North Florida's Allen Boyd, who today took himself out of the running for US Senate, was one of just 11 Democrats to vote against the economic stimulus package.
In a release the Blue Dog Democrat (who last week was tagged as one of 10 Democrats Barack Obama should look out for), questioned whether the package would create jobs, help small businesses, and "truly strengthen our economy in the short and long term.
"The bill, at a price tag of $819 billion, includes $526.5 billion in spending initiatives and $275 billion in tax provisions," he said. "In order to fund the plan, the government will have to borrow the money adding an estimated $347 billion in interest payments to service the debt, which means that the actual, long-term cost of the stimulus package is $1.2 trillion.
“I have serious concerns that this level of deficit spending without a plan toward fiscal responsibility will only make our economic problems worse. This stimulus package does not address the issues that we know are at least partly responsible for the economic downturn, and that is years of irresponsible fiscal policies rooted in out-of-control spending and borrowing.”
“I want to see a stimulus package that quickly gets money into the hands of the people who are going to spend it and lays out some sort of framework that puts us on a path toward fiscal responsibility,” Boyd said. “I want the stimulus package to include a strategic way forward that fosters an innovative business environment and leads to job creation and a stronger economy. Economists all agree that we cannot sustain the level of spending in the stimulus package over the long run, so I want to have more confidence that each provision is temporary, targeted, timely, and truly stimulative. That is what I hope to see in the stimulus package that ultimately becomes law.”
“Our leaders on the local, state, and federal levels must stop selling the notion that we don’t have to pay for the things we do as a community,” Boyd continued. “Our government performs an essential, but limited, number of functions, and we ought to do those functions, do them well, and be willing to pay for them. I am hopeful that this economic downturn will result in a renewed interest in Washington from both sides of the aisle to clean up the federal budget and address our long-term fiscal challenges. We must do so for the health of our economy and the strength of our country.”