Last fall when congress pushed forth billions for the infamous Wall Street bailout people were united in calling that bit of legislation for what it was: a BAILOUT. Nationalism. Big government. The Wall Street bailout was a billion-dollar band-aid on poor business practices and a boon for non-essential, pork items. Now we're faced with another bit of legislation, a $800+ billion dollar handout which, for the most part, covers poor business practices and pork. Proponents of the legislation hope to distract suspicious constituents by presenting it as a "stimulus package," but discerning voters know another bailout when they see it- a bailout that will cost Americans $1.1 trillion over the next ten years - and a quarter of it won't even be accessible until after 2010.
It passed the House earlier this evening with a vote of 244 Democrats voting yea and all of the 177 Republican representatives voting nay, a 188 total as 11 Democrats also voted nay. Brittney has a list of the Democrats who were against the legislation.
What exactly is in this "stimulus package?" Let's look:
- $600,000,000 for energy efficent vehicles. I strongly believe in being a good steward of my environment but I believe just as strongly that government has no business meddling in the private sector - an action which contributed to the auto loan in the first place.
- $166 billion in state aid, aid caused by embarrassing mismanagement. I love how the argument of Federalism is so ironically selective. Instead of forcing officials to embrace accountability, we'll just throw money at the problem which will establish a heinous cycle of abuse and further wasteful spending.
- $50,000,000 to the National Endowment for the Arts. I don't like the government forcing taxpayers to cover anything that extends beyond it's original purpose of defense.
- Every household in America will get the wonderful gift of $6,700 in ADDITIONAL debt. It begs the question as to whether or not we can expect more sad and grisly occurrences like this.
- $400 million for national treasures.
- $21 billion to modernize schools including $15.6 billion to increase the Pell Grant by $500 dollars. We spend more on education, with regards to the overall percentage of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) than anything else yet we fail time and time again to achieve the results that we say necessitates said spending. This shows that the ineffectiveness isn't caused by funding, rather, it's caused by ineffectual people within the system.
- $48 billion on various energy programs such as renewable energy tax cuts, related incentives, and funding for "smart electricity grids." Instead of allowing the market to lead, the government decides that it wants to take over. How so very un-free market.
The cost of the bailout package is virtually equal to the annual discretionary budget for the entire government and the above are just the highlights. I didn't even bullet the $6 billion the government wants to spend to expand broadband to rural areas, which seems like a nicey-nice enough project if depending upon Papa Government for your every benefit is your idea of a free society.
Let's break it down even further:
President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year. [via]
The Congressional Budget Office says that only 3% - (roughly $26 billion) will be spent this year; $30 billion (3%) is slated for infrastructure spending which runs contrary to how this bailout is being promoted: as a New New Deal with infrastructure as the panacea to our economic woes.
Needless to say those of the conservative persuasion throughout the blogosphere are fuming. Michelle at A Traditional Life Lived writes:
With this thinking we are adding almost 1 trillion dollars to our existing deficit. There is no way to ever tax us out of this kind of debt. Taxes would have to be so high and people so oppressed there would likely be some kind of revolt. A plan of deficit spending, without desire for consumer spending, will only have a snowball effect from this point forward. 1 trillion this year, 3 trillion next year and on and on until our nation just collapses on itself.
Finally, in an interview with Charlie Rose two economists (Feldstein and Stiglitz) seem to agree with the very salient point-you canNOT force consumer demand!!!! A huge influencing factor in the economy right now lies in the fact that people are not buying.
Sister Toldjah is suspicious about the "opportunity":
With news of the House’s passage of the earmark-filled “stimulus bill,” it’s made a lot of people, mainly Democrats, happy. No doubt President Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who said some revealing things back in mid-November, about the “opportunity” the stimulus package provided Democrats, is especially happy. Click [here] for a flashback those comments, which Emanuel gave at the WSJ CEO Council in DC.
Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs does not mince her words:
"It passed ..... but every Republican voted against it. This is a very good day for the opposition. Because at the end of the day, socialism/communism is a failure."
Has anyone even read through the massive stimulus bailout bill? The very people who passed it are unsure of it's meaning. There are entire websites devoted to analyzing its many pages. The Common Room makes such a succinct point:
In a society where petty dictators micro-manage every facet of our lives through legislation, this requirement is only one more way to tyrannize the masses. Nobody could know all the laws. It's impossible.
The Anchoress notes:
We have a responsibility to demand clarity and sensibility of this package and our leadership. If we don’t ask, we deserve what we get.
Now the bill will head to the Senate where John McCain will shock me if he chooses to stop kissing the arses of his adversaries in exchange for popularity and not get "mavericky" with his vote. This vote is being hurried along its way, powered by threats of economic disaster if not passed. It's Chicken Little v3.0.
We're essentially being bullied into a new economic system; Bush was chided for using fear as a way to pass the Wall Street disaster; this is the exact same thing except it's bigger and badder. This is what people don't get: I've heard everyone from liberals to Glenn Beck complain that about not being given a vote but here's the thing: we were. If you voted for the President you knew exactly what you were getting in terms of a restructured economic system. You knew that continued nationalization of the private sector was on the horizon.
I'll be discussing this on air tomorrow with a few congressional members as well as following along and updating the senatorial roll call on my show's website.
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