Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Packaged Pork

The so called Stimulus Package is big and thick and does about the same thing as that image just planted in your head. But, on the way to the ultimate satisfaction or disappointment, as the case may be, we will all know full well we've been screwed.

Contrary to Obama's assertion during yesterday's press conference that "it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable" NCPA lists all kinds of earmarked pork projects in Excess Pork.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that only 7% of the stimulus spending in the House-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (approx. $358 billion of the total) will be spent this year. By the end of 2010, only 38% will be spent. And by the end of 2011, only 67% will be spent. Click here to view a Washington Post story about the CBO Report.

Including both tax cuts and stimulus checks, only one-fifth of the total package will be spent in 2009.

* For $816 billion, we could cut payroll taxes for every American worker by $1,500. Click
here for Lawrence B. Lindsey’s Wall Street Journal column.

* The $825 billion stimulus package will exceed more than $1.1 trillion when adding in the interest ($300+ billion) between 2009-2019 to pay for it.

* More than 10 million people — many of whom are not poor and not children — will be added to Medicaid and other government health programs, permanently expanding these programs. Click
here for Kim Strassel’s Wall Street Journal column.

* Some specific line items in the stimulus bill:

ο $650 million for digital TV coupons
ο $600 million to buy new cars for the federal government
ο $6 billion for colleges/universities
ο $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters
ο $200 million for the National Mall, including $21 million for sod
ο $360 million for new child care centers at military bases
ο $200 million for “Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program”
ο $14 million for funding the Recovery Act

Accountability and Transparency Board and their Independent Advisory Panel which will consist of a total of 12 people.

ο $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (more than a 30% funding increase)
ο $1.1 billion to Amtrak
ο $30 billion for highway and bridge construction
ο $300 million to upgrade job training facilities that serve unemployed youth
ο $400 million for habitat restoration projects
ο $4.2 billion for the government to purchase vacant properties to reduce neighborhood blight
ο $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants. This is a catch-all fund for projects that don’t fit into other “stimulus” categories.
ο $200 million fund for rural areas to build “community facilities,” such as for healthcare, education, fire and rescue, day care, community centers, and libraries.

* Not specifically listed in the bill is a list of 18,750 projects, proposed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. These are the sorts of projects that mayors said will be funded with money such as the non-descript Community Development Block Grant or the rural development money in the stimulus bill.

ο $2 million for North Miami households to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs $886,000 for a 36-hole “disk-golf” course in Austin, Texas
ο $33,725 for automatically flushing toilets in Sumter, SC $1.4 million children’s water park in Pine Bluff, Ark.
ο $500,000 dog park in Chula Vista, California
ο $6 million to construct three aquatics facilities ο
(Olympic pool, waterslide, water playground, bathhouse) in Shreveport, LA.
ο $320,000 for lights at the Brockton, Mass.little league ball field.
ο $50,000 for two (2) dog parks in Lewiston, Maine.
ο $325,000 to buy 25 new cars for the City of Dearborn, Mich.
ο $1.5 million to replace the Roseville, Minn., golf course clubhouse and maintenance shop.
ο $50,000 to purchase two (2) police cars for town of Friars Point, Miss.
ο $60,000 to hire two (2) new police officers in Friars Point, Miss. to drive the two (2) new cars.
ο $250,000 to replace gymnasium floor and repaint at South Rocky Mount, N.C. Community Center
ο $500,000 for public marina floating docks in Elizabeth, N.H.
ο $6 million for the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Hurricane Shelter and Community Center
ο $1 million to seal coat the streets of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

A full list of the mayors’ projects can be found by

* The plan establishes at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means more than a third of this plan’s spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs.
* The plan increases spending in at least 150 different federal programs, ranging from Amtrak to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
* The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.
* The bill will cost each and every household $6,700 in additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.
* The bill provides enough spending – $825 billion – to give $2,700 to every man, woman, and child in America.
* $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the United States $22,000.
* Although stimulus bill has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill – or three percent – is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the nonpartisan CBO found that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion.
* Much of the funding within the House Democrats’ proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)– a program that already has $16 billion on hand. States also are sitting on some $9 billion in unused highway funds – funds that Congress is prepared to rescind later this year.
* A scant 2.7 percent, or $22.3 billion of the overall package, is dedicated to small business tax relief.
* The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the legislation increases by seven million the number of people who get a check back from the IRS that exceeds what they paid in payroll and income taxes.
* The “Making Work Pay” tax credit at the center of the plan amounts to $1.37 a day, or about the price of a cup of coffee.
* Almost one-third of the “tax relief” in the stimulus bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package – not the 40 percent that President Obama had requested.
Well, I'm feeling very stimulated.

Original PDF
Source National Center for Policy Analysis

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Donald Douglas said...

So called is right. What an outrage...

Anonymous said...

Big O claims there are no earmarks and that may be technically correct. When I see all this pork obviously targeted to certain districts to get passage, I say "what the hell difference does it make what you call it?"

Indigo Red said...

Outrage is as close as we're going to get to how most of us feel.

Renaming and redefining is a primary tenet of progressives, socialists, communnists, and American Democrats. When I was growing up Global Warming was Summer and Global Cooling was Winter. And so it goes.