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Monday, February 16, 2009


At his recent press conference, there were a couple of 'yelling at the t.v.' moments. These were a couple of the choice ones:

"...what I've been concerned about is some of the language that's been used suggesting that this is full of pork and this is wasteful government spending, so on and so forth..."
"when they start characterizing this as pork without acknowledging that there are no earmarks in this package — something again that was pretty rare over the last eight years — then you get a feeling that maybe we're playing politics instead of actually trying to solve problems for the American people."
No pork? No earmarks? Really? Common understanding of the political term 'pork' is that it has to do with unnecessary items. And 'earmarks' in common thought refer to pet projects that get funded off of the Federal dime. But just to be sure, because I tend to think of $3 billion for ACORN and similar groups, and $200 million for a coal-fired power plant in Illinois as a little bit of pet project / pork funding.

Pork barrel projects, or earmarks, are defined as those that primarily benefit constituents.

OK, so how, exactly, is a $200 million coal plant NOT pork?

And while we're on the subject of coal plants, I thought that our President said something about that before....ah, yes, I believe it was this:

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.”
Well, I guess it won't bankrupt them if it gets funded out of our wallets.

Looking at this bill, I wonder if there's actually anything in there that's not pork! What sorts of beauties are we getting out of the bill that is actually going to cost far more than the oh-so-lean $789 billion? Well, if it gets its way, $615 million will go to Stamford, CT so it can convert sports fields to turf, build a waste-to-energy plant ('cause they're working to get America off oil), replace windows in a school, etc., etc. They are, according to their mayor, working to "rebuild America." Mayor Dannel "Turfbuilder" Malloy claims that the school field project will create 100 jobs. One of the things you don't hear, though, is how long these jobs are going to last. It might create 100 jobs - at least until the turf is put down. How many do we lose 'cause the grass isn't being maintained? And I'm betting it'll be a grand total of one sports season before we start hearing the complaints about turf-related injuries in the schools. Glad to hear my home state wants to do its part in wasting taxpayer funds.

According to Newsmax, here are some of the other gems:

  • $3 billion plus in “neighborhood stabilization” and Community Development Block Grant funding, much of which may go to ACORN. Not really a surprise they're getting funding, but disgusting nonetheless.

  • $1.3 billion to bailout AMTRAK.

  • $1 billion for educational programs, including courses on sexually transmitted diseases.

  • $30 million for restoration of wetlands in Nancy Pelosi's district (because the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse is the no doubt key to American economic recovery).

  • $45 million for ATV four-wheeler trails, and government office renovations.

  • $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts.

  • More than $650 million for digital TV converter-box coupons - even though this whole thing has been put off until June.

  • A reported $300 million for hybrid vehicles and electric-powered cars (including golf carts for federal workers). No word on whether those golf carts are going to come with country club memberships - or whether they're going to be able to convince the American people to actually buy these cars. This is supposed to help prop up the failing auto industry, but does nothing to address the oppressive union environment - one of the prime things that's killing it.
Add it all together, and the cost of all this crap is actually going to be more than $3 trillion. It's incomprehensible, and that may be why no one's cracked out the tar and feathers yet. The number is so large that it's almost inconceivable. This is why you hear all sorts of imagery to try to explain just how much money that is.

Here is one way to look at it. There are approximately 306 million people in America. At a cost of $3 trillion, Congress could give $10,000 to every single American. Hmmm...that would very likely do a little economic stimulating, now wouldn't it.

Here's another way to think of it. According to the National Compensation Survey, the average American civilian earned approximately $19.29 an hour as of June, 2006. At the current population, and that average wage, it would take every single American working approximately 500 hours to pay their share of this pork roast. With the number of Americans that are actually employed (150 million or so) , it would take double that. So this year, you're working through April to pay your taxes, and through October to pay for the stimulus bill. Enjoy the two months' pay this year that you actually get to keep.

No pork? There's so much pork in this bill, I'm surprised the U.N. hasn't demanded that we tank the stimulus bill because it's offensive to Muslims.

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