Well, we know the leadership is the same old GOP: As I noted last week, the Boehner Highway Boondoggle might as well be called “Obama Lite” — and it’s really not all that lite at $262 billion, which is about $70 billion more than dedicated fuel taxes will generate and $14 billion per annum more than House Republicans proposed just seven months ago. This is exactly the sort of recklessness that got the GOP booted from power in 2006 and 2008, and that they promised voters they had sworn off.
As Erick Erickson points out, moreover, House Republican leadership is using the same sort of sleight-of-hand Obama Democrats employ to conceal their profligacy and bribe resisters: budget busting provisions are diverted into separate legislation, to be paid for out of general funds, to hide the fact that the Highway Trust Fund is being blown out; domestic energy production is purportedly ramped up (the Left will never go for it) to woo fiscally responsible conservatives into voting yea — even though there is no reason why energy production should be linked to transportation, and if there is a surplus to be had from it, responsible lawmakers would use it to pay down some of the mountainous debt they are saddling our children and grandchildren with, not fund more “stimulus.”
The vote is today. It’s a very clear question for Republicans swept in on the 2010 Tea Party tide: Did you actually come to change Washington, or has Washington already changed you?
Yesterday, President Obama proposed an astoundingly irresponsible budget that doesn’t just utterly refuse to deal with the reality of our bankruptcy but adds goo-gobs of new debt. House Republicans, despite their spendthrift leaders, have a chance today to say: We’re different. Are they?