Well, the $819 billion “stimulus” bill was approved by the House of Representatives today, and will next work its way through the Senate before being placed on the Resolute desk and signed by President Barack Hussein Obama.
According to The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, here are some of the highlights from the legislation approved by a 244 to 188 margin:
- $7.7 billion for various upgrades and work done on federal buildings
- $5.2 billion for voter fraud experts ACORN and other “neighborhood stabilization” groups
- $2.4 billion for carbon capture projects
- $1 billion for AMTRAK
- $650 million–more–for coupons for the conversion to digital television
- $600 million for federal automobiles
- $400 million for research into global warming
- $335 million for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases
- $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts
I have difficulty seeing how, other than perhaps the money earmarked for government cars, any of this is even close to stimulative as far as the American economy is concerned. AMTRAK has been steadily losing money for decades, and should have been sold by the government long ago. People still using rabbit ears on their televisions have had at least three years of warning to scrape together or pester family members for the $40 necessary to purchase a converter box; I still cannot wrap my head around why it is the responsibility of the federal government, and therefore a financial burden on taxpayers, for people to watch television. Both the money for the carbon capture products and the research into global warming are included because of this media-perpetuated farce and facade for global socialism; the cap-and-trade legislation which will result will damage the economy in the long-term, and the money spent now sure won’t help it in the short term.
As for the others, we heard today that the United States Postal Service is considering dropping Saturday mail delivery in order to save costs. I actually know a few postmen aside from the kind folks who deliver mail to our house, and I would love for them to get more time off to spend with their families, but at the same time I wonder what kind of effect this move could have on American business, I see the money we’re throwing at the arts and at the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases–perhaps former President Bill Clinton can have an advisory position in the Obama administration after all–and wonder how it and more could have been better spent.
And don’t even get me started on ACORN.
This whole nightmare could have been managed better. We needed a package heavy on tax cuts, something that would have short- and long-term benefit. Not this.
Radio talk show king Rush Limbaugh has a few good ideas, and he explains them in an op-ed piece scheduled to run in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s a taste:
Congress is currently haggling over how to spend $900 billion generated by American taxpayers in the private sector. (It’s important to remember that it’s the people’s money, not Washington’s.) In a Jan. 23 meeting between President Obama and Republican leaders, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) proposed a moderate tax cut plan. President Obama responded, “I won. I’m going to trump you on that.”
Yes, elections have consequences. But where’s the bipartisanship, Mr. Obama? This does not have to be a divisive issue. My proposal is a genuine compromise.
Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let’s say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion — $486 billion — will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% — $414 billion — will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.
Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people’s wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth.
I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate — at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations — in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There’s no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There’s no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There’s no reason to insist that recovery can’t happen quickly, because it can.
In this new era of responsibility, let’s use both Keynesians and supply-siders to responsibly determine which theory best stimulates our economy — and if elements of both work, so much the better. The American people are made up of Republicans, Democrats, independents and moderates, but our economy doesn’t know the difference. This is about jobs now.
Limbaugh’s plan is nothing ground-breaking or Earth-shattering. In fact, I’ve discussed these very measures on these pages at America’s Right for a while now and, believe me, I am a moron when it comes to the economy. The thing is, just like I don’t have to be a physicist to understand the concepts of inertia or gravity, I don’t have to be an economist to understand such fundamental rules. Apparently, however, the Democrats are either just not willing to listen, or are so entrenched in the idea of maintaining power that they would rather reward those who can get them there and, once again, put party before country. Sad.
Today’s disappointment, however, was not without a silver lining. Actually, I spotted two.
First, the public outcry over the $100 million and $200 million earmarked for contraceptives and the rehabilitation of the National Mall, respectively, was enough to cause the Democrats to pull the provisions from the bill. Those changes, among others, were enough to bring the price tag down from $825 billion to $819 billion. While the monetary difference may not be much, it shows that we can still get fired up, and we can still make a difference. The second silver lining, though, was perhaps the best, and I hope it is a sign of things to come:
NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE BILL.
Earlier today, I asked you to call your congressmen and congresswomen and plead with them to do the right thing. If your representative is a Republican or if your representative is one of the eleven Democrats who did the right thing, PLEASE call them tomorrow and give a hearty “thank you” . . . especially if your representative is one of the latter. (Click HERE for the full roll call, and click HERE for the congressional directory.)
If we can show our appreciation as much–if not exponentially more–than we pleaded our case, perhaps we can show the Republicans that sticking to conservative principles will certainly be rewarded. Perhaps this can be a defining moment in terms of the change which needs to come to the GOP before the mid-term election of 2010.
I certainly hope so, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to continue to keep watch.