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McCotter: Stimulus Bill Wasn’t Socialist Enough

We’ve heard plenty of grumbling from Republicans about how they couldn’t support the recently passed economic stimulus package because “it’s a spending bill, not a stimulus bill.” What you don’t hear frequently is a Republican claiming he opposed the measure because it was too small.

Enter Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). During an interview with MSNBC this morning, McCotter claimed that he voted against the $787 billion package because “it would not do enough for Michigan.”

We are a manufacturing state. We see a trillion dollars spent and, yet, we still see our auto industry hanging by a thread at the whim of a task force that’s going to determine its future.

He’s referring, of course, to the White House task force charged with deciding whether Chrysler and General Motors should receive billions more in emergency loans from the Wall Street bailout bill. (The struggling automakers have already accepted $23.4 billion in federal cash through TARP.)

No matter. The bailout funds are to help the automakers stay solvent, while the stimulus legislation, in McCotter’s eyes, should have provided additional funds for retooling auto plants. He also rued the removal of an amendment — sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) — that would have provided a tax rebate to new-car buyers:

Well, first, we wanted to see something addressed to help sell cars. There was a hope when the Mikulski amendment was in the Senate and was adopted and, yet, that was taken out in the dead of night. That’s a big problem because we need sell cars in Michigan.

Secondly, what we also need to do is — we could have had more help for retilling of the plants and a plus-up in the infrastructure as opposed to the government bailout end of it.

Again, the critical part for Michigan right now is going to be the future of that auto industry and the job losses in our best care scenario, according to the viability plans, are 50,000 people — 50,000 working families are going lose their jobs even if the bridge loan is extended to the auto industry.

So you can see why temporary short-term solutions that will be worse in the long run are of little interest to my constituents who wrote in against this.

Actually, no. All we can see is that McCotter’s enthusiasm for socialism contrasts very starkly with other Republicans’ claims that the free market will work this out — not to mention the apparent Republican notion that a package made purely of tax cuts would provide the necessary panacea — all of which seems to support the growing suspicion that the GOP is a party in search of its soul. And if Democrats can’t capitalize on that chaos, well…

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