As I wrote yesterday, I think the cuts they and Democratic Blue Dogs, like Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman (actually, he's an Independent), made weakened rather than helped the bill. But I also agree with Obama that it's foolish to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The bill will go to conference and, hopefully, the cuts will either be restored or no more will be gutted from it.
Meanwhile, any illusion of compromise or bipartisanship was completely shattered by the behavior of Republicans in both the House and Senate. On the other hand, pragmatic governors, left with task of balancing budgets while their revenue streams from property and sales taxes dwindle, are embracing it regardless of party affiliation. One such moderate GOP governor is Charlie Crist, whose own state, Florida, has been among the hardest hit by the bursting of the housing bubble and the economic downturn.
And if there's any doubt that Florida residents want programs that fix infrastructure and create jobs rather than just provide more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (a strategy that failed miserably to alleviate the recession), read here:
Thompson and other community leaders gathered Monday at a small hotel to sign a letter to Obama they had drafted the night before. On their wish list: $462 million to pave roads, complete unfinished construction and bail out homeowners in financial distress.Florida is a swing state that swung reliably Republican for the past ten years. Its current Republican governor is bucking his party's conservatives, both at the state and national level. Its current Republican senator, Mel Martinez, is not seeking re-election. Like Virginia, this state is ripe to be plucked back into the Democratic column. Its citizens are hurting while Republicans are modeling themselves after the Taliban in their tactics of obstruction, and they're bragging proudly about it. In short, they're clowning while adults are trying to fix this mess, which eight years of an MBA Republican president created.