Sunday, February 8, 2009

The “bipartisan” spending bill hasn’t changed much

The three Senators, Maine Senators Collins and Snowe and Pennsylvania Senator Specter, who crossed the aisle in perfidy claim that the bill has been improved; perhaps they say so because tax payer funded contraception has been removed and the total “stated” expenditure is reduced about $100 billion. However more likely is that these masquerading Republicans actually sympathize with the give-away program to finance socialist institutions and also drink the Obama Kool-Aid.

Still a staggering amount in excess of one trillion dollars, (about 10 percent of our gross domestic product), the spending bill does little to stimulate the economy from the financial doldrums and much to assist Obama and Democrat socialist ideas and supporters.

Of course it won’t happen but wouldn’t it be nice for someone to publicly ask Obama, Reid and Pelosi how these expenditures still in the “bipartisan” bill will stimulate the economy rather than merely the recipients?

$650 million for digital TV coupons;

$600 million for new cars for the federal government;

$6 billion for colleges/universities;

$50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts;

$44 million to repair the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters;

$150 million for livestock (and honeybee and farm-raised fish) insurance;
$200 million for the National Mall, including $21 million for sod!

One might say “yes but these are only a ‘small’ part of the total package”, which may be true but as has been said “a billion here and a billion there and pretty soon your talking about real money”; besides, isn’t this supposed to be a stimulus bill?

Let us also note that the bill creates at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means that much of this plan's spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs.

An additional portion is dedicated to programs which target those programs Democrat leaders promised to their supporters in less than economy-stimulating fashion; such as at least 150 different federal programs, ranging from Amtrak to the Transportation Security Administration.

Even those writing the spending bill say that out of 152 separate spending provisions only 34 have any chance at keeping or growing jobs.

Only one in seven dollars of an $18.5 billion expenditure on "energy efficiency" and "renewable energy programs" would be spent within the next 18 months.

At in excess of $850 billion (not counting interest and other charges) the bill is large enough to give every man, woman, and child in America over $2,700 and enough, for example, to give each person in a state like Ohio $72,000. Said another way, $850 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the United States over $22,000.

The total cost of this one piece of ---- legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government. Just the House Democrats' plan (all Republicans voted against it) would cost each American household over $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

Despite claims the spending bill will enhance transportation and infrastructure; in actuality only $30 billion of the plan – or 3% – is for road and highway spending. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion.

Democrats have loaded up the bill with spending on existing large programs which, it has been reported, already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the plan provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) – a program that already has $16 billion on hand. States also are sitting on some $9 billion in unused highway funds – funds that Congress was to rescind later this year.

Obama talked over and over about the tax cuts he would give and which are supposedly contained in this bill. However almost one-third of the so-called "tax relief" in the House Democrats' plan (and in the Senate plan as well) is spending in disguise; that is, true tax relief makes up only 24% of the total package – not the 40% that President Obama had announced. Furthermore, only 2.7%, or $22.3 billion of the overall package, is provided for small business tax relief. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the legislation increases by seven million the number of people who get a check back from the IRS that exceeds what they paid in payroll and income taxes.

“Transparency” was the byword of the Obama campaign yet all board members of the "Accountability and Transparency Board" created by this legislation are appointees of the President; none will be appointed by Congress.

However in my view the greatest fraud of the Obama/Democrat spending bill on the public is that it gives billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now (ACORN), which has been accused of voter fraud, is reportedly under federal investigation, played a key role in the housing meltdown, and is significantly responsible for Obama’s election. ACORN will receive over $4 billion to continue their work now and in the next election.

If you think $850 billion is all Democrats have in mind to spend to transform the country into a socialist state, you would be wrong. $850 billion is just the beginning – many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their "stimulus" plan. In fact, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative. David Obey (D-WI), told Roll Call earlier this month, "I would not be surprised to see us go further on some of these programs down the line."

People of Maine and Pennsylvania, are you proud of what your senators have wrought? If not, do something about it in the next election.

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