On Specter’s Economic Remarks

Roxbury News has posted video of Arlen Specter’s remarks yesterday (part II here) at the State Capitol.  Three things really bother me regarding his defense of his vote on the stimulus:

1) “The Stock Market Dropped 800 points when the House failed to pass the bailout.”  Are you kidding me?  They are still using this drivel?!?  Yes, the Dow did drop sharply on Sept. 29 – but they rebounded then next day, when the bailout was in doubt, and then dropped after the Senate passed the bailout, and dropped again after and coinciding with the House passage of the bailout.  The Dow continued to drop after the bailout passed, after Obama was elected, and after the stimulus passed.  In fact, the Dow was over 10,500 when the stimulus passed … wouldn’t you like those golden days back again?

2) Our economic problems are “much more serious that is publicly disclosed.”  Really, after months of Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, and now Obama telling the public that we are facing another Great Depression, Specter tells us its worse than that/  His evidence – top secret economic data than cannot be revealed.  I’ve made this argument repeatedly – but if the government has economic data that they are making enormous policy decision on, why are they not sharing it with the public?  Aren’t we supposed to be in a new era of government transparency?   I would compare this to the run-up to the Iraq War, but that would be unfair to the level of transparency in intellegence info the public got on Iraq.

3) Paraphrase: Bush’s Bailout and Obama’s Stimulus are twin brothers – showing both parties are behind this. I agree that both big spending policies are the same. But apparently it never occured to Specter that both parties are overspending, serving special interests rather than taxpayers, trying to appear to “do something” rather than following sound economic principles, and repeating the same failed mistakes of the past.