The Stimulus Bill: Look for the Union Label
By: Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 30, 2009
In sports they
call it a misdirect; magicians and illusionists will slip a card into
the deck while they distract you elsewhere. What President Obama is
doing with the 647-page, $825 billion so-called “stimulus package”
legislation is closest to the tried-and-true tactics of a team of
pick-pockets. One grabs your attention by yelling about some emergency
problem, while the other slips his hand in for your wallet. Before
knowing it, you have been robbed blind.
Chief of Staff Rahm
Emanuel in November described their tactic this way: “Never let a
serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity
to do things you couldn’t do before.” And have they ever!
President Obama is at the White House spreading fear with dire
predictions of an impending economic collapse, fellow Democrats in
Congress are having a heyday slipping their favorite, pet projects into
the massive pork bill. It’s no wonder the “package” is 647 pages long
when you look at what’s included. The Wall Street Journal did an
in-depth study of the legislation and concluded, "this bill was written
based on the wish list of every living -- or dead -- Democratic
interest group.” Not only that, the vast majority of the bill will do
nothing to help the economy.
The big winners are the unions to
which Obama is beholden. Obama’s background as a union organizer is
fostering unhealthy ties to these special interest groups. Unions who
organized and contributed to his campaign are raking it back in many
times over. Education gets a whopping $66 billion -- this is after
President Bush doubled the Department of Education’s budget while in
office. But don’t be misled. The bill is very specific, saying the
money goes only to schools with union teachers. Your children are out
of luck if they don’t go to a government school. Page 257 states: “No
recipient…shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to
students to attend private elementary or secondary schools.”
unions, such as mass transit workers, stand to profit by $6 billion,
but these poorly run systems have nothing to do with helping the
economy. Also snuck into the bill is $7 billion to modernize federal
buildings and facilities and $600 million for the federal government to
buy new cars. This is while the rest of us are delaying remodeling our
own homes and keeping our older cars running in the recession.
how is giving $150 million to the Smithsonian going to create jobs?
There is $1 billion for Amtrak, $50 million goes to the National
Endowment for the Arts, $400 million for global warming -- and don’t
forget the necessity of digital TV conversion. They have included $650
million for more coupons to make sure everyone can see their TV.
Watching TV is one of our rights, isn’t it?
A huge portion of
the bill -- $252 billion -- goes to income-transfer payments, such as
Medicaid, more unemployment benefits, food stamps and the earned income
credit for people who do not pay any income taxes. This money does not
fit the definition of a job producer and does not belong in this piece
of legislation. It belongs in a welfare bill.
According to The
Wall Street Journal, only about 12 percent of the $825 billion “can
plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these
projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately.”
hundreds of billions of dollars, which the government doesn’t have,
won’t jump start this economy. Less government involvement, not more,
is what this country needs to resurrect itself. Sometimes the best
thing to do is be patient and let the recession run its natural course.
Beware of political pickpockets dressed in designer suits with
government titles, because eventually they will reach into your pocket
for your hard-earned money.
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