In Attempt To Placate The Right Wing, Collins and Specter Endorsed Pandemic Flu Funding Cut
On February 5, Karl Rove took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to argue against President Obama's Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act because, in his view, the spending was not targeted to create or preserve jobs. In particular, Rove complained about the fact that the bill included "$900 million for pandemic flu preparations." He contended that such spending was unnecessary because the health care sector "added jobs last year."
Rep. David Obey (D-WI) included the pandemic preparation funding in the package because he believed "that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse." But Rove was not concerned with the actual substance of the funding.
Rather, as Paul Krugman explained at the time, in attempting to oppose and discredit the economic recovery package, conservatives in the media and Republicans in congress aligned themselves around a strategy that amounted to "snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny." Unfortunately, this "snickering" at funding priorities had very real impacts.
Not on Congress. They have the health care plan we should all have. But then it wouldn't be special as befits their lofty positions.
Now, in light of the current outbreak of swine flu, their attempts to placate the conservative wing of their party by standing up against extremely important funding priorities looks extremely shortsighted. Ironically, those ultra conservatives in office who led the fight against the stimulus, like Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), are seeking government assistance in addressing the swine flu outbreak.
Lemme see now, this flu outbreak started in Mexico, right? I think there might be a case or two of it wade across the Rio Grande. Better Goodhair should secede Texas. After all, he doesn't like federal funds and it would be cheaper for the rest of us.