In his own words: watch the smooth-talking orator tell you about his economic stimulus plan …
This is an example of a well-delivered speech. A speech which one hopes would set the tone in Washington and usher in an era of a government whose political parties set aside their petty political differences and began to serve the American people, openly and honestly, without considering the special interests and their campaign contributions. Fulfilling the dream of our forefathers: representing the people of the United States and doing the people’s business.
But, unfortunately as Barack Obama has said on numerous occasions, “These are words, only words.”
How can we believe someone who stands before a TelePrompTer and tells us only half of the story: the half which we want to hear? The half about hope and change? The half that does not contain fraud, waste and abuse safeguards and the provisions that require specific performance for the funds being spent? The half that does not speak about the enlargement of the government, the increase in taxation, the payback to the unions and others who helped elect Barack Obama. The half that does not acknowledge that these funded mandates are only the first part of the funding and that the government infrastructure will require additional sums for 25-50 years for all of the new government employees hired? The half that insures a massive government employee cadre that can outvote the American public when it comes time to increase their own benefits at the expense of the American taxpayer?
And the essential truth: that the amounts of money to be allocated and disbursed under this bill are not some carefully crafted, well thought out plan, but crude estimates made by politicians who know that the follow-on legislation will serve to balloon these initial amounts as surely as government-run projects balloon from mere millions into multi-millions and then into billions from cost overruns that disguise the waste, fraud, corruption and the payment of bills for entertaining politicians, vendors and the so-called “powerful people.”
What does the Congressional Budget Office have to say about the stimulus bill?
Job creation is not as immediate as it might be portrayed …
“In estimating outlays for that third category, CBO expects that the rate of spending in 2009 for many programs funded in the legislation would be considerably slower than historical rates of spending for a full year of funding because the bill would be enacted almost halfway into the fiscal year. Thus, it would not be appropriate in most cases to use the full-year rates that CBO typically employs for appropriations enacted near the start of the fiscal year.”
Some funding measures duplicate existing funding …
“Moreover, some programs would receive funding that is significantly above (double, triple, or more) the amounts provided for existing or similar programs in recent years.”
Difficulty in managing and overseeing projects …
“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.
Lags in spending …
Lags in spending stem in part from the need to draft plans, solicit bids, enter into contracts, and conduct regulatory or environmental reviews. Spending can be further delayed because some activities are by their nature seasonal. For example, major school repairs are generally scheduled during the summer to avoid disrupting classes, and construction and highway work are difficult to carry out during the winter months in many parts of the country.”
“Brand new programs pose additional challenges. Developing procedures and criteria, issuing the necessary regulations, and reviewing plans and proposals would make distributing money quickly even more difficult—as can be seen, for example, in the lack of any disbursements to date under the loan programs established for automakers last summer to invest in producing energy-efficient vehicles.”
Bottom line …
“Throughout the federal government, spending for new programs has frequently been slower than expected and rarely been faster.” <Source>
And because the current recession is significantly advanced, it is possible that this stimulus bill might serve to prolong the recession and create rampant inflation.
Therefore, let us take a moment to examine what Barack Obama is saying.
“So let’s talk about what this plan does.”
“From the beginning, at it’s core it had a simple idea. Let’s put Americans to work doing the work America needs done. It will create or save more than three million jobs all across the country in the next two years. Many in your own communities. 16,000 jobs in Maine. 80,000 in Indiana. Almost all of them in the private sector. And all of them jobs which help us recover today and prosper tomorrow.”
There is no doubt that the stimulus package will not be effective immediately and it may take a number of years before its provisions become fully productive.
“Jobs that upgrade classrooms and laboratories in 10,000 schools nationwide. At least 485 in Florida alone. And train an army of teachers in math and science.”
Is this the same Florida that routinely loses and abuses thousands of children in its child protective services over the years? Perhaps this critical issue should be resolved before giving Florida another dime?
Considering that our nation’s teachers unions have resulted in the degradation of our children’s education and that there is no causal link between per pupil funding and scholastic success, perhaps we need to re-think this portion of the spending bill as, in many areas, enrollment is declining and much of the aid is being spent on illegal aliens whose environment, language skills and lack of parental concern serves to impede the progress of true education reform. Why not tie this funding into mandates for teacher competency testing and certification? Demanding that “tenure” and lifelong job security be removed as it is in the private sector? Thus making it easier to remove teachers and administrators that are incompetent and underperforming. Where are the provisions that keep the school systems from building monumental ego projects like the high schools built in California at outrageous costs.
“Jobs that modernize our healthcare system, saving us billions of dollars and countless lives.”
Perhaps we need to first enact a “patient’s privacy” bill which insures that the government and insurers do not have access to these records for purposes unrelated to the immediate provision of patient healthcare. The sad fact is that doctors do not have the time to review voluminous patient records and the hand-scrawled paper forms will be a nightmare to convert into electronic form and remain legible and comprehensible. Not to mention that the average patient’s records are so spread out over the years, that it would require a massive database to capture it all. A database which, without appropriate safeguards, could be used for nefarious purposes such as blackmail, denial of insurance coverage and the potential rationing of healthcare to meet future budgetary restraints required when the governmental health system derails.
“Jobs that construct a smart electric grid. Connect every corner of the nation to the information superhighway.”
These massive infrastructure projects are privately owned and used to “unofficially” tax the American people. Don’t believe me, just check the bottom of your recent utility bills. Surely, the American public should be given a stated return in exchange for the use of their money to assist these private ventures. And about the information superhighway – how many people know that there is existing legislation which requires all telecommunications carriers to enable the government to easily and quickly monitor your activities? (CALEA)
“Double our capacity to create renewable energy.”
The easiest and most cost effective method for achieving energy independence from foreign sources and providing energy to the American people is through nuclear energy. Not one word about this important program as they government talks about unreliable windmills and solar energy.
“And grow the economy of tomorrow. Jobs that rebuild our crumbling roads, bridges, levees and dams so the tragedies of New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again.”
Yes, we need to repair or replace our crumbling infrastructure. Electric grid, aqueducts and other essential services. But what hubris to claim that tragedies like New Orleans and Minneapolis never happen again. Just consider the devastation that will occur when nature unleashes a major earthquake in a populated area? New Orleans is a city that is partially under sea level, thus necessitating extensive levees and pumping stations. How much more appropriate would it be to turn this into a deepwater port and move the housing away from nature’s wrath? Spending more money to rebuild structures which will, once again, face a future natural disaster does not seem either prudent or wise.
“It includes immediate tax relief for our struggling middle class in places like Ohio where 4.5 million workers will receive a tax cut of up to a thousand dollars.”
Amazing. They want to give you $500 or $1,000 in tax relief and then burden you with the responsibility of paying off $14,o00 in profligate spending incurred by their tax cutting programs. The more children, the more money, the more incentive to have children that you cannot afford.
“It protects health insurance and provides unemployment for those who have lost their jobs.”
It appears that the program extends existing unemployment and social benefit programs beyond there normal cut-off periods. And it does nothing for the self-employed entrepreneurs and sole practitioners who make this country great. Most of these people are not eligible for unemployment.
“And it helps our states and communities avoid painful tax hikes or layoffs for teachers, nurses and first-responders.”
Nothing more than a payoff to the public service employees unions whose members will be severely impacted by state deficits. The size of government should be reduced. So once again, the democrats make their pitch to save teachers, nurses, firemen and policemen – truth be told, public safety concerns should be funded before education and non-life threatening social programs. The ever-rising cost of union-driven education should be dialed back until we see significant change in the education our children obtain. In essence, this is no more than a bailout of states which have overspent on social welfare programs and government employee benefits. We need to eliminate payments to illegal aliens until the needs of our legitimate citizens are met.
We should be reducing the size of government. Reducing the labor contracts which provide life-long employment and a retirement most of us can ill-afford. Eliminating those employees who retire one day and are re-hired at the same salary the next.
“That’s what’s at stake with this plan. Putting Americans back to work. Creating transformative economic change. And making a downpayment on the American Dream that serves our children and our children’s children for generations to come.”
This bill does not embody transformative change. It is merely the unfettered pork barrel spending that the democrats have dreamed about for the last fifty years. While they claim that there are no earmarks in this legislation, some of its provision are so narrowly crafted as to apply to only one or two organizations in the nation – conveniently located in certain legislative districts.
“And we’re going to do all this with unprecedented transparency and accountability. I’ll appoint an aggressive inspector general and a cabinet-level oversight board to make sure your money is spent wisely.”
Already Barack Obama broke his promise of placing legislation on the government’s website prior to signing it into law. There was no such action taken on the recent Ledbetter bill – and it appears that such information may be highly and selectively edited to portray the Administration in a good light.
“And more importantly, I will enlist all of you. As soon as this plan is signed into law, recovery.gov goes live. And you will be able to see precisely where your tax dollars are going.”
The money will be spent by the states and private contractors who do not have the obligation to report on the details. Knowing that ABC school system was allocated $500,000 for a language lab does not really tell you how the money was spent – or even if it was used for the language lab.
Consider the states who received designated grant and bond money to purchase transportation-related items. And then turned around and sold them to a private investor who leased them back to the state in order so the operator could provide service to the public. And thus allowed the government evildoers to convert restricted funds into unrestricted funds to be spent on their special interest projects. And when their insurance company, AIG, crashed, the states were forced to hustle to provide additional insurance to the private investors who did the sale and leaseback – thus revealing the scam to the public.
“Because this is your democracy. As I said throughout the campaign, change never begins from the top down, it begins from the bottom up. It begins with each and every one of you. So I hope that you will talk about the importance of this plan with your friends and neighbors.”
An outright lie: change is being crammed down from the top. But I do agree with Obama, you need to discuss this with your relatives, neighbors, friends and co-workers. But ask questions about how the government is going to deliver on its promise? How the government is going to eliminate waste, fraud, corruption and special interest pork? Or even, if the government even is going to take action on the ethics violations that continue to be lodged against individual legislators – even though not a single action was taken over the last few years.
“Because we cannot wait to take action and turn this recession around. We’ve inherited a terrible mess. But I know that we have the capacity to rise to this moment and keep the promise of America alive in our time. If the American people demand that we do. Thank you.”
The American people should demand that our government provide a well-thought out plan and not just another spending bill which rewards the unions and special interests. A plan based on real numbers, not wild-eyed guesstimates which are tuned by legislative compromise. A plan which is phased into existence based on the measurable progress of money already spent. A bill that is a slap in the face to corrupt politicians who claim that they best know how to spend the money and refuse to explain the details of the spending.
And above all, the guarantee of a mandatory jail term for those who abuse the process. And the accountants and lawyers who aided and abetted in the action. Make accountants accountable. And lawyers bound by the law.
Obama is right about one thing. It’s up to you to take back your government from the current crop of thieves and freebooters who are doling out our hard-earned tax money to their friends, who in turn provide campaign funding kick-backs and jobs for the relatives of the legislators.
THIS IS A BAD BILL AND YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE THAT THEIR FUTURE IS ON THE LINE.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "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 “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"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
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell