Earlier this week, we had on our op-ed page, all ready to go, a piece from gubernatorial wannabe Gresham Barrett about how keen he is on nuclear power. That was all well and good, but it was neither here nor there (I can keep the pretentious figures of speech coming all day) when it came to the issue of the moment, which was as that piece was being put on the page, Mr. Barrett was stepping out as the only member of the S.C. delegation to vote against the bailout, I mean rescue, bill.
Seemed sort of, well, off-topic to me. So I pulled the piece (you’ll see it online Saturday) and got Cindi to ask his office for a column explaining his vote. They expressed interest, and the next day we held space on the page past our deadline, but it didn’t show. Which was a shame because it would have run the same day as this editorial, which would have given you a sort of point-counterpoint on the subject.
It never did show. But today I get this via e-mail:
Barrett Releases Statement on Upcoming Vote concerning Economic Recovery Plan
Washington, DC – Congressman Gresham Barrett (SC, 3) released the following statement regarding the vote on the updated economic recovery package expected on the House floor tomorrow:
“Today we are faced with what Warren Buffet called an ‘economic Pearl Harbor’ that includes the ugly reality of an across the board credit freeze. The ability for companies to meet payroll and fund activities is threatened, and let’s be clear I’m not talking about Wall Street businesses, but 3rd district employers. Whether it is a small business that may have to close its doors, or major corporations employing thousands of my constituents, jobs are at risk. If Congress does not act the effects will be serious for American small business, families and consumers.
“Monday’s bill relied purely on government activity failing to consider fundamental free market principles that I believe must be part of any solution. I was aware of the gravity of the situation then as I am now, but was optimistic that working with relevant parties and my constituents through the legislative process we could produce a better bill. This legislation contains proven free market principles like tax relief and regulatory changes that will move our economy forward helping to mitigate the pain on Main Street. While this bill continues to contain a number of provisions that I oppose, I believe we are at the end of the legislative process and action is required.”
OK, so he understands it’s an "economic Pearl Harbor," but he didn’t feel like shooting back at the Mitsubishis on Monday. Now that the plan’s been beefed up with lots of fixin’s, so it’s not $700 billion, but $810 billion — more than I make in a year, for those keeping score at home — he likes it. Of course, he covers himself on that, with his airy "While this bill continues to contain a number of provisions that I
oppose, I believe we are at the end of the legislative process and
action is required."
So glad we’ve got your permission now, Gresham. Can we get on with the saving-the-country thing? Thanks.