This is pork barrel spending, pure and simple …
This is no stimulus package, it is a thinly disguised $825 BILLION (+347 billion in interest if paid off by 2020) rip-off of the American taxpayer in favor of the labor unions, radical leftists and socialists, the special interests and those who do not wish America to prosper.
This egregious piece of legislation, the largest single piece of economic law in history was crafted by a single party, did not go through any of the normal congressional committee hearings, was not subject to serious challenge and was passed with about one hour of discussion. Although the Republicans refused to vote for the stimulus program, the democrats pushed the bill through the House.
This is a more egregious example of democrats buying votes and financial support with their earmarks and social engineering programs.
Consider for a moment exactly how the following items will bring us our of our financial recession …
$1 BILLION for Amtrak which continues to require increasing subsidies to operate
$2 BILLION for childcare subsidies (expensive babysitting)
$2.4 BILLION for carbon capture demonstration projects
$650 million for digital television coupons (so the content owners can enforce copyright controls and bring you the latest pro Obama government propaganda)
$600 million for new government vehicles (over and above the direct bailout funds to the automakers and the money already allocated for their fuel-efficiency conversion efforts.)
$400 million for global warming research (provided the results are politically correct)
$50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts which produces little or nothing of tangible economic value.
$335 million for the Pelosi STD (sexually transmitted disease) program which will have a negligible effect on the economy.
Including money for such left-wing radical groups such as ACORN who were at the heart of the financial crisis with their “affordable housing initiatives” and who attempted to subvert the election process in favor of the democrats. Also money for educational activism groups which further push the liberal victimhood agenda of political correctness, multi-Culturalism and diversity by the numbers.
None of these items will repair our crippled financial institutions or move our economy out of the doldrums ...
Bailing out Mexico and the illegal aliens …
The democrats are clearly sending a message to the unions and those who wish open borders that they are willing to assist illegal aliens …
The legislation, which now contains tax credits of $500 per worker and $1,000 per couple, appears to expressly disqualifies nonresident aliens, but contains a loophole which would allow people who don't have Social Security numbers to be eligible for the checks.
The bill would allow anyone with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) to qualify for the tax credits – even if they paid no income tax. ITINs are provided by the IRS without regard to citizenship to enable those who work illegally in the United States to open bank accounts and access other social services.
One should remember that one of Mexico’s greatest source of hard-currency income are the remittances from thousands of illegal aliens living in the United States and sending money back home.
Why the rush …
According to the Congressional Budget Office, almost half of the stimulus package would not be spend until 2011, so the jobs they are proposing to create would come years after the passage of this particular bill.
“Spending Under H.R. 1. H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as introduced in the House of Representatives on January 26, 2009, would result in additional spending of $604 billion over the 2009-2019 period, CBO estimates. About 15 percent of that spending would occur in the remaining several months of fiscal year 2009; another 37 percent would be spent in 2010. A total of almost 80 percent of the cumulative 11-year spending would occur from 2009 through 2011. (In addition to that spending, H.R.1 would reduce [tax and other] revenues by an estimated $212 billion over the 2009-2019 period.)”
Double or triple funding of existing programs …
“Moreover, under H.R. 1, some programs would receive funding that is significantly above (double, triple, or more) the amounts provided for existing or similar programs in recent years.”
My conclusion is that most of the job growth would occur in the public rather than the private sector – and what jobs may be directly be attributable to infrastructure funding would probably be under the control of the union, with all of its wage, benefits and work rules siphoning off both dollars and productivity. We can rest assured, based on historical projects, that any union project is likely to involve significant delays, massive cost overruns and an end-product which is somewhat less than first imagined.
Progress bound to be impeded by bureaucratic inertia …
“Frequently in the past, in all types of federal programs, a noticeable lag has occurred between sharp increases in budget authority and the resulting increases in outlays. Based on such experiences, CBO expects that federal agencies, along with states and other recipients of that funding, would find it difficult to properly manage and oversee a rapid expansion of existing programs so as to expend the added funds as quickly as they expend the resources provided for their ongoing programs.”
This is the type of government program which encourages waste, fraud, abuse, cronyism and results in the corruption of government workers. Historically, massive amounts of money (in the billions) have remained unaccounted for in fast-track government programs which featured expediency over prudent management. And with the democrats, one can rest assured that graft and corruption will follow the money.
Legislating governmental corruption …
“Actions that Could Accelerate Spending. CBO has not analyzed the various programs in detail in order to identify the specific steps that might be taken in each case to speed up spending. Some possibilities for accelerating spending in infrastructure and other grant programs include changing federal standards and requirements by:
- Waiving requirements for environmental and judicial reviews;
- Allowing contracts and grants to be awarded outside the normal competitive bidding process;
- Waiving maintenance-of-effort requirements for state and local governments; and
- Changing the way funds are distributed. For example, spending for some education programs might be sped up if the federal government used formulas instead of competitive processes to distribute funds. In the case of transportation projects, it could mean waiving formulas and instead giving priority to those grantees that are able to get to contract most quickly.”
Remember when the liberal left democrats excoriated President Bush over the Halliburton “no bid” contracts which were issued when Halliburton appeared to be the only company that could perform the required services in an accelerated time frame … well here is the exact same thing that is being considered to be legislatively implemented by the democrats. Hypocrisy, to say the least.
More of the same …
“Some funds for infrastructure projects might also be spent more quickly if recipients were:
- Offered financial incentives for work completed within one to two years of enactment;
- Given deadlines for obligating funds;
- Given the authority to ‘pre-award’ contracts (that is, award contracts before all of the currently required approvals and certifications are obtained); and
- Allowed to self-certify compliance with certain standards (federal agencies would then review paperwork and documentation after projects have begun).”
Financial incentives without controls often results in hasty, shoddy work which is a clear and present danger to the safety of American citizens. Pre-awards involve monies advanced to entities which can be spent on other projects, and should the project fail to get the necessary approvals, be irretrievably lost as the “special purpose” limited liability company formed for a particular venture simply files for bankruptcy – while the rest of the company moves on. And we all know that self-certification without controls, and severe penalties (not just money paid by the corporation but mandated jail time for its executives) is bound to result in further corruption of the system.
The scariest chart ever ...
This chart, courtesy of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, shows the amount of currency in circulation. As you can plainly see, the largest early recessions/depressions (shown as gray bars) did not require huge stimulus injections. Now look at the sharp rise in money ... this is the prescription for future inflation which will rob us of purchasing value and sink future prosperity.
What can YOU do?
Observe the monumental hypocrisy of the democrats who are excoriating executive for their multi-million dollar bonuses while they dole out billions to their friends.
Considering that much of this money will be spent over a number of years, the democrats appear to be buying votes which require the recipients of these funds to vote democrat to keep the funds flowing, are you willing to cede political power to the democrats on the basis of special interest spending?
Consider also that it is unlikely that the democrat-controlled Justice Department would prosecute those who flagrantly abused the process or diverted funding as it would reflect poorly on the Administration’s oversight activities.
Consider that it is also unlikely that the mainstream media would report such events as it would run counter to their tacit support during the election cycle.
Consider that it is improbable that all of the politicians who are supporting this bill have thoroughly read and understand its 647 pages along with the supplementary materials.
You need to write your Republican Congressional representatives to thank them for remaining strong in the face of an ill-conceived, ill-advised and ill-timed program that would simply institutionalize democrat pork-barrel politics instead of providing a needed stimulus to our economy.
You need to write to your democrat Congressional Representative to remind them that you will hold them responsible for the results of this package in 2010 and 2012.
Recessions rarely last long compared with cycles of prosperity and are often over before we see the benefits of Congressional remedies or stimulus efforts. So consider also that this stimulus package is likely to promote disastrous inflationary or deflationary results since much of the money might be spent after the economic recovery is under way.
This stimulus package is a naked power grab by the democrats and one that is likely to move the United States down the road to socialism at a pace which may preclude remedy and mitigating action. Ask yourself, are you are willing to sell out America for a paltry $500 and the promise of future entitlements.
And consider that this governmental power grab is likely to be accelerated by the next fake crisis – global warming.
This is nothing short of an economic apocalypse!
Quote of the Day: “If the politicians can monetize the political process and control the direct distribution of money, they can turn our nation over to our enemies without so much as single shot being fired.” – steve
A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…
The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius