The other day I mentioned how we need to introduce the real Burr to his constituents. Not the stalwart statesman he wants them to perceive, but the thoughtless, selfish, and hypocritical corporate lackey he is. We'll start by looking at a statement he made back in April sucking up to the Tea Partiers:
"I see this as part of the cavalry coming," Burr said. "They're mobilizing for the right reason. We can't continue to spend like we're spending."
Burr said the $787 billion stimulus package isn't helping citizens. "Nobody sees it," he said. "It stopped paving roads. It hasn't built any bridges," Burr said. "People are grabbing me and saying, 'Get me a job.'"
This is a popular refrain for the obstructionists. Even though they knew (from the beginning) the stimulus had a wide range of targets, with bridges and roads (infrastructure) representing only part of the plan, that doesn't stop them floating the idea taxpayers have been hoodwinked.
So let's look at what he said on the floor of the Senate (link may expire) a few weeks before this:
My amendment No. 3390 is very simple. It says this: Pay for the $250 stipend and use the unobligated stimulus money, the money we have already appropriated. We cannot borrow it twice; we can only borrow it once. Use the unobligated stimulus money, a little over $14 billion--I think it is about $14.4 billion--to pay for the stipend. Let's do the COLA, but let's, in fact, make sure that COLA is paid for. The amendment is almost identical to Senator Sanders' amendment which provides the emergency benefit; it just pays for it.
Before I backtrack a little so we can look at the subject of this spending debate, I want to make sure you see his flip-floppyness. He wants to spend billions of the stimulus on non-infrastructure needs, but a few weeks later he's complaining about not enough bridges being built.
As to what this funding amendment is for, it's to modify an amendment put forward by Bernie Sanders to make up for a lack of COLA increases for people who need it the most, veterans, the retired and the disabled:
Mr. BURR. Mr. President, there is an amendment pending by Senator Sanders to offer a $250 stipend to seniors, veterans, and those disabled to replace the lack of a cost-of-living increase, a COLA increase. As we are all aware, the formulas that drive the cost-of-living increase are predominantly affected by inflation. With the lack of inflation, seniors, veterans, and the disabled did not receive a cost-of-living increase for this year.
Senator Sanders' amendment is very clear. He wants to provide a $250 stipend. That has broad-based support within the Senate body, but I think it is responsible to say that to do this, we should pay for it. To do this, we should not print more money, borrow that money just to provide a $250 check. I think most of our Nation's seniors, veterans, and disabled would agree with that statement.
And I think you're so out of touch with these people there's no way you could possibly know what they would agree with.
And then Burr goes off on a tirade about how helping veterans (the people he claims to look out for), the elderly and the disabled will increase the burden on his two children:
To ignore the fact that we are not paying for it would be to say that we are going to pass this stipend on to our children and our grandchildren; that we are going to take the money we are going to borrow and the debt and the obligation for that debt and we are going to pass it generationally down. As a parent of a 25-year-old and a 24-year-old, I do not think they deserve it. At some point, I hope they are both going to have children, and I do not think their children deserve for me to shove this down.
So there you have it, folks. Spending the stimulus on things other than shovel-ready construction projects is bad, unless it's for stuff he doesn't want to pay for in the first place. And the future tax burden for children of a multi-millionaire is far more important than doing right by our veterans.