Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ever seen the movie Scanners? know the scene where the guy is freaking out and then his head explodes…this is the frustration I am feeling in explaining the failed premise that this stimulus package is taking in its attempts to revive our economy. To artificially create jobs, bailout businesses that have fundamentally failed, without replacing those responsible for the failure, spending money we do not have (printing more is not the answer) on programs to help people from themselves and their poor decisions is not long term thinking but just prolongs a bigger fall.
A bill full of earmarks, no matter who is the author, is not what the American people want to pay for with their hard earned money. Most taxpayers want and need a bill that will help facilitate their long term plans and a chance at success and the pursuit of happiness.
The Pork in the stimulus bill alone should send every citizen to lap for their phone and call their Senator and Congressman but more than that, the fundamentals of artificially creating “stimulus” to an economy that ebbs and flows is flawed in itself. Porky stuff in the Stimulus package:

Transportation Security Administration to buy 100,000 uniforms from U.S. apparel makers , insurance exemption for companies that work on recreational boats longer than 65 feet, $50 million for habitat restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area (Pelosi’s home Turf), $500 million for biofuel makers, $198 million to compensate Filipino World War II veterans (whether they live in the U.S. or not and most do not) , $1 billion for community-development block grants (ACORN), $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”, $6 billion for university building projects, $150 million for the Smithsonian, $448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters, $88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building, $350 million for Agriculture Department computers, $850 million for Amtrak, $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship, $150 million for “producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish”

…..while it is debatable whether these programs are worthy programs, on their own merits, they do not provide economic stimulus and thus shouldn’t be in this bill.
Free enterprise dictates that businesses come and go based on effective management, competition and the support of the consumer so in American where we are, at least currently, under a modified Free-enterprise system or “capitalism” businesses will fail and succeed everyday. For the government to, in essence, decide what companies fail and what companies succeed based on there infusion of cash to those businesses they deem worthy is taking the power away from the consumer and giving it to the government which is always a scary proposition. The government will always be as big as it’s citizenry allows it to be and will always grow in one of three ways: through military action, through giving the citizens something they want in return for power over that thing given or by convincing the citizens that the growth is temporary so the government can fixed a perceived crisis. Over the course of history, rarely does a government ever give back power once it has that power and this is why in America we need to always stay vigilant as to our government’s aspirations to grow and control enterprises of the people. To even hear from our Congressman that this stimulus bill “is not perfect” but good enough for us given the circumstances, is an outrage….Congress’s job is to create bills that will help American not some Hodge Podge of pork barrel spending that will not do anything for the economy, business as usual back room deals and payoffs, half baked theories and more regulation on businesses. We the American people deserve a “perfect” bill; for God’s sake we’re the ones paying for it in the short term and long term.
……Now if only I could stop that sinking feeling that my head is still going to explode


Tom Sanchez Prunier said...

Nice reference to "Scanners." There's a GIF floating around the Internet somewhere. They actually shot a mannequin with a shotgun to achieve that effect... but it was caused by someone else (a 'scanner') using telekinesis to blow his head off...

... which is an apt metaphor here, as most, if not all, the items in the stimulus package (save the compensation for citizens of the Phillippines) is not so much pork as it is opportunities to infuse companies with cash and create work for people. While I agree with Newsweek's cover ("we're all socialists now") in most ways, I don't think this will spell the end of America as we know it.

After all, we have tossed how many trillion dollars into Iraq, a military action resulting in more than 100,000 civilian and 4,200 U.S. soldiers' DEATHS predicated on a lie? This done by an administration that wire-tapped and water-boarded its way to infamy and you're going to accuse the current administration of taking power away?

I agree with your argument that failing companies should not receive bailouts, but I do believe something should be done. Perfection is unattainable in the plurality of our government, but the amounts listed as so-called pork were in the tens of millions, not trillions. Yes, it adds up, but the items Republicans complained about on the House and Senate floor were more often than not smaller amounts.

Arguing that the stimulus package is full of pork is similar to the opposition of then-candidate Obama's tax proposal: Your ilk insinuated that households with incomes over $250k would pay two to three times as much tax, as opposed to two or three percent, or that ALL monies over $250k would be handed over the government to be given to homeless drug addicts for abortions. It's the way you run off with the facts and create hysteria that prevents serious dialogue. This is why a large majority of voters say "No, thank you" to the Republican party last November.

Please stop fighting. Keep your head intact. I'm not saying join hands and sing "Kumbaya," but maybe you could stop with the doomsday speak and irrational accusations, eh?

Then again, that's just me, someone who has voted for both parties at different times in his life.

Jody L. Wilcox said...

Tom, my friend you never fail disappoint.....all I think I am really saying (invoking hysteria aside which is always fun) is that America deserves better that what this stimulus bill offers. We needn't stop at "good enough" in the name of expediency.

Tom Sanchez Prunier said...


There we agree. I remember how the General Assembly lasted an additional few weeks to hammer out some details. Maybe President Obama should look beyond the first 100 days for this one, eh?

Still, the end-of-the-world tone has been pervasive across right wing media and it frustrates me. I would like to see them get it right too, but I think the urgency is relates to the growing unemployment rolls.

Let's see how this one plays out. Will save a tub of popcorn for you.

- T

Cargosquid said...

We can't afford to "see how this one plays out." With all the money on the hook now, our national debt will have doubled. In one month. And the "trillions" on the Iraq war is about 600 billion. Less than half of this bailout.

And the money is the least of it. Its all the other bills that are being slipped in that would have not way of passing in the light of day.

Its not doomsday speak when Congressional and Presidential actions ACTUALLY do endanger the country. You can believe what you want about the Iraq campaign. I know I won't change your mind. But this bill and the way the Democrats are pushing it to get passed without examination is dangerous.