Agree to Disagree – Is compromise always best?

Rush Limbaugh has made it to the big time. Yesterday Limbaugh wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal detailing his version of the stimulus plan, which I covered last week. The column was a rehash of the proposal he released on his show as the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009. The column itself made for an enjoyable read. I could see all of Rush’s points, and agree with a few, without all that jargonizing getting it the way. I guess sensible talk is not what brings in Rush the big bucks.

Take the opening paragraph: There’s a serious debate in this country as to how best to end the recession. The average recession will last five to 11 months; the average recovery will last six years. Recessions will end on their own if they’re left alone. What can make the recession worse is the wrong kind of government intervention.

There are a some misleading facts. Only recessions counted from 1945 to 2007 average out to 5 to 11 months. Roughly ten recessions occurred prior, including the Great Depression. Most administrations did attempt to intervene in the crises with varying degrees of success. Rush and many others, myself included, question whether or not the current stimulus is the best approach.

The solution proposed by Limbaugh is a compromise between spending (Keynesian) and tax cuts (Supply-Side). Maybe a compromise isn’t the best solution either.

Compromises have brought us some great things in history. Our Bill of Rights is the product of a compromise between Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Compromises don’t always produce the best results. The Reconstruction Era led to decades of discrimination, violence, and terrorism against religious, ethnic, and racial minorities.

A compromise just to prove Obama is bipartisan or to save hurt feelings of those who oppose the stimulus is wrong. This isn’t the schoolyard. No one should be forced to make compromises with our money and economy in the name of togetherness. I want the best plan there is. If that comes through a compromise then OK. If it comes from the Dems or if it comes from the GOP I don’t care. As long as this thing is not a waste of money and helps get us back on the right track quicker than doing nothing at all I’m behind whoever proposes the stimulus.

Now is the time for decisive action. Stop the in fighting, keep the debate going. Work the best solution to the problem. Quit the handholding kumbya and quit power games. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but there is a middle ground on how to approach the stimulus here.


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