THE BLOG

Pulling the Wool Over Our Eyes

03/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sift through their self-righteous attacks on the Senate floor and the bluster of their talking heads on Fox News, and there's an important aspect of the debate over the recovery package that the Republicans in Congress seem to forget -- they're the ones that got us into this mess. After all, over the past eight years they have driven our economy off a cliff faster than Thelma and Louise

Think about it -- it was President Bush who transformed a $5.6 trillion projected budget surplus into a record budget deficit. He did so by cutting taxes for the wealthiest among us while spending $10 billion a month in Iraq. It was the Republicans in Congress who opposed common sense oversight and regulation of the financial industry, and who passed pork by the barrel, most memorably Alaska's $250 million bridge to nowhere. And it was under their collective watch that our economy lost 5 million manufacturing jobs and millions of families lost their homes to foreclosure.

Facts may be stubborn things, but the Republicans in Congress aren't letting them get in their way. That's why it's time that they spare taxpayers their supposed indignation over the proposed recovery package and buckle down and help to pass a plan that will help all Americans already. They're attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, and whitewash their role in causing the current economic crisis. Despite President Obama's repeated efforts to reach out to them and find common ground, the Republican leadership continues to treat these meetings as little more than a photo-op. Instead of working proactively and constructively behind closed doors, they continue to lob pithy sound bites to the media and propose little more than increased tax cuts.

While I appreciate President Obama's goal of working across the aisle to fix this crisis, we cannot allow partisan temper tantrums to stand in the way of fixing our economy. The American people elected President Obama in record numbers to lead our country in a new direction, if the Republicans aren't willing to join him, the least they can do is get out of his way.