A Conservative Viewpoint
- Job Bill A Fraud
Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony
Many Americans are frustrated with the $819 billion stimulus bill the U.S. House of Representatives recently sent to the Senate. Any effort to produce significant job growth for the long haul deserves serious consideration from our representatives in Washington.
But many of us back home are beginning to recognize that this bill is nothing more than a typical Congressional rip-off, laden with pork and other special interest giveaways. In fact, not one single Republican voted for it. In addition 11 conservative Democrats joined them in opposition in an attempt to stop what amounts to nothing more than a job stimulus fraud.
Last week a Rasmussen poll found public support for Congress’ economic recovery plan slipping. Opposition has increased from 34 percent two weeks ago to 43 percent. It appears the Republican resistance has merit and is gaining traction. Democratic support for the bill is down 10 percent, with 50 percent of the unaffiliated voters and 72 percent of Republicans opposed.
The poll also found a majority of voters believe tax cuts would jump start the economy. They believe a dollar of tax cuts is better than a dollar of government spending.
The Labor Department reported that the U. S. unemployment rate through January has climbed to a 16 year high of 7.6 percent, with more pink slips on the way. But the plan Democrats passed in the House will do little to create the jobs necessary to jolt the economy.
Consider some of the items in this bill that we and our heirs will be paying for, at least for the next 50 years and probably well beyond. And how many meaningful jobs- the stated intent of the stimulus- will be created from expenditures like the following:
1) $50 million to the Endowment for the Arts
2) $70 million for a program to get folks to quit smoking
3) $850 million to Amtrak, which has been bleeding red ink for decades
4) $650 million in coupons to help citizens cover the minimal cost to convert to digital TV
5) $100 billion in refunds going to people who don’t pay taxes
6) $600 million to establish a Heritage Train in Mississippi
Add to that money to purchase 100,000 door bells, disbursements for a dog park, the purchase of hybrid cars for government agencies and installing solar panels costing millions in Puerto Rico. Congress is, once again, trying to deceive us.
Barrack Obama is heavily vested in the success of this stimulus. If it fails, so too, could his presidency. He has said as much. One of the problems Obama has, according to New York Times columnist David Brooks, is that he is trying to jam his entire domestic agenda into one bill.
There appears to be a fissure erupting between the White House, the moderate Democrats, and the liberal leadership in the House. In a recent radio interview, Conservative Democrat Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee said that the administration urged him to vote no on the stimulus bill. “[The administration] knows it’s a messy bill and they wanted a clean bill. I got in terrible trouble with our leadership because they don’t care what’s in the bill. They just want it passed and they want it to be unanimous.”
Sen. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) feels that the bad House bill will only get worse in the Senate. And with Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) leading the way, there can be little doubt Pence is right. It appears the Senate version will grow the bill to $920 billion, or $1.5 trillion with interest.
Republicans and moderate Democrats feel that the proven tax relief for families and businesses would better serve the American people, not this congressional grab-bag giveaway that is being masqueraded as economic stimulus.
Obama needs to show leadership. He campaigned on promising to reduce pork barrel spending. So now he needs to get House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca), Sen. Reid and other members of his Party in line behind him. They need to be told that neither he nor the American people will tolerate giveaways.
Obama should insist that Congress do three things in finalizing a stimulus bill:
1) Concentrate entirely on creating real jobs with meaningful tax incentives
2) Cut out all pork barrel spending
3) Reduce tax rates for businesses and extend tax cuts for individuals
The stimulus bill being put together now is a catastrophe. The American people are demanding Congress do better. If they don’t, the Democrat’s current reign in Washington could be short lived.
President Obama has an opportunity to become one of our better presidents. The campaigning is over. He’s told us throughout he can lead. Well there’s no better time to start proving it than now.
As bad as Bob makes this bill sound, I am more concerned because of the disastrous long term consequences. It is not just the money is wasted and will not stimulate the economy. Much of this bill establishes new government programs that, as we all know, will never be ended. Our children and grandchildren are being loaded down with an expansion of government more egregious than any expansion since the 30s or the 60s. These were the last two periods of socialist utopian expansion here in America, one presided over by FDR and one presided over by the trilogy of Johnson-Nixon-Carter. How ironic that the struggling economy caused by these earlier expansions is the excuse the socialists use to expand government even more!