The Top-Ten Bottom Feeders
By William Warren
What do $21 million worth of sod, $650 million in digital TV coupons, and $4.19 billion to the notoriously corrupt ACORN conspiracy have to do with stimulating the economy? Most people would agree: Absolutely nothing.
Nevertheless, Congressional Democrats' continue to insist that their $825 billion package—in which the aforementioned three are included—is, in fact, a genuine “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Names, however, can be deceiving, and H.R.1 proves that stinkweed by any other name smells as rancid.
The 647-page legislation not only caters to some of the hard-left's most cherished special interests, but it also contains the kind of rampant pork-barrel spending that would make Harry Reid's engorged omnibus bills appear slim pickings by comparison.
Making matters even worse, the Congressional Budget Office has reported that the “stimulus” bill won't have much of a stimulating impact on the economy for years. Moreover, the House Ways and Means Committee has found that the actual job creation by H.R.1 is largely mythical as well.
The only certainty is that a whole lot of the far-left special interests and pork projects are being funneled quite a significant amount of American taxpayers' hard-earned money—all, or course, in the name of “economic recovery.”
So now, without further ado, we present, in no particular order, ten of the most despicable bottom-feeders the so-called “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” seeks to engorge at the expense of the hard-working taxpayer:
1. $4.19 billion to ACORN – According to House Minority Leader John Boehner's website, the legislation makes ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) eligible for $4.19 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities.” Although originally intended for other groups, House Democrats are pushing to make the money available to far left community organizations like ACORN.
ACORN's numerous counts of voter registration fraud, federal investigations, and extensive role in the collapse of the housing market and subsequent financial meltdown are apparently of no concern to Congressional Democrats. After all, the Democrats owe them for all the hard work ACORN has done for them over the years—whether on or off the record.
2. $200 million for the beautification of the National Mall, including $21 million for sod – Although it probably won't grow the economy or jobs, at least it will grow the grass. And that's not the kind of green Americans desperately need now.
3. Over $200 million for contraceptives and the abortion industry – Perhaps one of the most controversial measures included in the “stimulus” bill is the plan to use taxpayer money to finance the expanded federal funding of contraceptives, “family planning” services, and abortions.
When asked on ABC how such a provision helps the economy, Nancy Pelosi offered up “no apologies”, remarking that the money would “reduce costs to the state and to the federal government,” apparently meaning that poor people are simply too much of a drain.
4. $650 million for digital TV coupons – When the national February 17th transition to digital television ensues, Democrats insist—to the tune of $650 million—that the American people must continue to watch their TVs. After all, how else would the public receive their left-wing propaganda that passes for news? Heaven knows the internet and radio news outlets are much more balanced and far less sympathetic to the Big Government agenda than their television counterparts.
5. $136 billion for the creation of at least 32 new government programs – As Representative Boehner's website explains, more than a third of H.R.1's spending provisions would go towards growing the government—not the economy.
6. $600 million for new cars for the federal bureaucrats – Although Democrats are doing all they can to encourage Americans to sacrifice their planet-warming vehicles on the altar of environmentalism, they are ensuring that those in the government will have a garage-full of shiny new cars to take out on afternoon drives around the lush National Mall.
7. $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts – In short, elitism lives.
8. $6 billion for colleges and universities – As Mr. Boehner also points out, many of these higher learning institutions already have billion dollar endowments. And, as ALG News Bureau has pointed out, taxpayer financed four-year colleges are as exorbitant as they may be antiquated.
9. $300 billion to bail out state governments – Even the fiscally inept states like California and New York are asking for a federal bailout. It appears the days of state governments taking care of themselves and balancing their own budgets are over. And, of course, the federal government is more than willing to capitulate. As Representative Boehner remarked:
““[P]roviding $300 billion of this package to states—$166 billion in direct aid to the states, another $140 billion in education funding—this is not going to do anything, anything to stimulate our economy, to help the—our ailing economy.”
10. Increased spending on over 150 different federal programs – In their “targeted” plan, Democrats have embraced a shot-gun approach to funding such programs as Amtrak, despite the fact that only a minuscule number of Americans use—or ever can use—the service.
In summary, the top ten bottom-feeder list is meant to illustrate that Congressional Democrats have little intention of actually stimulating the economy in an effective manner. And, or course, the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” comes up embarrassingly short on efforts to cut taxes in any meaningful way.
Employing scare-tactics and painting grim pictures of a looming economic wasteland, Big Government is seizing the opportunity to slip in special interest payouts and reckless pork spending under the guise of “economic recovery.”
Hopefully the nation's leaders will recover some common sense and muster the willpower to stop the so-called “stimulus” bill when it ultimately comes up for a vote in Congress.
If not, however, the bottom-feeders will continue to feed, the trough will only get larger, and the taxpayer will be forced to barely survive off of the leftovers as the federal budget grows and the household budget sinks to the sustenance level.
William Warren is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.