Archive for Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Spending mistake

February 3, 2009


To the editor:

I would just like to thank the 188 congressmen and congresswomen that voted against perhaps the most irresponsible spending bill in U.S. history. There is no doubt that the economy is in dire straits. I, having entered the job market after college in June, can attest to this fact. It is a mistake, however, to think that massive amounts of pork amount to “stimulus spending.”

This $1.1 trillion fiasco (according to CBO figures) has little to do with direct rescue and much to do with bailing out Congress’ favorite pet industries.

If infrastructure spending by the federal government can “cure” the economic ills at hand, what exactly happened with the 2005 $286 billion package? Even worse, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 7 percent of the infrastructure funding will enter the economy this year, and only 38 percent by the end of 2010.

This bill is already laden with irresponsible pork that falls clearly outside the domain of “stimulus spending”: $335 million for STD prevention; $75 million for smoking prevention; $50 million for the arts; $600 million for new government vehicles; taxpayer money for abortions in other countries; and, of course, $4.1 billion for “Community Stabilization Activities” like ACORN.

If Congress wants to really stimulate spending, they can send me a check for $11,000, which is what this bill will cost each and every American.

Zach Elmore, (Lawrence High ’04)
Shanghai, China


bearded_gnome 9 years, 2 months ago

An excellent LTE! facts quite correct, too, unlike many Letters to the Editor recently. something like only $200 billion plus or minus of the $850-billion is actual stimulus to be spent in the first 18-months. this is a shameful bill, taking advantage of the economic crisis and americans' fears to cram in all kinds of greenie wheenie and union and liberal spending priorities that have nothing to do with getting the economy on its feet!* Zach must not be attending to the approved liberal media outlets! young man, congratulations.

Jason Bailey 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with the other comments -- this is a great LTE.For the first time in my life, I've started to look at ways that I can "disconnect" from the world and be completely self-sufficient in providing for my family. The coming economic disaster is going to make the current economy look like the boom of the 90s. The numbers are just too compelling: huge deficits and overextension of governmental credit, a national debt that is ballooning out of control with no end in sight, and large companies trying to stay solvent by axing large swaths of their workforce equals a coming fiscal Armageddon that is going to make the Great Depression pale in comparison.I honestly believe that people who do not prepare for the impending demise of the Late, Great USA are going to be in dire straits. It sounds weird in 2009 to be saying this, but the only people who are going to make it with a semblance of normalcy in their lives will be those that know how to live off the land and otherwise live like it was 1850 all over again. The days are numbered.

jonas_opines 9 years, 2 months ago

The problem, Right-thinker, is that your post could be completely ideologically flipped to right-left rather than left-right, and it would be just as true.

beawolf 9 years, 2 months ago

"And the lefties who hated Bush screamed about the money spent on the Iraq war?" ... Apples and Oranges. Dollars spent in the US, for whatever reason (contraceptives to freeways), will benefit the economy in countless more ways than dollars spent on war.As much as I abhor the practice of give and take, the House bill was exactly that, and that is why Obama let the "kids" in the HoR pass that ridiculous bill. The republicans would have voted no regardless of what was in it (a solidarity statement was necessary).The serious negotiations begin in the Senate. Everyone will posture a bit and the President will eventually get the stimulus package he wants. The HoR fat will be trimmed and the republicans will get some minor concessions. Then it goes back to a joint committee and the HoR dems will whine a little until Obama cracks the whip. Let's wait to see the final product before we get too excited.

SettingTheRecordStraight 9 years, 2 months ago

My posts share truth with wisdom, this LTE shares truth with brilliance!

FMT6488 9 years, 2 months ago

Send me $11,000 and I will definitely use it! About $3,000 to pay off ALL my credit cards, $2,000(or so) for a new PC, $1,000 for a new TV, $1,500 for a home theater system, and the rest for a new vehicle (probably a light truck - used). Give it to some damn corporation and they will just use it to pay the CEO(and any other execs with enough pull) another bonus.

meggers 9 years, 2 months ago

Much of what is mentioned in this letter has already been removed from the legislation. I think the Congress did Obama a great disservice by trying to load it up with their pet projects. Not that some of the projects aren't worthwhile on their own merits, however to pass them off as stimulous is pretty disingenuous. Of course, that's how the game in Washington is played, by republicans and democrats alike. Put some tax cuts in for corporations and high earners, along with funding for some pet projects in republican districts and you'll see a lot of congressional republicans conveniently forget about the fiscal reponsibility they've been railing about.

VTHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Meggers, the Senate added it back to the bill. You are definately right about the back-scratching that will take place though. They will add enough junk until enough senators can stomach the bill. Then we are stuck with the check.

Trobs 9 years, 2 months ago

If only we held our leaders accountable. Can't do that though, they send money back to the state, should keep reelecting them!

jonas_opines 9 years, 2 months ago

STRS: "My posts share truth with wisdom". . . and humility.

jaywalker 9 years, 2 months ago

Against all this 'stimulus package' as I was against W's. And Obama is feeling the sting of rebuke as well, apparently his approval rating has swooned to 55% already mainly due to this issue, which is receiving less than 40% approval. Sending $600 to every person right now is a waste. I'd bet the majority will pay bills with it. That ain't the goose they're lookin' for.

Mixolydian 9 years, 2 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says… I am starting to see a pattern from both parties;1. Frighten the American public through the media 2. Steal their money through government spending 3. Repeat as needed.==============================True that!Terrorism, global warming, credit crunch.Other than our own perception of the state of the economy, what really changed? No one could adequately explain why Bush and Paulson went off the deep end with the gloom and doom. Now there's talk that things weren't as bad as thought, that credit was not tied up.It was exacerbated during the presidential election, by both parties, for political purposes and now everyone is fearful to spend a dime, which nationally results in lack of tax reciepts and lay offs. It's a self fulfiling prophecy. The easist way to tank the economy is to trumpet that the economy is tanking.

beawolf 9 years, 2 months ago

"I am starting to see a pattern from both parties;1. Frighten the American public through the media2. Steal their money through government spending3. Repeat as needed."..........Of course your referring to the pattern started in 2001? "If only we held our leaders accountable.".........We already did. The republicans were voted out of the oval office.

Kirk Larson 9 years, 2 months ago

The LTE mentions the CBO. He's no doubt parroting the repubs use of a preliminary CBO estimate that came out a week or so ago. The CBO has since come out with a full blown report that says that 60% of the money will go toward stimulus in the first 18 months!

VTHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

Cappy:The "stimulus" portion of the bill (infrastructure and the like) won't be spent in the near future. That is the problem in Congress trying to use fiscal expansion to "fix" the economy. By the time than the heavy spending starts, it is quite likely that the economy will be growing again. This then adds to the inflationary problems that all the new liquidity in the system will cause. No matter what happens, though, loading down "actual" stimulus spending with lots of Democrat Christmas list expenditures is irresponsible. Remember how everyone accused the defense industry of using 9/11 to push through all the policy changes that they had sought for years? This is, at best, the exact same thing.

Sigmund 9 years, 2 months ago

Reduce the size of government and cut income taxes in half for everyone (personal, corporate, democrats, republicans) and the economy and home prices will recover within the year. The only problem it reduces the power of Washington DC and frees Americans from 50% of their tax slavery so it will never happen.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 2 months ago

$50 billion was slipped in through the midnight back door to insure nuke and coal plants. Why do we tax payers need to insure private industry ....... because of the environmental risks associated with these monsters and construction cost overruns typically associated with these pork barrel losers.

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