Archive for the ‘STDs’ Category

Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

February 3, 2009

Here are some of the unusual spending items, many that don’t really create jobs,  in the Obama stimulus package, as passed by the House of Representatives:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD’s.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
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• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities.”

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a “security training” facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

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Stimulus: National Endowment for the Arts Won’t Gives Us More jobs

February 3, 2009

House Democrats passed a nearly trillion-dollar so-called stimulus bill last week at the urging of President Obama, but the spending may do little or nothing to get this economy moving again.

Not even the president can explain how giving more money to prevent sexually transmitted diseases or $50 million more to the National Endowment for the Arts will stimulate anything but a good laugh.

By Linda Chavez
The Washington Times

Most of the money in the bill will take so much time to work its way into the real economy, it’s unlikely it will shorten the current recession or keep people from losing their jobs. Much of it will simply fund the pork-barrel projects dear to the heart of members of Congress. And with Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, there will be no check on profligate spending.

But if we’re going to have a trillion-dollar stimulus, here’s a modest proposal for a better way to do it. This approach would cost about the same as the Democrats’ current plan, but it could put money into people’s pockets in weeks, not years.

Why not give every man, woman, and child in the United States $3,000 to spend on pretty much anything they choose? The price tag would be about $900 billion, barely more than what is in the House package now. But unlike the Democrats’ plan, which has government making the decision about how the money should be spent, people would get to decide for themselves.

There would be no limits on who could receive the money – a rich man would get the same three grand that a poor woman or child received. The program isn’t intended to redistribute wealth, but to infuse the economy with cash. The only rule that would apply is that the money would have to be spent within a certain time, say 18 months. In addition, most of the money would have to be spent on buying things: payment toward a new or used car, down payment on a home, some new appliances, home remodeling, clothes, electronics, or even a vacation. Hey, you could even use it to put solar panels on your roof or erect a windmill in your background if that’s what you wanted. But only a portion of the money could go to paying down credit card or current mortgage debt – say, a third – and then only if the person was already two months in arrears in their payments.

To keep this cash distribution about as simple as possible but still allow the money to be tracked so we know people are actually buying stuff, not hoarding the money in their bank accounts, the government would disperse it in the form of debit cards linked to the individual’s Social Security number. The government could surely subcontract this out to one of the large credit card companies for a small administrative fee charged to the cardholder, similar to what some companies charge now for gift cards. And recipients would receive a statement they would have to submit with their tax return within the time period to ensure they played by the rules.

The virtue of this plan would be that the market would allocate the money far more efficiently than any scheme government bureaucrats could come up with. A young family of four would suddenly have $12,000 that they could use toward a down payment on a home or a new car. Imagine how quick the inventory in depressed housing would dry up if suddenly young families had that kind of cash to put down on a home. And automobiles would go racing off the car lots.

Now, of course, all this cash could be inflationary – government spending usually is. And we know all those debit cards would be paid for with borrowed money – but so is Nancy Pelosi‘s “stimulus package.” Nonetheless, the beauty would be that consumer spending would bring the country out of recession, create new private sector jobs and protect existing ones, and the government would get back at least a portion of what it gave away in taxes from people who were suddenly working instead of drawing unemployment compensation.

Read the rest:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/
2009/feb/03/a-modest-proposal/

Ridiculous items in stimulus plan

February 2, 2009

So much for the new bipartisanship.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed President Obama’s $819 billion economic stimulus bill pretty much along party lines, with the exception of 11 Democrats who voted against the plan.

The House Bill:
Stimulus: Some Loony Spending Requests in Obama Plan

By Ruben Navarrette
For CNN

After the vote, Obama said he hoped to “continue to strengthen” the bill as it made its way through the Senate.

I’d settle for removing more of the ridiculous items that House Democrats slipped into the legislation to advance their sociopolitical agenda. Like $350 million for child care on military bases. Or $335 million to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

In normal economic times, there might not be anything wrong with this. But these aren’t normal times. And these politically motivated giveaways do nothing to fight the recession.

Another such item, which was removed from the bill, was a plan to spend more than $200 million on birth control funding as a way of stimulating the economy.

Who could possibly defend such a thing? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi concocted an argument that was ridiculous and offensive. In fact, the argument was so bad that it might have single-handedly led to the demise of the funding, which some conservatives considered a giveaway to Planned Parenthood.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/0
2/02/navarrette.stimulus/index.html

Stimulus Funds Sexual Disease Prevention? Weren’t We Creating Jobs?

January 28, 2009

Democrats may have eliminated provisions on birth control and sod for the National Mall in the “job stimulus” — but buried on page 147 of the bill is stimulation for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

From The Drudge Report

The House Democrats’ bill includes $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

In the past, the CDC has used STD education funding for programs that many Members of Congress find objectionable and arguably unrelated to a mission of economic stimulus [such as funding events called ‘Booty Call’ and ‘Great Sex’ put on by an organization that received $698,000 in government funds.]

“Whether this funding has merit is not the question; the point is it has no business in an economic plan supposedly focused on job creation,” says a stimulated Hill source.

Drudge:
http://www.drudgereport.com/


All rolled up.  President Obama and the Democrats will probably get their economic stimulus package; but anything done this quickly and with so little debate in Congress is often filled with “pork,” waste and other bad deals.  Like fast sex, this legislation might feel good in the short term but….