In his letter to the editor on Sept. 7, Waller Wilson contradicts my online comments referring to a united government in 2009-10, noting that this period under the Democrats was "not filibuster-proof."
Wilson also takes issue with my rounding-up to $1 trillion the costs incurred by the Recovery Act - citing the bill as being $787 billion - then satirically posing whether he is quibbling.
Finally, he warns that austerity is the reason that Greece and Spain are failing - a preposterous claim. My precise answer: Yes. Wilson is quibbling.
The filibuster is valued by both parties. The device serves as a brake to the Senate majority's tyranny. Moreover, this president and the Senate majority leader could have worked to cobble successful cloture as needed. Repeatedly, this president has demonstrated that he's not been up to such compromise.
Filibusters notwithstanding, President Obama did get a lot done during his first year; that massive stimulus bill, taking big stakes in GM and Chrysler - after favoring unions over both the creditors and Ford Motor Company in the auto bankruptcies - and expanding a children's health care program. Most notably, his overreaching health care bill (barely) made it through Congress at the end of his second year.
Then came the rebuke of the mid-term elections. Pointedly, Wilson avoids mention of Obama's response: the last-minute ruination of the grand bargain to curb spending afterward. Afterward, a year ago last May, the Senate voted 0-97 against the budget Obama submitted to Congress.
In truth, the Democrat Senate is now the place where all House Republican economic remedial efforts go to die.
The Democrats now claim similarity between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. In reality, the comparison is more accurately made to Jimmy Carter.
As to the cost of that failed "stimulus:" The borrowed $787 billion comes with the additional debt costs of about $350 billion or more. That makes for at least $1.137 trillion - doing little for employment but an awful lot toward adding to our spiraling public debt. By rounding to $1 trillion, I was actually being generous to the president - and this president needs all the generosity he can get.
Dan Flathers, Toms Brook