I was happy to hear Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio's 11th Congressional District talking about the $789 billon dollar stimulus bill on WCPN's The Sound of Ideas this morning.
It was the first time I'd heard her speak at length and I was delighted to find her well-informed, smart, upbeat and politically savvy.
Her counterpoint, Rob Frost, chairman of the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, was dour, ill-informed, half-baked and yet inexplicably smug for a man who clearly didn't know what he was talking about.
To callers, Marcia Fudge had to repeat in as many ways she could think of, "Yes, we wanted there to be more __________ in the bill, too (fill in the blank with: mortgage help for homeowners; job creation; investment in the infrastructure, etc.) but Senate Republicans wouldn't pass the bill unless we dumped all that and added more tax cuts."
At one point, Frost misstepped by critizing the bill for not providing enough stimulus to do much good (contradictorily, he'd just criticized the bill for heaping debt upon our children and our children's children).
And Fudge's answered back with, of course, "We wanted the bill to be larger, but for some reason Senate Republicans set an arbitrary limit of $789 dollars" (I'm paraphrasing).
Frost managed to stumble back to the faulty party line by saying that what he MEANT was that the stimulus package didn't include enough TAX CUTS, which as far as he was concerned was the only way to stimulate economic growth.
Fudge's rejoinder: We tried tax cuts for the last eight years, and ended up 3 trillion dollars in debt.
At which point moderator Michael McIntyre couldn't resist jumping in to point out that the tax cuts in the approved bill would amount to a little over $7 a week per person.
"How are each of you planning to spend your $7?" he quipped.
"Exactly," said Fudge.
It was lively. (But I'm still missing Dan Moulthrop.)