If there's one thing that unites the Republican Party it's that the stimulus bill was a job-killing piece of legislation that was the worst thing in the whole entire world for the economy, right? Or maybe that's just what unites them in public, because in private the Washington Times reports they've been working overtime to get their hands on job-creating stimulus cash.
Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state.
In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would "create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities."
Bond isn't alone. Remember Joe "You Lie" Wilson?
Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, "You lie," during Mr. Obama's addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding.
"We know their endeavor will provide jobs and investment in one of the poorer sections of the Congressional District," he wrote to Mr. Vilsack in the Aug. 26, 2009, letter.
You see the pattern? Slam the stimulus in public, but in private, ask for stimulus funds to create jobs. For example, Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah:
On Feb. 13, 2009, Sen. Robert F. Bennett, Utah Republican, issued a statement criticizing the stimulus — but two days earlier, he privately forwarded to Mr. Vilsack a list of projects seeking stimulus money.
"I believe the addition of federal funds to these projects would maximize the stimulative effect of these projects on the local economy," he wrote.
And here's even more quotes uncovered by the Washington Times in private letters written by Republican lawmakers seeking stimulus funds from the Agriculture Department:
Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican: "It is anticipated that the project will create over 200 jobs in the first year and at least another 40 new jobs in the following years."
Rep. John Linder, Georgia Republican: "the employment opportunities created by this program would be quickly utilized"
Kudos to the Washington Times for having done the leg work of filing the FOIA requests to expose these examples of Republican lawmakers talking out of both sides of their mouths, publicly lambasting the stimulus as a job-killing measure, but privately conceding that it actually created jobs. It's hard to imagine a more effective way of demonstrating Republican hypocrisy on the question of whether the stimulus bill creates jobs, and Dems should remind them of it every waking day.