Forget the $819 billion "economic stimulus" package you heard about today. Any grown-up knows when you borrow money, you pay interest. In case you forgot, the U.S. government is in a deficit, so we'll be borrowing this money to fund Obama's big idea. With interest, this package is going to cost $1 trillion.
So, there must be, like, a load of jobs coming out of this, right? Well, let's take a look at where some of that money is to go:
- $25 million for new ATV trails
- $400 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
- $400 million for global warming research
- $335 million for the Centers for Disease Control to combat sexually-transmitted diseases
- $650 million coupons to subsidize TV viewers for digital television conversion.
We might agree on the merits of global warming research, the importance of the arts and the need to combat STD's... but how does colossal spending for these special interests fit into the President's message of cutting back in these tough economic times? Is THIS the change we have been hearing so much about?
The short answer is it absolutely doesn't. In fact, this could be the single largest spending proposal of Obama's administration, and most of it isn't even going toward the infrastructure projects that would actually create jobs. The bill proposes just $30 billion toward rebuilding roads and bridges, etc.
The Democrats in Congress are taking advantage of an opportunity to easily throw money at the special interest groups by claiming this package is necessary--and necessary fast! "We don't have a moment to spare," Obama has ominously declared.
It's shameless, and sadly inevitable. The only thing bipartisan about this bill is that both Democrats and Republicans oppose it (not only did the bill receive absolutely zero support from House Republicans, but 11 Democrats actually voted against it as well).
The bill will need some support from Republicans in order to pass Senate approval. Expect to see Obama hosting a lot more cocktail parties next week.