Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White
House. One is from Chicago , another is from Tennessee , and the third is from Minnesota .
All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me.”
The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.”
The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?”
The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.”
“Done!” replies the government official.
And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.
What I have often heard, from both the internet as well as from talking with non-political persons, is that (a) there is nothing wrong with the stimulus bill or (b) it’s Bush’s fault for leaving the debt to Obama and Obama is trying to clean that is. But is it really? What are 10 reason’s people should oppose such a large increase in government spending?
- Contrary to popular belief by journalists, academics and economists have found that massive spending programs (e.g., FDR’s New Deal) prolong recessions and stretches the amount of time for an economy to recover. In fact, Japan tried the exact same approach in the 1990s that the US is currently embarking on which caused their country to increase the amount of unemployment and debt, and decreasing their GDP, within ten years.
- Less than a quarter of the “stimulus” money will be spent in the first fiscal year while, in contrast, the recession is predicted to last only until late 2009/early 2010. While it is arguable that some of the items are worthwhile and should be debated, what’s the point of having a stimulus if it takes years before the money is actually spent? If anything, long-term projects are better placed in the appropriations bill that Congress must pass each year for the simple reason that stimulus means “short-term boost for a long-term gain” and not “long-term spending to meet a long-term goal.”
- The government has to pay back the debt it owes to other countries in order to pay for the bill. How much? A little over $10,000 is the amount it will cost per family while most families spend roughly the same amount per housing. It’s like paying down two mortgages simultaneously!!! Oh, and by the way, that’s without interest.
- Speaking of foreigners buying U.S. Treasury Bills to pay for Obama’s “stimulus” package, most countries believe (a) the US is a risky place to invest because (b) of a belief that we default on our debt. If foreign countries quit buying US debt, then either (i) interest rates go up for everyone and/or (ii) the GDP experiences a contraction which causes an increase in unemployment.
- The GOP was locked out of the stimulus debate which effectively killed the spirit of bi-partisanship and debate. How? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D – San Francisco) changed Congressional Rules that allowed the minority party to comment, or amend, bills.
- The Stimulus Bill was created, in part, by lobbyists (contrary to Obama’s pledge of not working with lobbyists) for lobbyists. In fact, some son’s of Senators are lobbyists and successfully added on pork to the bill.
- A nice comparison between the stimulus bill and another large government spending bill is the Iraq War and the Katrina Recovery Act. In terms of both sheer dollars and dollars plus interest, Obama’s plan calls for spending more money in four years than spending eight years in a foreign war and four years in cleaning up Katrina. In fact, the TOTAL for the stimulus package is $3. 27 TRILLION dollars.
- Senators and Representatives actually didn’t read the bill before signing the bill
- The problems that lead to the credit crisis that triggered the recession was the result of Congressional mismanagement and oversight of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Contrary to public belief, the President (including Bush and Obama) has no control over these two entities while Congress does. Which party has had absolute control of BOTH houses of Congress for the past two years (2006-2008) prior to credit crunch occurring?
- Demonstrated in part by CNN, the entire process in which the bill was pushed through broke nine (9!) campaign promises that Obama had made including:
- (i) CHANGE – Make Government Open and Transparent;
- (ii) Make it “Impossible” for Congressmen to slip in Pork Barrel Projects into laws;
- (iii) Meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public (republicans shut out);
- (iv) No more secrecy (closed door sessions);
- (v) Public will have 5 days to look at a ALL Bills online before he signs it;
- (vi) You’ll know what’s in every Bill and who asked for corporate tax breaks, pork, and earmarks… (NOBODY READ THE STIMULUS); (vii) We will put every pork barrel project online . You will know who asked for them and you will decide if your representative is actually representing you;
- (viii) No Lobbyists in Administration, nor will they be able to gift in return for favor;
- (ix) Meetings between Lobbyists and government agencies will be put on line.
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