- House GOP Wants Stimulus Input Following Critical Report
- Lawmakers Slap Restrictions on Remaining $350B Bailout Fund
- Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Groups Providing Abortions Overseas
This is the first of what I hope will become regular installments of the “Say What?” column. My idea is to share some of the outrageous goings on in our government and in the world at large and also to vent my feelings about them. Unlike other articles I write, “Say What?” is not intended to be a well researched, carefully edited piece, instead it is just a place for me to share (okay, so maybe vent would be more appropriate) my thoughts on various info-bits I come across during the course of my day.
House GOP Wants Stimulus Input Following Critical Report
The Congressional Budget Office has determined that the billions tagged for infrastructure products that are intended to stimulate the economy would take as much as 10 years to actually get into the economy. Apparently, this is largely due to the ponderous nature of government financed projects (having worked for the Federal Government, I can attest that it requires a significant amount of paperwork for the simplest of tasks, forget building a bridge or school). Most economists are predicting that the recession would end long before the CBO is estimating that the bulk of the proposed money would even reach the general economy . . . Really, this is a brilliant political maneuver . . . disguise pork barrel spending as economic stimulus.
As the Fox News article notes, some Republicans are calling for direct aid to individuals, so I did a little math. At the time of this writing, the census bureau’s population clock estimates the total population of the United States at 305,660,317. If the $358,000,000,000 that has been set aside for infrastructure projects were distributed equally among the population, this would come out to $1171.23 per person . . . I guarantee that money would hit the economy in well under 10 years!
While I am not particularly fond of government bailouts of any nature, I have become somewhat resigned to the idea that I am stuck with this one, at least for the time being. If I have to choose between the two options, I would much rather see some of the money the government stole out of my paycheck showing up in my mailbox. Better yet, how about the government take less of my check each week and cut back on spending instead of coming up with trumped up “economic stimulus” projects that won’t be stimulating anything in the near future.
Restrictions on the bailout fund . . . this I like, but there was this neat little section at the end of the article that read:
Two weeks ago, a congressional panel reported that the Treasury Department could not determine how it spent the first $350 billion. . . The Senate last week voted in favor of releasing the second batch of money. The House is expected to follow suit Thursday
I’m sorry, but does that actually say that after the Treasury admitted that they could not account for their use of the first $350 billion the Senate voted to release the second batch? Oh and that the House is expected to vote the same way tomorrow?
Maybe I am over-reacting here, but if I gave my son $5 and he came back to me an hour later and wanted another $5, I would want to know where the first $5 went before I handed him more money and you better believe that if he told me he didn’t know where the first $5 went he would not be getting another $5. Yet our representatives in Congress don’t seem to understand this basic concept . . . maybe I should call them up and tell them that I don’t know how I spent the last stimulus check they sent, but it’s gone, so could they just cut me another one?
Oh and as for the restrictions . . . this passed the House; however, it appears that the Senate does not intend to consider similar legislation.
Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Groups Providing Abortions Overseas
Before I even get into this . . . this is not a pro-life vs. pro-choice thing . . . I would have been just as irritated if the headline read “Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Groups Advocating Against Abortions Overseas”. That said . . .
First off, why are we even talking about funding groups that do anything overseas? Presumably, these agencies are not providing abortions to American women primarily or even at all. Therefore, why the heck is my money going to pay for their abortions or lack there of? This makes absolutely no sense to me. We are in an economic crisis . . . how about we just ban funding for services to other nations and worry about what is going on at home. I am not an isolationist, but I am a realist and (contrary to what the Federal Reserve seems to think) there is a limited supply of money and the money that is created through the labor of US workers needs to be used for US workers, either through services to those workers or through tax cuts resulting from not spending money overseas.
Second, since when is the government in the business of dictating the personal choices of people via funding? Okay, so that is really nothing new, but I am sick of it being ignored. When the government bans funding of groups that espouse this, that, or the other set of ideas, principles, actions, philosophies, what have you they are essentially manipulating the services that are offered in a given community. I have worked in human and social services for many years and the reality of this field is that the current system makes agencies heavily reliant on government funding for continued operations. When this funding is banned, an agency will likely have difficulty functioning effectively, if it functions at all. The end result is that when the government controls the funding, they have a ridiculous amount of control over the message that gets out to the community. And yes, I know that he lifted the ban, not enacted it, but the mere fact that there was a ban to lift is an issue.
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