Republican legislators who have publicly been denouncing the Obama Administration’s stimulus measures as fiscally irresponsible privately sought to obtain stimulus money for their home states, reveals The Washington Times.
The paper discovered that over a dozen GOP lawmakers have been lobbying with the Department of Agriculture to invest millions of dollars of stimulus funding in their states
Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri defended himself, stating that although he “strongly opposed the stimulus, […] the only thing that could make it worse would be if none of it returned to the taxpayers of Missouri.”
Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina invoked the same excuse, having his spokeswoman declare that although he believed the stimulus amounted to a “misguided spending bill,” once passed, the people of South Carolina deserved to get “their share of the pie.”
Senators Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Robert Bennett of Utah, as well as Congressmen John Linder of Georgia and Pat Tiberi of Ohio were among other Republican lawmakers who criticized the stimulus but secretly sought funding.
Their apology — that they were merely looking out for their constituents — seems insincere, since rather than earmarking spending bills, which would have disclosed their efforts, these Republicans wrote personal letters which normally aren’t subject to public scrutiny.
The incident is the latest show in the Republican Party’s blatant lack of direction. Rather than objecting to the stimulus on principal, Republicans attacked it because it was a Democratic initiative. They could easily sell it as being part of the governing party’s supposed attempt to steer the United States down the path of socialism.
Unless the Republicans take a firm stand as defenders of free-market capitalism, they cannot honestly condemn the Keynesian spending frenzy of the current administration. So long as they rather resort to simplistic populism and scaremongering, expect to see more hypocrisy from the party that is supposed to favor small government.