As of this writing, Democrats in the House have passed a $813 Million spending bill. Democrats in the House and President Obama have all called this an economic stimulus plan. In truth, it is a runaway spending plan with very little in it to actually stimulate the economy. I saw two quotes today that really scared me. The first one from the Heritage Foundation Website:
"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work." – FDR Treasury Sec. Henry Morgenthau Jr., architect of the New Deal.
The second in today's issue of USA Today:
House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey, D-Wis., said the goal is to act now and address problems later. During the Depression, he said, President Franklin Roosevelt "tried lots of things. We'll do the same thing."
The two quotes together don't give me confidence that Democrats know what they are doing right now. I really don't like the "act now and address problems later" part either. Obama campaigned on a new kind of politics in Washington. However, what we see is a plan that we are being told will stimulate the economy that includes:
--$20 Billion to increase Food Stamps
--$18.5 Billion for energy efficiency
--$20 Billion to renovate elementary and secondary schools
--$30 Billion for highway construction (out of almost $1 Trillion in spending)
This is without looking at the list of multi-million dollar line items that go to special interest groups such as ACORN, STD education and prevention programs at the CDC, national endowment for the arts, assorted federal "green" jobs, and of course the Smithsonian and the national mall. For more on these non-stimulating line items, see here, here, or here. The last link is from the National Review Online and is probably the best discussion of the plan anywhere. Are the programs in this bill worth funding? Maybe, maybe not. But they don't create jobs, and Democrats shouldn't call this a stimulus bill. An extra $650 million is going to help people convert their TV's to the new digital format. Approximately $80 Billion is going to states that can't balance their budget already.
Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are telling us that this is urgent. We must pass this right now. American jobs are at stake! However, the Congressional Budget Office is saying that less than half of the "stimulating" part of the bill, the $30 Billion in highway construction money, would get into the economy over the next four years! Only $26 Billion of the $274 Billion in infrastructure spending would be used by next fall! The American public is being sold a bill of goods with this plan. This massive spending plan won't stimulate the economy, and only 64 % of the entire bill will reach the economy over the next four years!
The only bright side to this is that Republicans (and 11 Democrats) voted against this bill today. Succeed or fail, this bill is 100% Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. It will fail, and I am afraid it will take part of the country with it.