuts permanent. They say Democratic spending plans are full of pork – then they propose an extra $24 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal equivalent of Oscar Mayer. Let's just say their idea bank could use a bailout."
Before the House GOP voted unanimously against the "stimulus" bill, The Hill newspaper reported that Republican House leaders did insert an amendment calling for more billions for the Army Corps of Engineers and more highway spending while reducing the stimulus size by a net $104 billion, apparently to assuage "centrist GOP legislators, along with other Republicans representing districts especially hard hit by the economic downturn, [who] said they needed to be on record backing increased funding for infrastructure programs."
Grunwald, a former Washington Post reporter, has written extensively on the Army Corps of Engineers and criticized it extensively for wasteful spending and environmental harm.
Later in the article, Grunwald supported some tax cut ideas and dismissed others, and then mocked House minority leader John Boehner on spending:
"What about the spending? Again, there has been an Alice in Wonderland quality to much of the criticism, as if economist John Maynard Keynes were a fraud and government spending couldn't possibly create jobs--especially spending on biomedical research, education about sexually transmitted diseases or other programs that sound vaguely liberal and exotic. Jobs in biomedical research and sex education are real jobs. Granted, some spending proposals would work faster and better than others. But it's telling that House minority leader John Boehner ridicules programs to weatherize low-income homes – which would create jobs in a hurry, save poor people money in the long term and reduce the energy waste that increases carbon emissions and empowers foreign thugs. What's the argument in favor of heating and air-conditioning the outdoors?"
Grunwald concluded that President Obama should ignore "partisan gripes" and press ahead with his spending spree, since he is the "Santa" the people elected:
So it's not clear how hard he'll push to fund his long-term agenda. But he should ignore the partisan gripes that the stimulus is becoming a "Christmas tree." Congress is about to toss almost $1 trillion into the economy, which means that any stimulus is going to be a Christmas tree, no matter where the gifts are hidden. And in November, the U.S. chose its Santa. This is his best chance to decide who gets the goodies and who gets the lump of coal.
Since they’re comparing Republicans to dead geese, Time magazine obviously wants the GOP to get coal in their stocking.