One of my favorite songs from the 1970s is from the group the Who, Won't Get Fooled Again. My favorite lyric is the iconic line, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
In Congress, it's the '70s all over again. The new boss is the same as the old boss.
Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under President Bush and one of the principle architects of Bush's failed TARP plan, is President Barack Obama's treasury secretary. I called the first TARP extortion and I said it wouldn't work. I stand by that. The treasury secretary at the time demanded $700 billion without accountability. He got it. It has been an unmitigated disaster. No accounting has been provided and the economy is worse off than ever.
If you liked TARP 1, you'll love TARP 2. The plan Mr. Geithner outlined last week is a rehash of what he recommended when at the Fed. The markets panned it and my constituents hate it.
Let's recap the Bush-Obama big government spending disaster. The 2008, $180 billion stimulus was a failure. The 2008, $345 billion housing bailout didn't stop the slide. The 2008 and 2009 TARP 1 cost our children $742 billion. Now, Obama has asked for the mother of all TARPs, $2 trillion in additional spending. Again, no details and no accountability. What's worse is President Obama tried to force Congress into passing TARP 2 the same way George Bush did, with fear. So much for the triumph of hope.
I refuse to call the bill a stimulus because, according to Alice Rivlin, President Bill Clinton's economic advisor and hardly a Republican partisan, only 10 percent of this budget busting mess can be spent this year. In fact, the last dollar won't be spent until 2017. That's two years after Social Security begins its slide into insolvency.
What's tragic is that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Mr. Obama have added $300 billion of this spending to the baseline of next year's budget, meaning next year's budget will have an additional $300 billion in deficit spending right from the get-go, and it only increases every year thereafter. If you thought Bush was driving without a fiscal map, it seems the Democrats are driving blind.
Mr. Obama promised change, but we're getting much more of the same. This administration and the majority are not only repeating the mistakes of the past, but they are acting like President Bush provided a model of good government. The Obama spending policies are the Bush spending policies on steroids.
Unfortunately this won't work. It's been tried before. Remember America in the 1930s or 1970s, or Japan in 1990s, or Michigan today? The Democrat prescription of higher taxes, more regulation and more spending is doomed to leave our economy in the doldrums and millions without jobs. History tells us that.
I know everyone isn't a fan of the Who, so how about Thomas Jefferson? Jefferson reminds us, "It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." The Bush-Obama spending has been a tragic error, only errors in Jefferson's day didn't cost $2 trillion.
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite represents the 5th Congressional District.