I’m really late to this party, but this needs to be spread far and wide – free of the usual media filters. The Wall Street Journal lifts the rock covering the “stimulus plan” being pushed through Congress by the Democrats. What they find under that rock is not pretty. A god-awful amount of our tax money – and our children’s and grandchildren’s – is being spent on things that have no chance of stimulating anything but bigger government, even more spendaholic behavior by Congressional Democrats and, inevitably, higher taxes for everyone. This bill is a disaster.
We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.
In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make “dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy.” Well, you be the judge. 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.
Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President’s new budget director, told Congress a year ago, “even those [public works] that are ‘on the shelf’ generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.”
Go read where the bulk – by far – of the money is going and try to figure out what that money is stimulating – other than left wing wet dreams. More than one quarter of this bloated monstrosity is going to wealth transfer. Pure, simple glad-handing of cash payments. Little more than vote buying.
Not only is this bill not going to help the economy, it is going to end up skewing upwards the Federal budgets for years – or decades – to come. The Republicans who are standing against this are right to do so. The Blue Dogs who vote for it reveal themselves as hacks.
People need to know how much waste is in this bill – and how little it is going to help do anything but line the pockets of interest groups. Spread the word.