Fred Girod: Holy crap!

There’s an interesting story on Fred Girod in this week’s Lebanon Express.  Girod expresses some opinions that I find alternately hilarious and scary.  For example:

“The economy is basically a state of mind,” Girod said. “If we think the economy is doing well, we tend to spend more. When we think the economy is lousy, and most of us do think it’s lousy right now, we tend to spend less.”

This reminds me of former Texas Senator and McCain Adviser Phil Gramm:

“You’ve heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession,” he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. “We may have a recession; we haven’t had one yet.”

“We have sort of become a nation of whiners,” he said. “You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline…”

Yup.  Blaming the victim is practically a national sport for old white dudes.  Also, it looks like Girod internalized the talking point quite well.  And to boot, maybe people think the economy is bad because the economy is bad.

Not to be outdone by Gramm, however, he kicks it up a notch:

Girod criticized the federal government’s financial bailout of troubled businesses, pegging the cost at $7 trillion, an amount equal to $22,500 for each citizen.

“If you had a family of four, wouldn’t you like to get a check for $90,000?” Girod asked. “If you got a check for $90,000 don’t you think that would stimulate the economy?”

The problem, of course, is that when this happens, people don’t use the money in ways that stimulate the economy.  They pay down existing debt and save.  Not only is this basic economic theory, but it’s exactly what happened last spring.  Also, I wonder where that $7 trillion number came from?  The highest I’ve heard is somewhere under $3 trillion.

I was beginning to think Girod was an old-school Republican – you know, the kind that’s conservative but values civility.  Apparently I was wrong:

The senator drew laughs when he offered his own solution to the current economic crisis, one involving President Bush, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.

“If we could ship them to Elba, that’s where Napoleon got shipped, put them up there for life, I think that would be the biggest solution to our economy we have,” Girod said.

Say it with me now:  Jerk.

Oh, wait.  He wasn’t done:

Girod said the state must change some of its priorities in spending on severely handicapped students by placing a cap on the amount spent on their education.

“I don’t think most people in this room would be willing to spend $400,000 or $500,000 for one student, and some students run that much,” he said.

Placing a cap on some special education students would free up more money to spend on talented and gifted (TAG) children who are likely to use their education to create jobs, according to Girod.

When challenged by local businessman Paul Aziz, whose daughter is in the special education program at Lebanon High School, Girod refined his remarks by saying he was referring to severely mentally handicapped students, such as those whose condition requires they have constant one-on-one care to prevent them from injuring themselves.

Wow.  Someone I know likes to say that it’s best to let people hoist themselves on their own petards.  Girod has clearly mastered that skill.  Ripping on disabled children, then getting called on it, then trying to weasel his way out of offending anyone in the room by changing his definition just a bit?  That’s chickenshit. Besides, look at what Girod is saying – he wants to spend less on students who are at risk of injuring themselves.  His words.  Let that one sink for a second.

There’s more:

Asked about the possibility of a continuation of federal timber dollars, currently set to expire in four-years, Girod said the state has to accept the reality that an extension is unlikely and plan accordingly. Increasing logging from public lands would not only generate more revenue but fight global warming as well, Girod said.

This is the part that would be more hilarious if he were joking.  Alas, he appears to be serious.  Deforestation is one of the major causes of global warming – trees capture a lot of carbon from the atmosphere.  That’s why one of the things that carbon offset money often goes for is planting trees.  Girod is very selectively cherrypicking his facts here, picking one basic thing that’s true, but is completely contradicted by the big picture.

I suppose Lebanon is getting exactly who they elected.  I assumed Girod was pretty conservative.  I didn’t know his prick impression was so good.

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3 Comments on “Fred Girod: Holy crap!”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I didn’t have time to read all of this blog, but regarding Girod’s statement, Does that mean that if I think my husband is working as many hours as in the past the money will magically appear in my checking account? If I think I have the same quantity and quality of food on my table, I will? If I visualize gifts for my family under my Christmas tree, they will really be there on Christmas morning? If I think my heat is on, the temperature in my house will crawl above 50 degrees?
    What a joke!

  2. IE Says:

    I heard Girod speak several years ago and was similarly horrified. I want to believe he was elected because his district is overwhelmingly Republican, and that they just voted for their party candidate in rubber-stamp fashion. At least I hope that’s what happened. Too scary to think any of my friends and neighbors actually agree with his views.

  3. Roxy Says:

    “If you had a family of four, wouldn’t you like to get a check for $90,000?” Girod asked. “If you got a check for $90,000 don’t you think that would stimulate the economy?”

    No I wouldn’t want that check. It wouldn’t be worth the cost of the paper it was frickin’ printed on if every family in the U.S. was given a $90,000 check. Idiot.

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