Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2001 / 9 Teves, 5762
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
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
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
JWR contributor Dick Morris is the author of, among others, The New Prince. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2001, Dick Morris