Hard to believe that four months have passed since congress allowed the floodgates of money, nearly eight hundred billion dollars in the shape of the federal stimulus funds, to supposedly flood the economy.
A lot of the money is going to schools, some is helping to extend unemployment benefits, which is a good thing but then there are other good things — like right here in Florida.
Aw yes, the only state in the union where the turtles are celebrating. Why you ask? Because, they’re about to get their own turtle tunnel at a cost of three-and-a-half million dollars.
Of course we cannot forget another “Pet” project; a tiny mouse with the longtime political backing may soon also reap the benefits of the stimulus package.
Then there’s the “Fish Ladder” project in Rhode Island, to the tune of three million dollars, fish will now be able to migrate upstream and will not be inconvenienced by dams anymore. According to The Providence Journal the money will be spent to open up 13 miles of rivers and streams and 1,640 acres of spawning habitat, including Worden, the state’s largest freshwater pond. Up to 18 jobs may be created as a result of this project…. Hmmmmm, $3 Million divided by 18 Jobs, WOW, I’m moving to Rhode Island, no sales tax and a job that pays close to two hundred grand a year.
Now we must give credit where credit is due, some of the money is already at work, just ask AFCO Technologies out in Texas they repaired a door in San Antonio, TX, back in July to the tune of $1,444,100.000 according to Recovery.gov that is.
Lest we forget some of the Pork that was in the recent Stimulus Package, here’s a little refresher. I’ve added some satire (of course) because, although this all is enough to infuriate anyone you still have to find the humor in some of it, or out and out ridiculous and even ironic like the very first one.
• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois. (The same program that the Department of Energy actually DEFUNDED last year because it said the project was inefficient, but guess they changed their mind.)
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
(Aw yes, those same producers and celebs that you see on those “Save the Children” shows. I’m all for saving the children and I think $246 million would have been a good start to help “save the children”, don’t you?)
• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
(Remember the Government is the one that required that the signal go digital)
• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
(Do what?, I thought the earth was warming?, has Al Gore heard about this? I mean really, there’s still icebergs up there?. …….go figure. Must be the same ones that wrecked his touring expedition a few years back)
• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
(They didn’t have a HQ before, hmmmm,. How did Bush keep us save all those years?)
• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
(Evidently they’ve been sitting on the floor all these years)
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
(Awww yes, go green save those Icebergs for them to break up!!)
• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.
(Wow, $400 million dollars is a lot of condoms. Did you know that the Whitehouse took away S.O.S. Funding the very after school program that has had huge success since its formation 16 Years Ago, so they’re not getting any of this money)
• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
(Guess because our towns are full of un-removed trash, cough, cough, politicians)
• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
(Is St. Augustine getting any of this money, because it definitely has sewer issues)
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
(To be organized by Acorn the same group that has been indicted in 16 states for voter fraud, but no, no way, there won’t be any fraud in the census, silly me!!)
• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.
(I didn’t know that the FBI worked for free up until now, hmmmmmm)
• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
(Isn’t that kind of “Racist” to only want to reduce abuse in the “Tribal” community)
• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.
(Evidently that’s the only river that overflows in America)
• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
(….and the purpose of this inspection?)
• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.
(oh, so this is what Van Jones is going to be doing)
• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.
(hmmmm, like the ones in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOtGr1JFCnE)
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
(With that kind of money, I hope they are getting a brand new facility)
• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
(All new?….for $412 Mill, I hope so)
• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
(WOW a total of a BILLION dollars on Health Facilities, you’d think that was none there at that price)
• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.(Isn’t “Paid Volunteer’s” and oxy moron?)
(i• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. (What in the world is “energy efficiency imitative”?)
• $850 million for Amtrak.
(Amtrak has not earned a profit in four decades.)
• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
(How about telling kids not to eat the paint, I think I probably grew up in a Lead based paint house and slept in a lead based paint bed and rode a lead based paint bicycle, hey maybe that’s what’s wrong with me, LOL)
• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies. (Yes, that special non-weatherboarding training )
• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
(They’ll look so cute parked next to the big ole tanks)
• $21 million to re-sod the National Mall, which suffered heavy use during the Inauguration. (I understand the re-sod, but $21 Million, my friend will probably do it for about, oh say $500,000).
• $2.25 billion for national parks. This item has sparked calls for an investigation, because the chief lobbyist of the National Parks Association is the son of Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wisc. The $2,25 billion is about equal to the National Park Service’s entire annual budget. The Washington Times reports it is a threefold increase over what was originally proposed for parks in the stimulus bill. Obey is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. ( …yeah, no pay to play here, aye?)
• $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. $4.19 billion to stave off foreclosures via the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The bill allows nonprofits to compete with cities and states for $3.44 billion of the money, which means a substantial amount of it will be captured by ACORN, the controversial activist group currently under federal investigation for vote fraud. Another $750 million would be exclusively reserved for nonprofits such as ACORN – meaning cities and states are barred from receiving that money. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., charges the money could appear to be a “payoff” for the partisan political activities community groups in the last election cycle.
Now I have to say that that both Stimulus packages are questionable, The ones during Bush as well as Obama, Especially since 10,000 dead people and 4,000 convicts got a check from the government with the Bush Package.
Economists are having a hard time proving that either stimulus package has worked or is working. Unfortunately history tells us they were both a very bad move, the one thing that has worked in the past is Tax Cuts not Increases.
“Taxes are legitimate and necessary. But high taxes are the biggest obstacle to the ability of people and business to produce (excessive regulation is a close second). This is because taxation diverts money away from private sector investment in productive goods and services and into government initiatives. In other words, there is less money for businesses to invest in creating and expanding their goods and services.” (Source: WSJ)
Great article at http://www.whatsbestnext.com/2009/01/why-this-stimulus-package-wont-work-and-what-will/ shows the comparisons back to the 30’s with case and point. Looks like history is repeating itself whilst the government turns a blind eye, or more like ignores the padding of the pockets of special interest groups and the pay to play games. Some good examples are the Mexican border station in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s home state, which is getting almost five times more than any other station (nearly $200 million) then there’s the North Dakota checkpoint that serves only 70 people a day and they will receive nearly $15 million for renovations even though it ranks among the lowest priority projects. In the meantime, a busy Texas checkpoint that serves tens of thousands of travelers daily and ranks among the government’s highest priorities is getting ZERO stimulus cash.
“The government has to fund those projects by taking the money from somewhere else (through taxes or borrowing). Thinking that public works will stimulate the economy assumes that the government will invest that money more productively than the private sector would. But that is almost never true. Plus, the government is not our parent. It should not try to take care of us by stepping in to create jobs directly. It’s aim should be to keep us — the citizens in the private sector — maximally free to act. Let’s learn from the 30’s” (Source: WSJ)
I know that I’m not an economist, and I’m sure there are reasons that the following would not work, but why not send every American a check for 1 million dollars, everyone could pay their mortgages (thus freeing the banks of bad mortgages and backed securities), since mortgages would get paid it would allow people to spend freely and get the economy moving again. It would actually cost far less money to do that (a 1 million dollar gift) and it would immediately cause the American economy to skyrocket, just a thought.
Until next time, stand proud, be passionate my fellow patriots and we will prevail.
BreeLee Johnston is the founder of United American Tea Party which is a Chapter of Just Patriots Inc in St. Johns County. She is a member of the National Leadership Council of Tea Party Patriots as well as the Florida Coordinator for ICaucus.org and contributes a regular guest editorial to Historic City News.