No one should watch while laws or sausages get made
Investor's Business Daily published an interesting editorial today that agrees with my stance that the government stimulus package which is about to pass will not be effective in reviving our slowing economy.
'Historic' Stimulus Is Egregious Waste
The article provides a quote from the influential Harvard economist Robert Barro who called the stimulus package "probably the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s."
We are in a time of crisis here people and yet the politicians in Washington are up to their old tricks of slipping all sorts of unnecessary garbage into bills. We are spending money that we don't have. Any penny that will not serve as an immediate, effective way to stimulate economic activity should be eliminated. If you want to pass some of your pet projects, fine but do it on their own merit, not by taking advantage of the citizens of America by trying to slip it past them in this emergency measure.
The current version of the bill is a lot better than the original iteration that was created by Congress, but it still contains a lot of pork. Here is a sampling of some of it:
- $30 million to restore wetlands and save the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse in the San Francisco Bay Area
- $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund for education programs on sexually transmitted diseases
- $2 billion to ACORN, an community group that's been involved in numerous instances of voter registration fraud
Only a mere 1% of the total spending in the bill is dedicated to small-business tax relief despite the fact that small businesses do most of the hiring...and firing of workers in the U.S.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that this $789 billion bill could end up costing taxpayers $3.27 trillion by the time things are all said and done once one adds in the $744 billion in interest that will have to be paid on this money and the $2.527 trillion in additional spending that will occur if the bill's 20 most popular programs are permanently extended (which is a very likely occurrence in the world of Washington).
This bill we probably be passed by Monday or Tuesday and I can stop talking about it for a while. My wife and I work just like you do, so believe me I certainly hope the package helps pull us out of this recession...but don't count on it. The only think that will fix the mess that we are in is likely time and lots of it. At some point in 2010 housing will stabilize and the slow recovery process can begin.