The Cash-and-Trash humiliation worsens

THE CASH-AND-TRASH HUMILIATION WORSENS…. It’s often called the “cash-and-trash” strategy — Republicans hate the stimulus package and “trash” it at every available opportunity, but love the stimulus package and grab the “cash” when it comes to creating jobs in their own states/districts. It’s been going on for a year, but the phenomenon keeps spreading.

Last week, the Washington Times found that “more than a dozen Republican lawmakers,” all of whom insisted that the stimulus package was an awful idea that couldn’t possibly help the economy, privately urged the Department of Agriculture to send stimulus money to their states and districts, touting the investments’ economic benefits.

Today, the Wall Street Journal moves the ball forward with still more GOP lawmakers who say they oppose the very idea of the stimulus package, but who nevertheless believe the stimulus will help improve the economy in their areas.

More than a dozen Republican lawmakers supported stimulus-funding requests submitted to the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Forest Service, in letters obtained by The Wall Street Journal through the Freedom of Information Act.

It’s quite a motley crew. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the stimulus “misses the mark on all counts,” but encouraged the Labor Department to invest stimulus money in his district, highlighting a project he said would create 1,000 jobs. Reps. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) and Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio), both right-wing opponents of the recovery efforts, did the same thing.

It’s not just House Republicans, either. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Bob Bennett (R-Utah), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) all told the Obama administration that the stimulus would improve the economy in their states by directing funds in their direction.

The takeaway here should be pretty obvious, and it goes beyond just the impressive levels of hypocrisy. When push comes to shove, and it’s their constituents on the line, Republicans know that the stimulus works. For all their palaver about how government spending is simply incapable of creating jobs and generating economic growth, we know they don’t mean it — we have the written requests for stimulus funds to prove it.

Also note, the WSJ report only covers Labor, EPA, and Forest Service. It’s very likely that many more Republican lawmakers who opposed the stimulus also reached out to other agencies, convinced that the money would do wonders in their state/district.

Expect the Democratic campaign committees to emphasize this heavily as the election season nears.