Thursday, February 12, 2009
That was fast: 1) First video attacking the welfare-expanding provisions hidden in the stimulus package, from 24th State . Pointed and danceable! But not an attack ad directed at a specific, vulnerable Dem who voted for the bill. That's what we want. In my neck of the woods a vulnerable incumbent might be Jane Harman, for example. But you could pick any of Rahm's 2006 red-state recruits. Or a purplish Dem Senator (Bayh, Dorgan, Lincoln). Do they want to defend against the charge that they voted to undermine Clinton's biggest domestic achievement?
2) Senator Richard Burr, Republican from North Carolina, has cited the welfare provisions when justifying his opposition to the stimulus bill in the local press :
He said he did not like some provisions, such as an extension of the Davis-Bacon act and what he calls a rollback of the 1990s welfare reform, in the bill.
The Davis-Bacon Act requires people getting federal contracts to pay a prevailing wage, which Burr said is usually interpreted as the highest wages in an area. He said the bill also hampers efforts to get people off the welfare rolls.
3) Quin Hillyer of American Spectator thinks the welfare issue is the last hope for sinking the whole package (his goal, not mine). He wants "hundreds of thousands of citizens" to flood Congressional offices with questions on the subject. Better call fast! ...
4) Congressional Democrats, in their handouts, routinely bury the welfare news (if it's mentioned at all) under more popular talk of unemployment insurance and "Making Work Pay" tax cuts. The one internal Dem flyer I've seen refers only cryptically, at the very bottom of the page, to "keeping ... Temporary Assistance for Needy Families [the basic welfare program] from being overloaded." No mention of expanding it even where it's not necessarily "overloaded" and relaxing work and training requirements. It's entirely possible many Congressional Democrats don't know how bad the bill's welfare provisions are. ..
5) Meanwhile, the silence in the NYT 's news pages and in WaPo (and on the evening news) has been kind of deafening, no? Even Jason DeParle, in a piece specifically about welfare ("The 'W' Word") managed to not even mention the stimulus bill's actual welfare-expansion provision . If I were paranoid I'd say it's almost as if the MSM was in on the conspiracy! ... 9:09 P.M.