Senate’s Turn to Deal with the Pork

This is the week the stimulus bill heads to the United States Senate.  While the goal of this bill is to stimulate the economy in hopes of creating more jobs and helping out hardworking middle America, it is engorged with massive spending on provisions that have nothing to do with helping the economy.

Provisions of the bill that many legislators are questioning:

$1 billion for Amtrak, which hasn’t earned a profit in four decades.

$2 billion to help subsidize child care.

$400 million for research into global warming.

$2.4 billion for projects to demonstrate how carbon greenhouse gas can be safely removed from the atmosphere.

$650 million for coupons to help consumers convert their TV sets from analog to digital, part of the digital TV conversion.

$600 million to buy a new fleet of cars for federal employees and government departments.

$75 million to fund programs to help people quit smoking.

$21 million to re-sod the National Mall, which suffered heavy use during the Inauguration.

$2.25 billion for national parks. This item has sparked calls for an investigation, because the chief lobbyist of the National Parks Association is the son of Rep. David R. Obey, D-Wisc. The $2,25 billion is about equal to the National Park Service’s entire annual budget. The Washington Times reports it is a threefold increase over what was originally proposed for parks in the stimulus bill. Obey is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

$335 million for treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

$50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts. $4.19 billion to stave off foreclosures via the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The bill allows nonprofits to compete with cities and states for $3.44 billion of the money, which means a substantial amount of it will be captured by ACORN, the controversial activist group currently under federal investigation for vote fraud. Another $750 million would be exclusively reserved for nonprofits such as ACORN – meaning cities and states are barred from receiving that money. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., charges the money could appear to be a “payoff” for the partisan political activities community groups in the last election cycle.

$44 million to renovate the headquarters building of the Agriculture Department.

$32 billion for a “smart electricity grid to minimize waste.

$87 billion of Medicaid funds, to aid states.

$53.4 billion for science facilities, high speed Internet, and miscellaneous energy and environmental programs.

$13 billion to repair and weatherize public housing, help the homeless, repair foreclosed homes.

$20 billion for quicker depreciation and write-offs for equipment.

$10.3 billion for tax credits to help families defray the cost of college tuition.

$20 billion over five years for an expanded food stamp program.

The one little victory in this bill is that the $200 million allocated to Planned Parenthood for abortions in order to stimulate the economy was cut.  Could it be that Democrats are realizing that reducing the workforce will actually contribute to the economic downturn?  I’m not that stupid to believe that.  President Obama threw Planned Parenthood under the bus in order to pass this bill with bipartisan support, which didn’t happen since no House Republican voted for it and neither did eleven Democrats.

I wish that  Republican governors would stand this firm against the stimulus package, but some prominent names are in line with their hands out in order to receive their piece of the pie.  I understand that governors are supposed to make decisions that are in the best interest of their states and they have to balance their budgets, but is sacrificing conservative principles and putting the nation into over a trillion dollars of debt worth it?  Pushing to pass a pork engorged bill all in the name of getting your share is one of the reasons people are not voting for us.

The bill is now in the hands of the Senate where Republicans are demanding a cut in the irresponsible spending and offering solutions that will help main street.  However, Obama is doing everything he can to put pressure on them to pass the stimulus.  I thought we were done with these ads on November 4th.

1 comment so far

  1. harrison on

    really? “reduce the workforce?” having abortions now will immediately reduce the workforce…or possibly reduce it in 16-20 years? or not reduce it all considering the record number of unemploymed, having babies is more likely to increase unemployment

    what will really stimulate the economy is to have more babies that parents can’t afford, then the gov’t will step in and pay for health care, food stamps, education, etc, the average cost of raising a kid to age 18 is roughly $200,000

    do you have $200,000? i don’t have $200,000 but i’m sure with a deficit over $10 TRILLION that the gov’t’ll have an $200,000 laying around

    with an exponentially growing population and an over-burdended earth, it makes perfect sense to fill it with even more people

    i am not in anyway suggesting that we do as china does and require abortions, but knowledge about prevention, access to birth control and medically accurate, comprehensive sex education cannot be underrated

    the $200m stimulus would not have gone to provide abortion care (which, on average, is less than 5% of pp’s services) but to provide funds for subsidized health care-like cancer screening for men and women, STD testing and treatment, birth control, vaccinations, pre-natal care, etc

    it is even more important during these economic times that places like planned parenthood stay open, pp does not close it’s doors to someone who cannot pay

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