Stiffing the constituents

And it's back to the stimulus package. One thing that has nagged me about Susan Collins's central role in trimming the package in an effort at "compromise" is that it seems to be hurting the very people she's meant to represent. Maine, as I have mentioned, is cash-strapped, and I would have thought that this would have spurred her to support as much money going out from the federal government in state aid as possible.

Apparently, this is not the case. I've read two different things in the past ten minutes that put the lie to this assumption.

From The Plank:

Here's the difference for a couple key states, in terms of fewer jobs created under the compromise (the numbers reflect an estimated range):


Maine: 1,831 - 2,316
From TPM:

The state budget chief says Maine is hoping for as much as $1 billion in federal aid to help close a deficit that is already forcing layoffs and fee increases. So why did Collins work so hard to trim the estimated $250 million in state stabilization aid that would have gone to her own constituents? If she knows, she's not telling.
All I can think of is that Collins wants to appease her fellow Republicans by doing some kind of "trim the fat" kabuki. Because all it would have taken for the bill to pass unchanged was her (and Snowe's) support. Sure, it would be nice if other Republicans supported it, but the Democrats plus Maine would have been sufficient to move the bill along. (Steve Benen has made similar points about Arlen Specter.) Perhaps she thinks that by cutting spending, which makes the bill less effective, she is safeguarding its passage, but her support was all it needed in the first place, and it would have been better for her state the way it was before.

I find it baffling.


  1. I can not wait until Franken takes his seat, then it will be one less clown to worry about. I don't know Maine politics, is she worried about a rightist insurgency against her in the primaries?

  2. Perhaps you can make a post on what you, Ms. Snow, Mr. Obama, and the rest of the DC Insiders know that the CBO doesn't know. The CBO argues the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Porkapaloosa isn't necessary, isn't supported by all economists, and will hurt us in the end.

    And if aid to the states ought to be in, why not send all your state tax receipts to those all wise, all knowing DC wunderkinds? Wouldn't it be, emm, *smarter* to keep that money from leaving Maine and having the cream skimmed in DC? What's wrong with raising your fellow Maineists' state taxes to pay for your state spending decisions? Why do I need to reach into my pocket to pay for your state's choices? Just curious.