Business & Media Institute
January 28, 2009
Is the new Obama administration taking cues from the Bush administration to get Congress to act? It certainly seemed that way to, South Carolina’s junior Republican senator, Jim DeMint.
DeMint, speaking Jan. 27 at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., explained the Obama administration will “create crisis and widespread panic” just like its predecessor in order to get Congress to act expeditiously.
“I’ve been around long enough to know whenever someone tells me I have to make a decision right now, my response is no,” DeMint said. “That clears it up right away and I think more and more the Bush administration and now this administration knows that they’re not going to get a quick reaction out of Congress unless they create crisis and widespread panic. And that’s going to be their M.O. to get Congress to act.”
Another senator, James Inhofe, R-Okla., explained the Bush administration used a similar tactic, under the direction of former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, to get the $700-billion TARP bailout bill passed by Congress back on Oct. 4, 2008.
DeMint said some Republicans now regret they voted for the TARP package, even though there is no way to gauge what might have happened had it not been passed.
“I think there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse among Republicans who voted for the bailouts of all kinds last year,” DeMint said. “And, it’s hard to prove that, some of them are saying, ‘It didn’t work out so well, but it’d been a lot worse if we hadn’t.’ It’s hard, it’s hard to argue that unless you know anything about how business works.”
“And then it’s obvious that what we did was inject a whole lot of uncertainty into the marketplace,” DeMint said. “So no, I don’t think there’s discord because of that, uh, and I really don’t blame my colleagues. If you got the President and the Secretary of the Treasury coming in saying, ‘The world economy is going to collapse next week if we don’t do something.’”
DeMint criticized the mainstream media for not conveying the message that some congressional Republicans are trying to spread about this package –that it’s filled with big-government wasteful spending projects that will do little to “stimulate” the economy.
“Well, it’s a good question and a lot of us are saying that,” DeMint said. “It’s not being picked up at all by the mainstream media and that’s why again, we’re going to have to take our message through you to the people, Rush Limbaugh, anyone who will talk about what’s really in the bill. We don’t need to make it up. It’s like they’re in a different reality. They’re talking about a bill, that when you look at it, there’s no resemblance to what they’re talking about.”
DeMint said it will take grassroots efforts to put the brakes on this stimulus package and he admitted he has seen it from constituents that are concerned about the bailout culture in Washington, D.C.
“So if we can just get the truth to the American people, or just a segment of the American people, I think you’ll, you’ll see a groundswell of anger, again because there’s, there’s a real fatigue out there on these bailouts,” DeMint continued. “I think even people who are normally not that political are coming up to me and they just sense that we’re running this country into a ditch. I’ve never seen people so anxious and so – well, I mean they grab my arm. They’re no longer single issue people. They just say, ‘Thanks for fighting. What can I do?’ I’ve heard that at least a hundred times. That’s – we just need to let people know the truth and think that they’ll get engaged.”