“Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”
— William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Obama/Pelosi/Reid “stimulus” bill—or as some Republicans have called it, “the Generational Theft Act”—is an exercise in absurdity. While the Democrats in Congress, on the verge of blowing through $800,000,000,000,000+, refuse to ponder the magnitude or even potential effectiveness of such a package, or even allow Republicans to see the bill, we as conservatives (or even as non-conservatives, as resisting the idiocracy is a non-ideological affair) should seriously study the ramifications of the proposed bill and strenuously object to the Senate’s assent. Now that the bill has passed conference, our last (long) shot is that the compromise does not satisfy the three liberal Senate Republicans.
Simply, we cannot afford this bill.
Eight years ago, when President Bush took office, our federal budget was around $1.7 trillion. This year, the federal deficit (the difference between federal expenditures and federal revenues) will be over $1 trillion—and that’s before adding the almost $1 trillion stimulus package to next year’s budget deficit. Think about that for a minute. Our deficit will be more than twice what the ENTIRE FEDERAL BUDGET was eight years ago (credit to Rich Lowry at NRO).
Additionally, the cost for this bill will be ladled upon young Americans and the yet-born next generation. According to a reliable estimate based on 30 year bond rates, for each dollar borrowed to pay for the Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan—money that Congress absolutely will borrow, as it doesn’t have sufficient revenues—future taxpayers, our children and grandchildren, will be forced to pay back $2.50 in principal and interest. Over 30 years, taxpayers will be on the hook for $1.28 trillion in interest or $2.063 trillion total.
According to Marc Thiessen, the Republican Policy Committee determined that “for the cost of the Democrat’s spending bill, Congress could provide every American taxpayer a rebate check for $9,460.” If we include non-taxpayers, every American would receive $6,336. Of course, if the Democrats in Congress sent every American a check, there’s the danger that we’d spend our tax dollars in non-approved ways.
Foolish Steadfastness to Disproven Beliefs:
When we’ve borrowed and spent our way into a perilous economic position, only the Pelosi/Reid Keystone Congress could fashion a rescue plan involving more borrowing and spending.
The Democrats are steadfastly, recklessly, and incompetently pursuing this course of action because they are convinced such a brobdignagian level of spending is necessary to jump-start the economy, and they actually believe that the spending will work—despite all evidence to the contrary.
A Congressional Budget Office report has utterly destroyed their assumptions. The Democrat mantra for the last several weeks has been “spend on infrastructure and spend now!” Somewhere between mantra and printer, the bill morphed into a plan that neither spends much on infrastructure, nor spends the little amount earmarked soon enough to make a difference.
In the Democrats’ plan, only about $100 billion will be spent on infrastructure needs, and of that $100 billion, only $26 billion will be spent in 2009. Of $355 billion in infrastructure and other similar expenditures, only $136 billion will be spent by October 2010. Taking the entire “stimulus” package into account, each job “created” will cost us $225,000 per job (numbers are approximate, as no one seems to know the exact numbers, especially the Democrats). Keep in mind that these infrastructure-related jobs are merely temporary.
The crack staff of my own home state senator, Jim DeMint—God bless that man—did a bit of digging as well. The DeMint report, recently released at the Heritage Foundation, stated:
“The bill, if it were a country, would have the 15th largest economy in the world–right in between Australia and Mexico, greater than the gross domestic products of Saudi Arabia and Iran put together… The stimulus bill will cost well over $1 billion for every page it is printed on.”
Included in the Democrat Plan:
• $400,000,000 for researching STDs
• $200,000,000 for bike trails and off-road vehicle paths
• $200,000,000 to buy electric cars for government employees
• $34,000,000 to renovate the Department of Commerce
• $75,000,000 for a smoking cessation program
• $250,000,000,000 for entitlement spending
• $200,000,000,000 to bailout recklessly irresponsible states (NY and CA) with money from fiscally-prudent states
• Destruction of the 1996 Welfare Reform
• A secret attempt to create a government agency to monitor private healthcare expenditures
Stimulate the economy? Create jobs? Not here. The Obama/Pelosi/Reid plan is a compilation of 40 years’ worth of liberal pet causes—with some absurdity thrown in for good measure.
As Mark Steyn said, “The ‘stimulus’ package is just politics as usual with a few extra zeroes on the end.”