Bloatation device

After a couple days to review and digest the Economic Recovery Act, it’s become clear to me that the bill does only one thing well: increase the size and scope of the federal government far beyond anything Franklin Delano Roosevelt might have imagined in his most fevered dreams.

More nuggets from the economic recovery bill:

  • $350 million for “Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations”, of which half is to buy up floodplain easements
  • $2.83 billion for rural broadband service
  • $1 billion to NOAA for “habitat restoration”, “satellite development and acquisition, acquiring climate sensors and climate modeling capacity, and establishing climate data records”, and at least $140M of that money must be used for “climate data modeling” (is this an economic recovery plan or a funding bill to dummy up data that supports global warming theories?)
  • $400 million to NASA, with no less than $250M for “Earth science climate research missions” (more green tech)
  • $600 million to buy “plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles” for government fleets (they should require congressional leadership to ride around in them)
  • $1 billion for Head Start programs, and another $1.1 billion to expand Early Head Start (all your kids are belong to us)
  • $3 billion to HHS for a “Prevention and Wellness Fund”
  • $126 billion to the Dept. of Education, most of it targeted to local school districts and public colleges and universities, with $6 billion reserved for “green” repairs and upgrades
  • Only $4 million for small business loans!

Look, there are a lot of good things in the bill, but this so-called stimulus reads more like an appropriations wish list. Shouldn’t the stimulus plan be for new or extra projects above and beyond what the government is already financing? The majority of the items in this bill read like extensions of things we are, or should be, already doing.

The problem is two-fold. First, this bill, if it passes, adds another trillion to what will already be a record budget deficit for 2009. The piper will be paid, and we can’t do it by spending more and taxing less.

Second, and most disturbing, reading the bill makes it clear where government intends to create jobs: in the government. Read through the bill and see how much of the money would actually go to creating private sector jobs. Some construction here and there, yes, but for the most part, new jobs created under the stimulus plan will be in the government.

That’s the last thing we need.

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