Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Here is what is in the stimulus bill, very little stimulus.

So said White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in November, and Democrats in Congress are certainly taking his advice to heart. The 647-page, $825 billion House legislation is being sold as an economic "stimulus," but now that Democrats have finally released the details we understand Rahm's point much better. This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.
[Review & Outlook] AP

We've looked it over, and even we can't quite believe it. There's $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There's even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make "dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy." Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There's another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren't likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President's new budget director, told Congress a year ago, "even those [public works] that are 'on the shelf' generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy."
Most of the rest of this project spending will go to such things as renewable energy funding ($8 billion) or mass transit ($6 billion) that have a low or negative return on investment. Most urban transit systems are so badly managed that their fares cover less than half of their costs. However, the people who operate these systems belong to public-employee unions that are campaign contributors to . . . guess which party?

Here's another lu-lu: Congress wants to spend $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars. Uncle Sam already spends $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles. Congress also wants to spend $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities. The Smithsonian is targeted to receive $150 million; we love the Smithsonian, too, but this is a job creator?

Another "stimulus" secret is that some $252 billion is for income-transfer payments -- that is, not investments that arguably help everyone, but cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all. There's $81 billion for Medicaid, $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion for food stamps, and $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax. While some of that may be justified to help poorer Americans ride out the recession, they aren't job creators.


* $646,214 Per Government Job

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.

Oh, and don't forget education, which would get $66 billion more. That's more than the entire Education Department spent a mere 10 years ago and is on top of the doubling under President Bush. Some $6 billion of this will subsidize university building projects. If you think the intention here is to help kids learn, the House declares on page 257 that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools." Horrors: Some money might go to nonunion teachers.

The larger fiscal issue here is whether this spending bonanza will become part of the annual "budget baseline" that Congress uses as the new floor when calculating how much to increase spending the following year, and into the future. Democrats insist that it will not. But it's hard -- no, impossible -- to believe that Congress will cut spending next year on any of these programs from their new, higher levels. The likelihood is that this allegedly emergency spending will become a permanent addition to federal outlays -- increasing pressure for tax increases in the bargain. Any Blue Dog Democrat who votes for this ought to turn in his "deficit hawk" credentials.

This is supposed to be a new era of bipartisanship, but this bill was written based on the wish list of every living -- or dead -- Democratic interest group. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it, "We won the election. We wrote the bill." So they did. Republicans should let them take all of the credit.

Here is what Rush means when he said he wants Obama to fail.

They're taking it out of context. I knew they would. But here's the thing. You see, ladies and gentlemen, I very seldom talk about my marketing strategy because my belief is: You execute it. You don't tell anybody about it. You don't prepare 'em for it. You just do it. You know, why tell people how you plan to separate them from their money, for example? You just do it. I'm talking about retail and public relations, marketing plans. Okay. Here's the circumstance. It's just a window into my fertile mind. Here we are. The new president is obviously running as fast as he can to the liberal left. I have known it since I first started studying him. I have known he's not a moderate. I have known he's not a centrist. I have known that he doesn't want to take anybody's ideas that are not his.

He'll say he does, but he is who he is. He's an extreme radical leftist who talks a conservative game to mask it. His demeanor belies the fact that he is who he is. From his demeanor, you'd never think this guy is a radical. You would never think he's an extremist unless you took seriously who his mentors are: Jeremiah Wright, Father Pfleger, Louis Farrakhan, the whole list of these people that we weren't allowed to talk about during the campaigns. I mean, Obama's telling the Republicans not to listen to me, but it's okay for him to listen to Jeremiah Wright, for example. So in my mind, I know who he is and I know what he's going to do. I have no doubt, zero doubt about where Obama wants to take this country and why.

He wants to move it far left. He wants the government to be as large as it can. He wants power. He wants to punish success. He wants to try to make everybody as equal and the same as possible, 'cause that's "fair." There is nothing about him that has an adoration or respect for capitalism. Look at the stimulus bill and you can see. To me, anyway, there's no question about this. Now, when I gaze out across the country and I look at what is called the mass media, I see no person, entity, network -- I see no attitude, no similar attitude reflected. I see no skepticism. I see no curiosity. I see no informed knowledge. I see nothing but pure groupie idolatry, from a constitutionally charged business designed to be suspicious of people who want power and to vet them and to find out who they are.

So the mass media is selling a version of Obama that he wants sold. They are helping to advance it, to promote it, and promulgate it. Now, what am I to do? I love my country. I was born at one of the best times in world history to be born. We all were. Look at the opportunity that we have had because of the diligent, hard work, and sacrifices of our forbears. Look at the abundance into which we were born. Now, I don't have kids but I've got nieces and nephews, and I've got a lot of family that have kids, cousins and so forth. You have kids and grandkids. And part and parcel of responsibility as a human being, especially an American, when we are born and inherit such a wonderful place, it has to be incumbent on all of us to first and foremost want to pass that on to others. Why would we want...?

We always hear parents say, "I want my kids to have a better life than I had." It's natural. There's nothing wrong with that, and it's true. So I firmly believe that the policies of the left -- I don't care who runs 'em. I don't care who's implementing them, Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama. I don't care who's implementing them, they're bad. They're destructive. They eliminate or damage individual freedom. They destroy lives in the sense that they destroy the quest for excellence. They destroy the quest for individuality. They make everybody feel like they're victims. They make everybody feel like the world resolves around them. They bust up families with welfare programs. Liberalism is destructive, and it's a myth. It's a series of myths, and it's destructive, and it can destroy the country as we've known it, if unchecked.
Like it has destroyed New Orleans, or did, like it has destroyed Detroit, like it's on the verge of altering California in ways that people who are native to that state are crying about. You go to any city that has been run by unchecked liberalism for years, and you will see a microcosm of what can happen to this country if they succeed to the degree they've succeeded in these cities. Forty-seven percent of graduates in Detroit cannot read, high school graduates. Now, to liberals that's an opportunity. To us, it's a crying shame. So I'm being somewhat verbose here in explaining to you why I have this great fear and opposition to liberalism, socialism, collectivism, whatever you want to call it. The evidence is all around us to see; the effects of it, in Detroit, in New Orleans, prior to Hurricane Katrina or any other place where nobody but liberals run the show.

I don't care if it's a city or a ward or a neighborhood or a whole state or a whole city, you can see it. It's there -- and conversely, you can see the prosperity that exists when it is not dominate, when liberalism is not dominate. So, believing this to the bottom of my heart and to the depth of my fertile brain, what do I see when I gaze out across the country but a bunch of people who have given up, who have been told there is no hope for them. There is no chance either because of their gender, their skin color, their size, what have you. I look at a media which is promoting the very things and people I fear will cause great damage and destruction to the country. So I decide to say, "I hope it fails," and then I say, "I hope he fails."

To me, it is the most basic common sense, and what stuns me is that no one, apparently -- well, outside of our little world here of conservatism. No one is examining at all the effects of this plan, which is depressing! It's frustrating. It makes you mad. But I'm not one just to sit around and take it. So, okay. If it takes somebody dropping a little bomb to cause some people to wake up and at least start thinking, even if they're knee-jerk reacting, I'll gladly do it. So, damn well I intended to say it! I'm saying it again now: I hope he fails! Because, my friends, America wins if liberalism fails, and that's the bottom line. America wins if this plan fails, because it can only fail, this plan. This has never worked. What they're trying has never worked. This plan will fail.

And it's gonna cause pain and suffering, and it's going to be a long recovery from it, and I believe that the people in this didn't get what they want and get what they vote for, based on, you know, a whole bunch of factors that make them think and vote the way they do. I hope it fails. I hope liberalism fails every time it's tried because it has. I don't want it to succeed. America succeeding, and everyone talks about, "But we all want our new president to succeed!" No, we all want our new president to do the right thing. Big difference. We all want our president to do the right thing. If we're attacked by someone, we want him to do the right thing. We don't know if closing Guantanamo is the right thing. We do not know if turning these people loose and trying them in US courts is the right thing. Well, I don't think it's the right thing. I know it's not the right thing -- and I know this economic porkulus bill is not the right thing. I want America to succeed.

I love my country. I want it to remain the place with more freedom and more opportunity and more prosperity than anyplace on the planet and I want the rest of the planet to learn from us, and this ain't the way to do it. So I want America to succeed. My whole objective here is to maintain an America in the image of its Founders and founding, where individual liberty and freedom reward the human spirit and the yearning to be free, the entrepreneurial desire to excel at something. That's the greatest propellant this economy has ever had, and I'm all for it continuing. I don't want to starve this engine of fuel -- and the government is not fuel, and it's not an engine. The government is a giant roadblock. And the people trying to build the government are, in my mind, moving us forward toward America not being the best it could be. So that's what "I hope it fails" means.