The Democratic Porkfest Bill of 2009

posted at 9:30 am on January 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The Wall Street Journal calls it the “40-year Wish List”.  Michelle calls it the “Generational Theft Act”.  Others have started calling it the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Debt Act.  Whatever name one gives it, the least likely is stimulus.  The WSJ calculates that no more than 12 cents on the dollar in the trillion-dollar whale goes to actual economic stimulus, and that the rest go to Democratic wish lists for electoral advantage:

We’ve looked it over, and even we can’t quite believe it. There’s $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $2 billion for child-care subsidies; $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts; $400 million for global-warming research and another $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects. There’s even $650 million on top of the billions already doled out to pay for digital TV conversion coupons.

In selling the plan, President Obama has said this bill will make “dramatic investments to revive our flagging economy.” Well, you be the judge. Some $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects. There’s another $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities.

Add the roughly $20 billion for business tax cuts, and by our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus. And even many of these projects aren’t likely to help the economy immediately. As Peter Orszag, the President’s new budget director, told Congress a year ago, “even those [public works] that are ‘on the shelf’ generally cannot be undertaken quickly enough to provide timely stimulus to the economy.”

The bill contains a hefty increase in subsidies for public transportation.  Will that stimulate the economy?  Not really, but it does protect public-sector jobs, almost all union positions, and that helps Democrats get more union money.  It’s the Democratic Party Stimulus Act, not a recipe for economic revival.

The Journal discovers another “lu-lu” in public transportation, but not the kind you’d expect.  Congress wants to spend $600 million on new cars for federal agencies.  Do you have the money to buy a new car in 2009?  Well, you won’t if this bill passes, but apparently a few thousand federal employees will enjoy that luxury, thanks to your tax dollars.

Remember when Barack Obama promised to end ineffective government programs in his inaugural speech?  That was just eight days ago.  Apparently, we’ve hit the expiration date:

As for the promise of accountability, some $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits. These include the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more.

The Department of Education gets a whopping $66 billion in this bill.  In 2001, the federal government spent $35 billion in total in the Department of Education, and by 2006 the Bush administration raised it to $85 billion, almost tripling the outlay.  Now Congress wants to add $66 billion on top of what we’ve already budgeted for the DoE, a figure that almost doubles the entire 2001 DoE budget from just eight years ago.  Will it stimulate the economy?  Not at all.  It pays off a Democratic Party constituency.

Congress should be embarrassed by this kind of naked political exploitation of economic crisis.  Unfortunately, they’re not.  It’s up to us to embarrass them.  Time to Melt the Phones in DC.  Michelle has the details.


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“If the Republicans had not spent like drunken sailors on shore leave the past 10 years or so, maybe the would have some standing to protest…, It all comes home to roost.”

Talk about your stupid fucking comment.

So this mammoth waste is okay?

GarandFan on January 28, 2009 at 11:58 AM

It’s too late for this generation. Start thinking of our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Under extreme protest, this generation will live with the Socialist agenda started by St. Franklin the Roosevelt, continued by Lord Lyndon the Johnson von Guns and Butter, and now consummated by the Obama the Jug Earred. Harridan Nancy and the rest of the simpering, mincing House of Barons Representatives will ensure the current American Exceptionalism will die a whithered death.

This time, it really IS for our children.

SeniorD on January 28, 2009 at 12:08 PM

FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate
By
Meg Sullivan
| 8/10/2004 12:23:12 PM
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

Tax and spend didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

This corrupt “Pay to Play” ripoff of the American people may be the liberals idea of “hope and change”,but people in touch with reality know this will only make our situation worse and usher in INFLATION like a tidal wave.

You can’t call this an infrastructure bill when only 5% if
is dedicated to it.

Baxter Greene on January 28, 2009 at 12:09 PM

If the Republicans had not spent like drunken sailors on shore leave the past 10 years or so, maybe the would have some standing to protest…, It all comes home to roost.

“A lie told often enough becomes truth.” – Vladimir Lenin

This is just another Leftist meme that was designed to foster exactly that type of sentiment, thereby providing them cover to explode govt however they saw fit when the chance again presented itself. There is a HUGE difference — both in size and scope –between the spending of the past 8 years and what the Democrats are going to try to pull over the next few years. And, with the help of their propaganda arm — the US news media — it’s a meme that’s now been repeated so much that even Republicans buy into it.

In 2000, federal spending was about $2.2 trillion. In 2007, federal spending was about $2.7 trillion, representing a 23% increase. BUT…this needs to be understood within the context of three things: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and growth of mandatory entitlement spending.

9/11 demonstrated the seering need for updating our law enforcement and intelligence capabilities, both of which are actual, constitutionally-mandated powers of the federal govt. Whatever you may think of this particular initiative or that one, having FBI agents working on computers without access to basic email functionality was — in my eyes — criminal negligence on the part of the fed. govt. Also — believe it or not — wars are expensive, and we have been fighting 3 wars simultaneously for the past 6 years: Afghanistan, Iraq, and the general WOT.

Hurricane Katrina — the worst natural disaster in American history — left an area the size of the state of Rhode Island looking like an atom bomb had been dropped on it. ‘Nuff said.

And finally, entitlement spending. Entitlement spending is mandatory, meaning it is written into law that whatever Soc. Sec., Medicare, and Medicaid spending is required in order to provide benefits is to be fully funded first. While the Prescription Drug Benefit and expanded coverage for children’s health care were certainly expensive, the real problem is entitlement spending period, and it’s time to face some hard facts, people: Republicans will never be able to significantly reduce federal spending w/o veto proof majorities in the Congress. And Republicans are never going to have veto proof majorities. Why? Because too many Americans have bought into the Leftist dogma about govt being the answer to everything.

I think Republican’s have plenty of “standing to protest” the coming effort by Dems to go on a $2 trillion spending spree over the next year.

rvastar on January 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Call Jon Boehner’s office 202/225-6205.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Billions here and billions more there.

WITH WHAT?!?!?

Yakko77 on January 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM

Not sure but do I know you? From TwilightTowers chat?

sheebe on January 28, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Correction John not Jon

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 12:28 PM

I think Republican’s have plenty of “standing to protest” the coming effort by Dems to go on a $2 trillion spending spree over the next year.

rvastar on January 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM

$2 Trillion if we are lucky. We have a one trillion bill their first week in office. If this bill does not cause a major backlash you can bet it will embolden the Dems to do it every week. We are in the midst of a major paradigm shift started with the financial bailout, and I fear it will not be reversed until some major discontinuity turns the American public back to the basic principles in our culture and institutions that made us great in the first place. This will probably not happen until the folly of liberal thought is fully realized and we reach bottom like many European and South American countries have experienced.

neuquenguy on January 28, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Just a matter of time before armed revolution. No, seriously.

Schweggie on January 28, 2009 at 9:38 AM

You are exactly right…I don’t see any other path at this point. It may not be this generation unless things get really bad with the economy and I think things will get a lot worse before things get better. The entire world is overleveraged; countries, corporations, conglomerates, goverment at all levels and, most importantly….the consumer. And this joke of a stimulus bill will only add to the over-leveraging and ultimately make things worse.

This country needs a CTRL / ALT / DEL in a bad way….a complete re-boot and it needs to start at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. These people simply don’t care about the American people….either party. Remember, this whole thing has been engineered and little clues that get out on occassion support this. This is a manufactured crisis that, as Rahmbo said, they will take advantage of. This bill is merely a vehicle for the Marxists to continue their bloodless revolution. This bill has nothing to with stimulating the economy…it’s a lost cause at this point until all those entities I mentioned above pay down debt. This bill ensures a permanent Marxist government for a generation unless there is serious resistance by the people.

Between closing Gitmo, lifting the ban on American $$ funding foreign abortions, trashing our Country on Al-Aribya, surrending missle defense to Vladimir and the passing of this outrageous piece of greasy pork, Chairman Obamao will have done more to damage this country in 2 weeks than could have ever been imagined…..The thing is, he’s doing exactly what he said he would do. The GOP and this country had better wake the F up or it’s going to be over….seriously over in 6 months. Between the escalating decline in our economic situation and the real possiblity of a terrorist attack or some other world military conflict, we could find ourselves in a complete totalitarian state by the end of the year.

Remember Joe said for us to ‘gird our loins’ and that we may not like Chairman Obamao’s actions or reactions to whatever shit from hell is coming our way…..well, the stage is being set right now.

TheAdmiral on January 28, 2009 at 12:42 PM

We all know what this bill represents. We all know that it is going to pass. What we can gain from this is the names of any Repubs, in both the House and Senate, who vote for it. We will also find out which Dems vote against it.

This is extremely important going forward as this is only the first of many spending bills. What we still need is the leadership to bring this group together to educate the electorate that it is this generation that needs to suffer the consequences, however severe, of the past and not the generations coming who are being robbed by us.

By these bills it is as if “the Greatest Generation” put Hitler off for their grandchildren. We need to stand and face the economic pain rather than rob our children and grandchildren the freedoms we have had. We ran the debt up and floated on bubbles–they did not.

patrick neid on January 28, 2009 at 12:44 PM

House just voted to procedularly pass it.No Republicans voted yes. 7 Democrats voted No. Amendendments are coming to strip portions out. Somebody update if they have better understanding.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM

They are going to have an hour of debate in 5 minutes and then vote on 11 amendements to the bill.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 12:50 PM

House just voted to procedularly pass it.No Republicans voted yes. 7 Democrats voted No.

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM

That is a good start.

Vashta.Nerada on January 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM

I wish they’d at least be honest and rename this punhbowl floater “The Obama 2012 Re-election/Union Handout Slush Fund”.

Bruce in NH on January 28, 2009 at 1:05 PM

That is a good start.

Vashta.Nerada on January 28, 2009 at 12:56 PM

In what way. This bill is a huge mistake!

Kevin in Southern Illinois on January 28, 2009 at 1:06 PM

What I’d like to know is how many Republicans stuck a few extra slices of cheese in this “crap sandwich”…

This is more like scrappel being made.
Worst. Stuff. Evah.

JetBoy on January 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM

REPUBLICANS WERE NOT INVITED TO THE PARTY IN NANCY PELOSI’S OFFICE

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on January 28, 2009 at 1:11 PM

I am sick of this..
this isnt being responsible,..

the democrats have sunk to outright
buying of votes..
I am just waiting for the democrats to not only
Grant all the illegals ammnesty
But to then Pay for it in another Stimulus bill..

I am sorry but this outright corruption i believe is going to result in another revolutionary WAR..

jcila on January 28, 2009 at 1:24 PM

This bill must be stopped.

Period.

-Dave

Dave R. on January 28, 2009 at 1:29 PM

We need to pick 1/4 of the clowns who voted for this bill and focus on them NOT GETTING REELECTED!!!!! It can be done and should be done. We need a dang leader who isn’t afraid. Rush???? Michelle??????

bloggless on January 28, 2009 at 1:31 PM

rvastar on January 28, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Great post.
Besides the socialistic ideology of the bill,and obvious”Pay to Play” going on,I am worried about the Inflation scenario that is looming in the future.

This Trillion dollar rip off is just the beginning of the total disaster that the democratic party is leading this country to in their quest for liberal supremacy.

Baxter Greene on January 28, 2009 at 3:34 PM

How about $50B for the Peoples dismantling of the current government act.

Viper1 on January 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM

U know this is just the tip of the iceberg………This is nothing but a “SHELL GAME” and funneling money wherever they want. Remember that PRIVATE ARMY Osama Obama wants, where did u think he was gonna get the money for that little project??? The army he wants to be as powerful as the U.S. military……….

Kinda makes u wonder……….maybe they are preparing for a revolution as well!!!!!!!!

AND they want to take away OUR GUNS,…..SCARY AS HELL

MBoogie on January 28, 2009 at 3:44 PM

$400 million for global-warming research

Damn you, Al Gore.

SoulGlo on January 28, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Not sure but do I know you? From TwilightTowers chat?

sheebe on January 28, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Sorry, I’ve never been there. I don’t frequent chat rooms too much. I’ll leave a message on a forum like this somewhat often but I might have to check out the site you mentioned.

Yakko77 on January 29, 2009 at 12:10 AM

Billions here and billions more there.

WITH WHAT?!?!?

Yakko77 on January 28, 2009 at 11:42 AM
A good question and one I don’t see a lot of discussion about. I think there are 3 main answers:
1. Taxes: Take it from the private sector to put it back in the private sector. Simply government-managed re-distribution from productive capital to waste.
2. Print more money: Leading to inflation and anything but economic growth.
3.Debt: Remember Argentina? In fact this type of Government role in the economy is what turned Argentina from a rich country into a bankrupt one with unmanageable debt, inflation and political corruption.

neuquenguy on January 28, 2009 at 11:53 AM

1. No, you only take from the private sector what is needed to run the duties of The Republic.
2. You only print what is necessary to replace what is damaged in circulation and accommodate the growth of the GNP.
3. Well, the folks wanted “Hope & Change”, looks like it’s a coming on full steam.

N4646W on January 29, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Whenever congress can get its grubby hands on taxpayer money under some noble sounding excuse it is ripoff time for reelection pork. That is what this congress is about and there’s nothing that can change this for many years to come.

When the fiat “money” in your accounts buys less & less, remember to thank the presidential failures of George W Bush for allowing this to be possible.

Chessplayer on January 29, 2009 at 11:09 AM

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