EDITORIAL - We enourage our leaders to vote their convictions

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Aaron Schock (R-Peoria) took it good naturedly when the president did a little political arm-twisting during his visit to Caterpillar last week.

“Aaron’s still trying to make up his mind about our recovery package. So he has the chance to be in the mold of Bob Michel and Ray LaHood,” Obama said talking about the then upcoming vote on his economic stimulus package.

“And so we know that all of you are going to talk to him after our event, because he’s a very talented young man. I’ve got great confidence in him to do the right thing for the people of Peoria.”

The president was sending Schock a not-so-subtle message about accountability to his constituents.

What the president conveniently left out is the flip side of accountability — known as liability.

Schock, however, did not overlook the liability aspect of the economic stimulus bill and voted “no.” 

Schock’s constituents expect him to have Peoria’s best interests in mind, not just the President’s.

Schock, defending his vote against the package, said it was a “bad bill” and that he also voted no because members of Congress were given less than 12 hours to study the bill.

If Schock voted for the bill he may have burdened not only us with taxes, but our children and our grand-children.  

“It is a shame that such a monumental amount of money has been wasted and I cannot be part of wasting more. This money will have to be paid by U.S. taxpayers through eventual tax increases at some point — and with compounded interest,” Schock said following the vote.

“Some commentators have said that no Republican has the right to talk about overspending because so much was overspent on homeland security, the wars, hurricane relief, etc. under President Bush. Not only do two wrongs not make a right, but to attempt to combat massive overspending in the previous administration by another exponential increase in federal spending is akin to treating an alcoholic with a warehouse of whiskey.”

A conscientious Republican has every right to vote against an economic stimulus plan, reportedly heavy on pork and too lean on evidence it will create living-wage jobs.

Besides, one can reasonably ask, since when should we depend on the government to create jobs? 

Given the behavior of so many big financial institutions it is no wonder some have lost faith in the private sector and are putting their faith in government.

But, if government starts forcing things the private sector would not do, we end up with the passage of bills in a matter of hours that would have gotten weeks of deliberation in the private sector. 

Any argument of accountability has to be tempered with recognition of liability.

Schock realized that.

Schock apparently voted his convictions, and his party’s, by refusing to give the government a $787 billion line of credit.

Whether one agrees with Schock or not, we elect our representatives to weigh the benefits  of a piece of legislation against the liabilities.

Only by doing this do they really serve their consitutuents.