Friday, January 30, 2009

The Stimulus Bill that Isn't

The Democrats are dancing in the aisles as the Republicans vote against the so-called Stimulus Bill. They are claiming that the Republicans don’t really care about the country—the middle class or lower class—only the rich and corporations. You know, the same old song-and-dance they have been playing for the past two years since they became the majority in Congress and still haven’t done anything more than pass useless legislation that has lead to the loss of more jobs. I am sure you can remember the minimum wage bill and what many said would happen when it was passed. Look around, ’cause the “I told you so” is in order.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have finally grown some “spine” (I’ll be nice) and are, hopefully, standing up for what they were originally—small government and tight fiscal policy—instead of the spend, spend, spend that they have shown for the past 6 years.

Another thing that is happening, and for certain the big spending Democrats like Pelosi and Reid don’t like, is that some in their own party are having time to actually think about what they are voting for and are beginning to see that this is a Spending Bill, not a Stimulus Bill, and that there is too much PORK included in the mess. Obama did not want this to happen because it slows down his dash for the “superman” title in the first 100 days. He keeps repeating, “imminent,” “needs to be done immediately,” “it is not something we need to hesitate in doing,” etc., etc., but it isn’t working, thankfully. The longer the Republicans and a few Democrats can keep stalling this mess, the more the give-away pork items will be removed, just like the contraceptive spending and the re-sodding of the mall area. Those were drops in the bucket compared to the items that need to be removed.

Let’s see: $1 billion for Amtrak, the failed federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, which is really a great job stimulator (said tongue-in-cheek); $400 million for global-warming research; and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. What are they going to do, put folks to work making “carbon spirit catchers”? There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

How about renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment and create few if any immediate jobs? Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to ... guess which party?

They have spent billions bailing out the auto industry, but that evidently wasn’t enough, so Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. Why? For part time employees to enjoy? The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million; I love the Smithsonian, too, but it’s not a job creator.

Another “stimulus” secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments—not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. It has been estimated that these so-called tax cuts will work out to be about $12 a week. Not much you can do on $12 a week, and the majority of folks who get it will spend it not on food, but on beer and cigarettes. Don’t believe me? Check out who spends the most on these items, especially cigarettes—the poor. There's $81 billion for Medicaid; $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits; $20 billion for food stamps; and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. If someone can tell me how this is a job creator and will stimulate the economy, I am waiting to hear it. It is a tooth fairy story and won’t fly, folks. Poor people do not create jobs, period, and those who pay no taxes certainly do nothing to deserve a refund. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the ten federal job-training programs, and many more. These are failed programs from Johnson’s Great Society program and need to be scuttled or seriously remade. The SBA is a joke; just ask anyone who has tried to deal with this level of bureaucrats.

Oh, and don't forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That’s more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that “No recipient ... shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools.” Looks like the Democrats of Queen Pelosi and Sir Court Jester Reid want to cut out any non-union teachers or programs. Talk about a payback! We used to call it vote-buying, but now it is the norm.

Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There’s another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports, and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities. Then add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, which should be much higher because they are the ones who create jobs. Why not “stimulate” the “job creators,” and make it mandatory that the jobs be created in the U.S. for U.S. workers and that none of it can be used in overseas employment. Do that, and you have something that will work to improve the economy today.

By my estimate and from what I can find online, only $90 billion out of the proposed $825 billion stimulus package, or about 12 cents of every dollar, is designated for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And many of those projects aren't even likely to help the economy immediately.

This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living—or dead—Democratic interest group. As Queen Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit, and then in 2010 and 2012, they can explain how spending trillions of dollars did nothing but put us deeper in the hole.

****Here are the names of the Democrats who voted for their country and not the party when it came to this ill-conceived spending bill. They are to be congratulated. If you notice most of them do not represent heavily “entitlement dependent” districts. These few should be congratulated for putting America first.

Reps. Bobby Bright (Ala.), Parker Griffith (Ala.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Walt Minnick (Id.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Frank Kratovil (Md.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), and Jim Cooper (Tenn.).

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jus' guessing but I'll bet Obama secretly wants the Senate to kill this lard loaded monster.

Fred G.

Ticker said...

Not too sure Fred because there are a lot of "paybacks" in that bill to Unions, the envirowhacko's and failing to get passage would only prove that the change he wants is not real change at all and ai't gonna happen.

He stated that it has to pass or they(the Dems) will lose votes and that they(meaning him and his cohorts) will not be re-elected. But then he shouldn't fear for the LSM will blame it all on the Republicans , the greedy corporation lovers, and see that he is re-elected. Unfortunately!

Mustang said...

I have "zero" confidence in the Congress to do anything that is right for this country. I am only able to write this because of the billions earmarked for ACORN as a payback for their black advocacy programs and the millions of misspent public moneys that went into mortgage loans through ACORN for "po" folk who could not otherwise afford the purchase of half-million dollar houses.

As for the democrats who are waffling, I suspect they are only angling for political favors ... but if I am wrong, the numbers are insufficient.

Bah.

Brenda Bowers said...

This is one of your best Dallas. And considering that so many are really good you had to go some to top them. It gives the facts and your utter disgust fills every line.

It makes you wonder just who these people could possibly be. They surely are not Americans! Americans would not wish to do this to their country. Do you think we have been infiltrated by Communist or Muslim who want to take us down the fastest and easiest way possible? BB

Ticker said...

"Do you think we have been infiltrated by Communist or Muslim who want to take us down the fastest and easiest way possible?" BB

BB look to California and you will find part of the answer to your question. The leftist have completely taken over the state from the smallest agency to the legislature, thanks to the kooks, Hollyweirds and such.

As far as the nation as a whole, thank George Soros who swore to bring the economy of this country to it's knees. He got a good start, then put into place(the WH) his sock puppet. That's just the beginning. It's not the Muslims, the communist (even though the socialist are part of group) it people who are taken in by 30 sec sound bites, glitz and a line of BS deep and wide. Hope this helps to answer your question.

Ticker said...

"but if I am wrong, the numbers are insufficient."
Mustang, note the congress folks and now the Senate folks who are balking at this Spending Bill. They are for real because they are folks from places like ND, NC etc where there is not a large concentration of
"victimization villages" aka ghetto's . Those representatives promised the free lunch and now must deliver. Those in NC , ND etc don't have such to make promises too. They seem, and I believe, they are sincere in wanting to make the necessary changes.

Ticker said...

Fred and others . I want to make sure the quote from "the One" is correct. I didn't have it in front of me at the time I answered Fred but have pulled it from the files.

Obama let slip the real stimulus behind the stimulus: retaining power. "If we don't get this done, we [the Democrats] could lose seats, and I could lose re-election. But we can't let people like Rush Limbaugh stall this. That's how things don't get done in this town." He later said, "I'll be judged by the legacy I leave behind on the economy."

Stimulus or Spending and Payback bill? You decide!

The Logistician said...

Thanks for visiting our site. Your grandfather was a wise man. The bill can't possibly please the American public from a common sense perspective. Unfortunately, what I am afraid of is that nothing can be done to immediately stimulate the economy, which does not have potentially more problematic long-term consequences. Although some forces in our society may have money, why should they desire to spend it now, during such uncertain times? Wouldn't they logically hold on to their funds, and avoid further expansion and hiring and building until they feel more comfortable about the economic future?

I have this sense that no one knows what to do, and the little that they will try will not be effective. Time to get back to basics as far as I'm concerned. Education, innovation/invention, harder work, sacrifice, and the elimination of unnecessary waste, in the short term.

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Remember the $150M for honey bee insurance:-)

I have little confidence that Republicans will stand strong in the Senate. I'm different from our favorite pundits, but I have no confidence. I think they'll cull some of the crap and then vote for it because we "have to have it."

I haven't heard a single one say we don't need and we sure don't need it now.

I hope I don't lose this good feeling. Republicans are so good at dashing optimism.

I do like the fact that Michael Steel is the new Chair.

So good to see you back to speed with your blogging.

Jeff Dreibus said...

Ticker,

I am not convinced that the Congressional Republicans have "grown a spine". Rather, I suspect that they are relieved that they can finally again vote against any given Democrat bill "unanimously" without affecting its ultimate passage; it looks good to the voters back home, don't you know. Just let them re-acquire a majority (or at least a balance), and they will again begin drawing straws to see who must vote with the Dems to ensure that the vote comes out the "right".

I suppose that I should apologize for my rampant cynicism, but I believe that have devised a simple but effective test to determine if a politician is corrupt: if he's in office, he's a crook.

I should note here that, having been a loyal registered Republican until 2005, I feel particularly betrayed by the pachyderm party -- hence my bitterness toward same.

Jeff Dreibus

Anonymous said...

All who voted against the porker should stand by their convictions and refuse to take any of the money for their districts.

Nancy

Mtnrambo said...

Obama and the Dems used this Stimulus Deal as a tool to get Obama elected... it has no merit, other than to dig a deeper hole for the working, taxpaying people in this country, who ARE going to be paying this money back, with interest, for most likely the remainder of their lives...

Obama's followers think the $600 or $1000 they might get is a windfall, but they don't realize one thing.

You have to be taxpayer to get a stimulus check, and, you better not be behind on your child support, or have children on AFDC, or DHS is going to take it...

That pretty much knocks out about 95% of Obama's followers !!!

Mtnrambo said...

Ticker wrote :
" They have spent billions bailing out the auto industry, but that evidently wasn’t enough, so Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. "

I just completed some contract work for the US Government Department of Public Debt in Parkersburg, WV... This is the building that ALL of the United States' bills are paid from...

Do you know what the head executives drive as US Government vehicles paid for by us taxpayers ???

BMW's, Lexus' and Mercedes !!!

I witnessed it and saw these cars with US Gov't tags on them...

Ticker said...

Rambo,If it was up to me they would have to take the bus .

Mtnrambo said...

Ticker wrote :
" Rambo,If it was up to me they would have to take the bus . "

Eh, I just think they need to live and work on the level of the people they represent...

Nothing wrong having to drive a Ford or a Chevy Malibu or Impala as a company car...

MY company truck is a 2008 Ford F-450 4x4 dually... I figure thats about a $8-10K/ year bonus...

Damn thing rides rough as hell, but it's free to me... I wouldn't care if it was a Ford Fusion...

It's definbately not a " status symbol "...