Wasteful pork in the Obama “stimulus” bill
Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 05:19 PM - Opinion
Posted by Administrator
The idea of an economic stimulus bill is to improve the state of the economy. One has to wonder what these provisions in Obama’s $900 billion stimulus package would do to help the economy:
- $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
- A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
- $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
- $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
- $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
- $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters
- $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.
- $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
- $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
- $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
- $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
- $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."
- $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
- $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
- $500 million for state and local fire stations.
- $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.
- $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.
- $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
- $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
- $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
- $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- $850 million for Amtrak.
- $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
- $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
- $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
In the free market, a company can only spend money on something useful. It is not profitable for a company to waste money on producing a useless product that nobody will use. For the government there is no incentive. It could spend $850 million on trains that nobody rides, and there is no consequence. Since the government cannot create wealth out of thin air, it has to be redirected out of the free market and into the hands of the government through taxes or inflation of the money supply. Government spending draws resources from productive endeavors in the free market to wasteful government projects. This will only further weaken the economy. The key to fixing our economic crisis is to get money out of the wasteful hands of the government and back into the pockets of the American people, where their spending, saving, and investment will use it to stimulate the economy.