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Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2001 / 9 Teves, 5762

Dick Morris

Dick Morris
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Consumer Reports

Call 'em back, George -- NOW that the Senate has failed to pass not only the Bush economic-stimulus package, but any stimulus package at all, the president should give the members of the upper chambers a lesson in priorities.

With the nation languishing in recession, he should call the Senate back into a special session on Dec. 27 (right after Santa has departed) to address the pressing needs of the nation's economy.

If Ted Kennedy et al can't find their way back to Washington from their Christmas Caribbean holidays, it will show America where the Senate's true priorities are.

The simple fact is that the Democrats don't want a stimulus package to pass because they don't want any stimulus. They want this recession to linger until it delivers a Congressional majority to them in 2002 - and perhaps even until it gives them the White House back two years later. (Recessions are handy things when the other side is in power.)

But the Democrats have to pretend to want the recession to end, and, thus, they have to seem to want a stimulus package to pass. By calling them back into session, Bush can shine the national spotlight on their failure to act and goad them into doing what is right for the nation.

Bush thought he could mousetrap Daschle by picking off three conservative Democrats to add to his 49 Senate Republicans to pass his version of the stimulus bill. That move was too cute by half. Daschle, sensing a challenge to his authority as party leader, refused to allow the stimulus package to come up for a vote.

So ended the partisan games, but not the recession.

If the Senate refuses to pass a stimulus package, it will amount to a statement that Keynesian fiscal policy no longer exists as a tool to end economic downturns. With the Federal Reserve pushing interest rates down close to the Elton John level of "too low for zero," this is an abdication of responsibility that is unacceptable to the American people.

JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, The New Prince. Comment by clicking here.


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12/07/01: The non-partisan president
12/05/01: Both parties are phony on stimulus debate
11/29/01: When terrorists can enter legally, it's time to change the laws
11/21/01: Go for the jugular!
11/16/01: You are all incumbents
11/14/01: Clinton's failure to mobilize America to confront foreign terror after the 1993 attack led directly to 9-11 disaster
11/12/01: To the generals: Don't worry about losing support
11/08/01: The death of the white liberal
11/07/01: Our leaders are being transformed in a way unprecedented in post-World War II history

© 2001, Dick Morris