Hypocrisy is defined as the state of pretending to have beliefs, opinions, virtues, ideals, thoughts, feelings, qualities, or standards that one does not actually have. In other words, hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.
During the recent Republican debates, there seemed to be unanimous agreement that the President’s stimulus package was a massive waste of taxpayer dollars while some were campaigning at businesses that benefited from stimulus funds. Gov. Rick Perry said at the recent Tea Party Debate that the President “had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs. Four-hundred-plus billion in this package (The American Jobs Act), and I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.” However, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the stimulus bill, “increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million” in the second quarter of 2010 alone. The Budget Office also states that well over half a million jobs were funded in each of the other three quarters of 2010.
In his book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, Perry wrote: “We are fed up with bailout after bailout and stimulus plan after stimulus plan, each one of which tosses principle out the window along with taxpayer money” In fact, Perry once made headlines by refusing $556 million in stimulus funds for his state’s unemployment insurance program. But since February 2009, Texas government agencies and businesses have received more than $17 billion from the recovery act. With only one exception, that’s more than any state in the union. Hypocrisy at its finest, but it gets better.
Mill Romney recently told supporters, “he (Obama) came into office and said, ‘Oh I know how to create jobs, I’ll spend billions and billions, trillions of dollars.” But Romney made at least two campaign appearances this past summer with stimulus beneficiaries. For example, he spoke at a manufacturing plant run by Screen Machine Industries, Inc. where he and Bernard Cohen, the owner of Screen Machine Industries, bashed President Obama saying, “I think Obama doesn’t understand business and he’s hurting us.” However, neither Romney nor Cohen ever mentioned that Screen Machine Industries received four different stimulus contracts from the Department of Veterans Affairs totaling more than $218,000. In addition, Romney campaigned at the Iowa-based Vermeer Corporation which benefited from nearly $200,000 in stimulus funds.
Do you remember Republican Rep. Joe Wilson who became famous after yelling, “You lie,” during President Obama’s address to Congress, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Wilson strong-armed his way into the battle for stimulus funds in a letter 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 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack.
“Congressman Wilson’s position on the stimulus bill is consistent,” said spokeswoman Pepper Pennington. She said Mr. Wilson opposed the stimulus as a “misguided spending bill,” but once it passed, he wanted to make sure South Carolina residents “receive their share of the pie.” The hypocrisy continues:
Sen. Robert Bennett of Utah, another stimulus basher, also wrote to Secretary Vilsack seeking stimulus cash. Bennett’s justification was that the stimulus would do what the Obama administration said it would. As the Times reported:
“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 simulative effect of these projects on the local economy,” he wrote.
Of course, the most out-spoken critic and vitriol head “stimulus basher” is Michelle Bachman. Bachmann has repeatedly petitioned the Obama administration to send federal dollars — including stimulus funds — to her district. “I voted against the stimulus and I was very public against the stimulus,” Bachmann, leader of the Congressional Tea Party Caucus, recently said on Fox News Sunday. “After the stimulus was passed and the money was there, why should my constituents or anyone else be disadvantaged?” Does she have any principles whatsoever?
On at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for stimulus funds which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.” Bachmann also made two more requests for stimulus funds to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an institution that she would eliminate if elected President.
Bachmann’s consistent hypocrisy further underscores what her critics describe as “a glaring distance between her campaign oratory and her actual conduct as a lawmaker.” Combined with previous evidence that Bachmann personally relied on a federally subsidized home loan while her husband’s business benefited from Medicaid payments, it appears that one of the Tea Party’s most cherished members has demonstrated that the government does, in fact, play a useful — at least in her life and district.
For example, just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, she and her husband signed for a $417,000 home loan backed by Fannie or Freddie to help finance their move to a 5,200-square-foot golf-course home. Seeing problems with these Government run programs hasn’t stopped members of Congress as well as the public from taking advantage of the lower interest rates due to government backing.
PART II ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2011
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