Sunday, January 18, 2009

Porkapalooza: The trillion dollar phony stimulus package

As Democrats prepare a trillion dollar so-called stimulus package, it's worth reviewing the last time the Feds used a Politburo-style, centralized planning model for reviving the economy.

History has a lesson for those who [would use] government spending to "stimulate" the economy and create jobs. During the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs never drove unemployment lower than 20 percent. The jobless rate actually climbed during the second phase.

The onset of World War II, not government spending, prompted America's economic [resurgence].

Furthermore, we know in advance precisely what more government spending in the proposed sectors will do. We have California -- now bankrupt -- as an example of what occurs when unchecked Democrat control allows liberal special interests to run wild:

• Expensive and overly onerous emissions standards, implemented at the behest of the environmental no-growth socialists

• Ridiculously expensive workers compensation and other healthcare mandates including more red tape for Doctors, horrific expenses and regulations for employers, undermining of private health insurance, and denial of individuals' right to self-insure.

Subsidies and freebies for illegal aliens.

Out-of-control growth in social programs aimed at corralling special interests.

Gee, with all of these programs, "progressive taxes" and regulations, shouldn't California be a liberal utopia?

Hardly. It's bankrupt. It's a Califailure.

California has effectively eradicated small business and free enterprise. It now suffers from the third-highest unemployment rate in the land as it exacts an immense stack of regulations, taxes and paperwork on all businesses.

And let me repeat: California is bankrupt. Not only will its tax refunds be delayed, welfare checks and student grants will also be held indefinitely.

Why is the situation worse in California than in neighboring states? Because it has an oppressive regulatory regime and a burdensome tax structure that penalizes individual success and drives businesses out of the state. Writing in the San Francisco Examiner in 2006, Adam Summers observed:

Apple is hardly the first business to leave California for "greener" pastures. Numerous surveys in recent years have revealed that many California companies are moving to other states because of the high costs of taxes and regulations. According to the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, 37 businesses left California in favor of Nevada in 2004, at least in part because of the favorable business climate....

...Small business owners are particularly hard hit by California taxation. According to the California Taxpayers' Association, the richest 10 percent of earners pay almost 75 percent of the entire income tax revenue in the state, and most of these are small-business owners. Thus, under California's backward tax policy, the very entrepreneurs responsible for economic growth and prosperity are being punished the most severely.

You would think that with the utter failure of the New Deal and the recent government-sponsored disasters in California, the one trillion dollar phony stimulus proposal would be laughed out of the Beltway in favor of tax cuts.

Real tax cuts, not welfare programs, which are statistically proven to increase single-parent families, crime and economic misery.

But, no. Democrats have proposed the twelve days of a lobbyist's Christmas:

1. The House Democrats' bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year.

4. The House Democrats' bill provides enough spending - $825 billion - to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

5. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the U.S. $22,000.

6. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.

7. Although the House Democrats' proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill - or three percent - is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office said that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion for infrastructure.

8. Much of the funding within the House Democrats' proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already have $16 billion on hand. And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.

9. In 1993, the unemployment rate was virtually the same as the rate today (around seven percent). Yet, then-President Clinton's proposed stimulus legislation ONLY contained $16 billion in spending.

10. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats' proposal:

· $650 million for digital TV coupons.
· $6 billion for colleges/universities - many which have billion dollar endowments.
· $166 billion in direct aid to states - many of which have failed to budget wisely. [Can you say 'Taxation without representation?]
· $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
· $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
· $200 million for the National Mall, including grass planting.
· $400 million for "National Treasures."

11. Almost one-third of the so called tax relief in the House Democrats' bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package - not the 40 percent that President-elect Obama had requested.

12. $825 billion is just the beginning - many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their "stimulus" plan.

It's the loopiest boondoggle since FDR's "New Deal" failures.

There's only one thing that works and it's been proven over and over and over again.


And as for you, RINOs and Blue Dog Democrats? We're watching you. And we'll be coming after you in the next election cycle if you vote with failures like Pelosi, Reid, and Obama, none of whom have ever created a real job in their entire lives.

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