Earlier this week I found myself feeling a bit peeved with Congressional Republicans when they began urging their members to vote against the upcoming stimulus bill. While I remained uncomfortable with huge amounts of tax dollars rushing out the door and a deficit which will shatter all records, I recognize that the economy is in dire straits and the people we elected to office will need to deal with it. In fact, when I heard that President Obama had gotten the Democrats to remove some sort of family planning measure from it, it sounded like the Republicans weren’t willing to offer their own olive branch. That all changed today, as we found out some more details of this so-called stimulus package. This just in from the Wall Street Journal, saying the following about the 647-page, $825 billion package.
This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years. 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.
The list goes on. I can try to swallow the trillion dollar price tag if it is all for “shovel ready” or, at least, nearly ready programs which will actually provide some stimulus, create jobs and unlock credit. As the quoted article points out, there are some programs in here for real infrastructure improvements and the likely creation of jobs. But that only seems to add up a little more than a dime on the dollar. As for the rest of this? I could load up a Cessna with $100,000 in loose bills, drop them over my home town and probably wind up inadvertently creating more jobs than this.
Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey is less than pleased with the plan as well. While he tries to focus more on the angle of Democrats trying to buy votes from their core constituencies, his point is still well taken.
Congress should be embarrassed by this kind of naked political exploitation of economic crisis. Unfortunately, they’re not. It’s up to us to embarrass them. Time to Melt the Phones in DC.
Many of us complained loud and long back when the Republicans took over total control of both chambers and the White House, then subsequently took their own agenda and went wild like a kid in a candy store. The last two election cycles showed where that got them. Now, after barely a week of having complete control, this is what we get? This is outrageous. If you want your own wish list to go into effect, man up and propose a series of appropriations bills for these other items, let everyone vote on them, and then let the voters decide if it was wise management of the public purse in the next election cycles. But stuffing the so-called stimulus package with this nonsense is beyond belief.