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Government Stimulus Package

January 29th, 2009

Update

It’s been around a year since this was originally published so I thought I’d go back and tell a little of what has happened. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you know that our Congress eventually passed this bill and President Obama signed it into law. You may have heard Obama talking since then about how this was necessary and that it saved or created 1.5 million jobs. That sounds great on TV when he’s giving the State of the Union address, but in reality it is a pathetic waste of our taxpayer dollars.

When it was passed they said it would keep unemployment from rising beyond 8%. It is at 10% now. Doing a little math shows you how much they wasted. The cost to the taxpayer was around 862 Billion dollars. That is 862,000,000,000. That is a lot of zeroes. The jobs, not just new jobs but also “saved” jobs, were 1.5 Million by the White House’s own accounting. That means that we spent an average of about 575,000 dollars per job. Mind you most of these jobs are construction or maybe teaching jobs making around 30K a year. This is simply a great example of government waste and not much more.

The real problem is that in Obama’s recently released budget there is 300 Billion more dollars modeled on last years stimulus package. For those that don’t know, the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting different results. I don’t think they are insane though (usually), I just think they are happy with a government stimulus package. They are happy spending more and more of your money because that means power. If they can make you believe that you need them to help, they have accomplished their goal. Just to make it clear, you don’t need the government stimulus package to help you find a job.

Original Post

Congress currently has a “stimulus package” in the works. Unfortunately the only thing it is really going to stimulate growth in is government. There is so much pork in this bill, the Wall Street Journal said this about it, “This is a political wonder that manages to spend money on just about every pent-up Democratic proposal of the last 40 years.” Suffice it to say there is more money in “pet projects” than there is in any sort of economic stimulus. That is why every single Republican representative voted against the stimulus bill. This is apparently the change we can believe in.

Here are some of the, shall we say, not very stimulating proposals in the government stimulus package:

$1 billion to Amtrak who hasn’t made a profit in 4 decades
$2 billion in child-care subsidies
$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
$400 million for global-warming research
$2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects
$650 million to pay for digital TV conversion coupons
$600 million for the federal government to buy new cars. Their current budget already includes $3 billion a year on its fleet of 600,000 vehicles
$252 billion is for income-transfer payments - i.e. Medicare, unemployment, and food stamps
$66 billion for education

As the WSJ put it:

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.

Thankfully it looks like the Republicans are going to give this joke of a government stimulus package to the Democrats. All but 11 of them voted for this bill. At least a few were smart enough to see this for what it is, a waste of money sending America even further into debt.


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Author: Derek Clark Categories: General Politics Tags:
  1. stop writing
    January 29th, 2009 at 23:27 | #1

    These are all educated investments. amtrak being one of the lesser known. there are countless articles outlining the advantages of developing our passenger train system. it’s very underdeveloped compared to other nations where they use them from vacations to daily commutes. For the rest of those they’re honestly no-brainers. lets not mention how much obama plans to cut back on military spending, we were spending more than the rest of the worlds nations combined annually on our military. The digital tv switch will free up the “white space” band allowing development of new communications which will undoubtedly positively stimulate the economy. You may not understand why he’s investing money in these areas but you’ll come to find out soon enough.

  2. January 29th, 2009 at 23:47 | #2

    sorry, but I’m not going to stop writing because you disagree with me. that is the great thing about this country, I am free to say what I want. I didn’t say anything about the public transportation spending which I think is a good thing. Amtrak is not that. National Endowment for the Arts is hardly a no-brainer for part of an economic stimulus package. I don’t have a problem with the dtv switch, it should be made. However, we have already spent billions on this, there is not a need for any more money for this. The government also does not need $600 million for new cars, when the budget is already 3 billion. Stop blindly following Obama and actually look at the stuff that is in this bill. At least they got rid of the contraception money. That certainly doesn’t qualify as economic stimulus.

  3. January 30th, 2009 at 07:38 | #3

    mmm I smell pork.

  4. Freedom First
    January 30th, 2009 at 12:54 | #4

    Always remember, you are freemen,

    BUT DO NOT FORGET, YOU HAVE NO RIGHTS EXCEPT WHAT WE CHOOSE TO GIVE YOU!!!

    No rights in keeping your own money.
    No right to eat what you want, where you want.
    And you shall have no rights to anything else we think is bad for you!!!

  5. Joy S Shupe
    January 30th, 2009 at 20:13 | #5

    i feel it could be spent by the people for the people give more than 3-600 hundred dollars to us and we as a general public can help boost the economy!!!!!you want change let gov. officials pay for their own cars.Why are we responsible for transportation for them.Who purchases your car for you?furthermore;if so much is for education why do parents pay for so many extra expenses for school activities???It all sounds good to them on paper,but in the end who really pays?!

  6. KMeist Hax
    January 30th, 2009 at 21:15 | #6

    “$1 billion to Amtrak who hasn’t made a profit in 4 decades”

    Oh yes, more pork for our impotent rail system. We should have had high-speed rail in 2000! Not the horribly gimped piece of shit they call “Acela Express”.

  7. Angel
    February 3rd, 2009 at 16:01 | #7

    What do you suppose we spend money on? Do you suppose we continue spending money on the same things we have for the past 8 years? Like abstinence only education? Where has that gotten us? While I don’t understand the spending on government cars I do agree with the other expenses. Its not pork, its spending to help push America into the next century. Other countries provide extensive health care, childcare and tuition coverage. There are a number of countries where you only have a license for emergency purposes. Its time we started supporting mass transit. And don’t give me that line that I hear over and over again from republicans and libertarians “yea but European countries tax their people to death.” It’s just not true. I personally know people from the UK and the Netherlands. Their taxes are hirer than ours but the pay off is greater. End the end you not left with a rotting economy and infrastructure. Even after taxes are taken out you’re left with money to live comfortably and take a vacations without braking your bank account or ending up in debt.

    PLEASE also note that this not the stimulus package Obama had initially put together. He tried to compromise with Republicans by changing the package. He added and subtracted various funding all in the name of bipartisanship. And you know what he got for it? Every republican voted against it even after the compromises.

    We spent the last 8 years dealing with Republicans giving us the finger. 8 years of them passing whatever they wanted and stalling/walling every thing democrats tried to pass. I know this is going to sound mean and I hesitate to say it but… Guess what? It’s our turn now.

  8. Abe Lincoln
    February 5th, 2009 at 18:14 | #8

    Angel,

    Fine, it is your time. But don’t complain when the other side starts picking your plans apart for what they really are. The Left did it to Bush before he was even in office and are still trying to blame him for all the problems Obama is now having to deal with regardless of whether he had anything to do with them.

    The question is not-should some of these things be done and would it make America a more modern country, but is this the right time for those investments? Are these spending projects going to create jobs, good jobs, long-term jobs? Is the money it will take to finance these projects going to hamper us from doing other important things down the road? Basically, are we getting the most bang for our buck by having government spend the majority of the money on government programs or projects? Could we do better by cutting taxes or giving out rebates and letting individuals, famlies, and businesses decide how best to spend their money? Why not let people decide how best to spend their money, whether paying down debt, buying products or services from good companies, or investing in things that create wealth, jobs, and inevitably higher tax bases to help pay for government services. When you rob peter to pay paul everyone loses and taking money from the private sector to pay for government is exactly that.

  9. mswhyte
    February 5th, 2009 at 20:13 | #9

    Childcare is a necessity for working parents. Get for real. If we do not have an affordable and accessable care system for our youngest citizens just what do you think their parents are going to do?

    The funding helps to pay for services which are provided. Which by the way are not cheap by a long shot.

    Now in the real world-you cannot have an employed population that has no childcare-unless all the childless people go to work and parents remain home.

    What good would it do to find employment and then be thwarted because you have nowhere for your child to go during your work hours?

  10. February 5th, 2009 at 22:33 | #10

    @mswhyte Those parents can pay for their own children maybe? Why should I as a taxpayer have to pay to take care of your children?

  11. February 6th, 2009 at 22:17 | #11

    Clarky, as a taxpayer, you shouldn’t have to pay for anyone’s children. Too bad that as of now, you’re paying for those somehow “single” moms with 8+ kids who are living off of the system and popping kids out like they’ve got all the money and support in the world. Where’s the father? They don’t marry the mom because then he’d have to report his income as a part of the family’s overall income, and they’d be ineligible for their welfare, food stamps and discounted HUD housing. So many families like this will collect both incomes and live alright… at least enough to buy newer HD TV’s, game systems, and so on… All on your dime. This happens WAY more than most people realize.

    I have no idea where this entitlement complex came from in America. It’s obscene. It’s VERY easy to not get pregnant, and even birth control and planned parenthood are free to most people. If I can’t afford to have a child, I can easily prevent it from being born until I can afford to take care of it.

    How selfish is it to have children and expect the taxpayers to foot the bill on their schooling, medical care, and childcare?

    Terra Andersen’s last blog post..The Call and The Response

  12. Carolathome
    February 7th, 2009 at 00:29 | #12

    I fail to see how these allotments will get me or anyone a job. “$66 billion for education”. What does that include? XX dollars for every school district in the country to spend on new pencil sharpeners? Help for the unemployed to purchase healthcare? (How can they pay for something when they are unemployed?) My job disappeared when the oil industry stopped drilling in the US a few months ago when it became impossible for them to get investment funding from any banks. What should I do now? Sharpen my hammering skills so I can repair bridges? Will they need anyone who can whip out a mean spreadsheet?

  13. February 9th, 2009 at 12:38 | #13

    I wrote a short thing on the newest stimulus bill the other day.

    http://texan4life.wordpress.com/2009/02/06/stimulus-bill/

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Stimulus Bill

  14. Liegh
    February 9th, 2009 at 13:17 | #14

    From what I understand, this stimulus package will cost $212,000 for each job it creates. How about we give $53,000 to 4 times as many people?

    I am tired of having to pay for everyone. I pay for my car. I pay for my house. I pay for my food. I pay for my child care. Neither of my parents went to college. I worked full time and went to school full time. I didn’t get a grant. I paid for it myself. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. I did it.

    People need to start taking responsible for their own actions. Stop blaming everyone else for your problems and stop expecting someone else to take care of you.

  15. February 9th, 2009 at 13:41 | #15

    @Liegh I completely agree. We have to stop the dependence we are creating in our society.

  16. michael hall
    February 13th, 2009 at 21:41 | #16

    From the items listed above I only see about 3.2 billion in pork. The other items have the potential for creating new jobs and to develope industries that need upgrading which in the long run will save money and keep jobs.

  17. February 13th, 2009 at 22:22 | #17

    I see quite a few of these that would be great ways to spend money Michael but I think the fact remains that any law maker should be ashamed of supporting this bill when there just isn’t money to pay for it. Perhaps the lawmakers could just reduce taxes for private entities that tackle these projects.

  18. macnuts
    February 17th, 2009 at 15:13 | #18

    I propose that everyone receiving stimulus money to go to their local firearms dealer and buy as many handguns and assault rifles as you can. for one, there isn’t much time before B.hussein outlaws them. two, it would really piss the liberals off if millions of americans threw this stimulus into the firearm industry including b. hussein. And 3, our 2nd ammendment is a thing of beauty, one that has been fought for for hundreds of years and this time honored tradition should continue to be fought for. where in hell do liberals come off telling you that you can’t own a firearm. it’s free $ folks and i can’t think of a better way to spend it. pass the message on to your friends.

  19. February 17th, 2009 at 23:25 | #19

    $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects.

    Can you say Al Gore

  20. daniel
    February 19th, 2009 at 19:50 | #20

    the republican party tried to pass reform for the housing market but the democrate wouldnt have it. So dont say the republicans got everything they wanted. If we did we wouldnt have the mess that was fored by Bill. this is to angel

  21. March 17th, 2009 at 13:36 | #21

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

  22. Talking Stone
    July 13th, 2009 at 19:08 | #22

    Subject: Federal Stimulus Package
    It is not my position to judge the effectiveness/non-effectiveness of the Federal Stimulus Package.
    Monies used for purposes not with-in the guidelines of the stimulus should be looked into and withdrawn if the guidelines are not met.
    I speak directly to the $42+ million that was given to the CNO (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma). This money has been used, partially, for the purpose it was designed for but a portion is being used to supply funds for their political gains. Please refer to the web site http://www.taskforce.cherokee.org . The package of the $42+ million, I’m sure, was appreciated by many, but I find it hard to understand why the CNO is allowed to waste my tax money with a political campaign against the State Recognized Tribes.
    These monies have been used to hire lobbyist in Washington to speak against the State Recognized Tribes, place a member of the CNO into a position of an adviser to the President, travel for a few members of the CNO to locations such as Red Clay State Park in Tennessee, travel to the Qualla Reservation in North Carolina and other scheduled visits, such as a trip for two to the Guntersville, Alabama State Park. Several more trips are planned. If money was already there for the entire plan, as shown above, why would they need a stimulus payment?
    \The CNO and the elected officials of their group have defrauded the Federal Government in use of the funds given them.
    I would ask that an investigation into the CNO usage of the stimulus package money and a stop be put into place for their blatant misuse of the funds.
    There are several areas that involve the stimulus package being given to useless projects not affecting the reemployment of people. Those I would expect to be commented on by the people closer to the problem area.

  23. Rooker
    August 24th, 2009 at 10:40 | #23

    How can i get a stimulus loan to get my construction company back on track? When things went belly up i had to lay every one off an now it’s just a hit an miss deal.

  24. Robert Heiney
    July 26th, 2010 at 09:00 | #24

    Economic Stimulus!? They need to call it what it really is. Corporate welfare.

    The only economy being stimulated, is that of the corporations and their high salaried CEO’s.

    With the amount spent on the banks and auto industry, the government could have given every single adult, tax paying citizen, $150,000 tax free, to spend as you wanted, or $200,000 if you paid off your mortgage and bought an American car. The rest is yours to spend.

    Now that would be true economic stimulus.

  25. July 27th, 2010 at 16:24 | #25

    @Robert Heiney
    While I agree with the sentiment, I think you may have added an extra 0 on the math there. Going with round numbers, 1 trillion divided by approximately 100 million taxpayers = 10,000 per taxpayer.

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