Posts Tagged ‘stimulus’
In Obama’s fantasy world of make believe, he thinks that just by saying so, it is so.
Case in point. At Recovery.gov the White House lists 30 jobs saved or created in Arizona’s 15th Congressional District by spending $761,000. Uh, small problem. Arizona only has eight Congressional Districts.
As John Shadegg asks, “Is this the same federal government Democrats want to entrust with our healthcare?”
I think the answer is obvious.
U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood (former Republican Congressman from Ill.) pulled one of the more outrageous acts of arrogance I have seen from a bureaucrat in a long time. After Sen. Jon Kyl criticized the lack of stimulus coming from the “Stimulus” funding, LaHood wrote a letter to Gov. Brewer asking if she agreed with Kyl and if she prefers “to forfeit the money we are making available to the state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know.”
George Will had lunch with LaHood a couple months ago, and then wrote about it:
LaHood, however, has been transformed. Indeed, about three bites into lunch, the T word lands with a thump: He says he has joined a “transformational” administration: “I think we can change people’s behavior.” Government “promoted driving” by building the Interstate Highway System—”you talk about changing behavior.” He says, “People are getting out of their cars, they are biking to work.” High-speed intercity rail, such as the proposed bullet train connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco, is “the wave of the future.” And then, predictably, comes the P word: Look, he says, at Portland, Ore.
Riding the aforementioned wave to Portland, which liberals hope is a harbinger of America’s future, has long been their aerobic activity of choice. But LaHood is a Republican, for Pete’s sake, the party (before it lost its bearings) of “No, we can’t” and “Actually, we shouldn’t” and “Not so fast” and “Let’s think this through.” Now he is in full “Yes we can!” mode. Et tu, Ray?
McCain has now weighed in on LaHood’s childish letter to the Governor:
“That is one of the more arrogant and elitist statements that I’ve ever heard,” McCain, R-Ariz., told The Arizona Republic during an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “It’s not their money; it’s the money of the Arizona . And they are making the money available to our state? Since when do they have that authority? Of course, we question the stimulus. It has been a failure.”
LaHood needs to go back to Peoria, Ill. and get back in touch with real America. The Potomac fever is gone to his head.
Representative Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) penned a “My Turn” for the Arizona Republic justifying her vote for the stimulus bill. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think that her mentality about the role of government is one which must not be allowed to permeate younger generations or we will be destined to a permanent welfare state and a complete entitlement mentality.
Any right-thinking (not philosophically right, but correct) individual doesn’t want the federal government to “create jobs and help small business.” It’s not the role of government to “create jobs” – that’s the role of free enterprise. The best help the government could give small business is to get out of the way.
Yes, some of you are saying to yourselves, “Noble is just a throwback to the right-wing nuts who hate government.” You’re entitled to your opinion, but just because people mock those of us who care about the proper role of government, doesn’t make government intervention any less destructive.
When it cost a restaurant owner a $90,000 fee just to get plans approved by a city, after spending a small fortune on designing it to comply with a multitude of federal regulations, it creates less and less incentive for businesses to expand, create more jobs, inject more capital into the economy and make our communities better places to live.
We can’t have economic growth unless we have businesses that produce something. Government doesn’t produce anything that helps the economy. In fact, it largely produces things (laws and regulations) that hurt our economy.
Giffords goes on to write:
Standing by and doing nothing is not an option as retirement accounts dwindle, families lose and venerable American companies file for bankruptcy protection… This is not a time for partisan politics or sitting on the sidelines.
This is a cheap shot at Republicans who opposed the Democrat package. No Republican in the House or the Senate argued that we should do nothing. In fact, the only bi-partisan vote on a stimulus bill in the House was one submitted by Republicans that relied on tax reductions to help spur business investment. That garnered some Democrat support. Giffords tries to paint Republicans as do-nothing obstructionists who acted completely partisan, when it was the Democrats who refused to let Republicans in the room when the stimulus package was being negotiated.
Giffords may be using the typical Democrat talking points to justify her vote, but come 2010 she’s going to have to have answers to why this stimulus bill hasn’t worked.
Great clip of House GOP Minority Leader John Boehner:
It’s Friday the 13th, and I can’t think of a more appropriate day for the misnamed “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” to pass Congress. This bill is scary, it’s full of tricks and hidden agendas and it won’t help America’s economy recover. It passed the House with no Republican’s voting in favor.
Today’s editorial in the Los Angeles Times says that we’re getting too little actual stimulus in return for the amount of money that has been stuffed into the bill. And it is stuffed full of all kinds of things that will do little or nothing to actual promote economic growth. What’s worse, we don’t actually know what all is in the bill. Senate Democrats even admit publicly that they won’t be able to read it before they vote on it.
There are only about five people on the planet who actually know all of what is in the bill – and not one of them is an elected official. The “knowers” are a few high level staff members, which should make everyone nervous.
Staffers at that high level tend to be pretty ideological – particularly Democrat staff. I don’t mean that in a negative way, it’s just that Democrat staffers tend to work on the Hill longer than Republican staffers. I was there for 14 years, and that is increasingly less common in this day and age. I had Democrat colleagues who had staffed the Hill during Watergate, and they were still there.
No one (in their right mind) goes to work on the Hill to make a lot of money. It is a brutal existence and it takes very committed folks to do that grind year in and year out. But they do it because they are committed to their beliefs, their sense of public service, etc. And as it turns out, Democrat staffers stay on the Hill longer than Republican staffers.
And, most of them could never be elected by a vote of the people because they are “too extreme” in their belief – either left or right. The partisan posturing that politicians employ on CSPAN is child’s play compared to the ideological fights behind closed doors among the typical high level Hill staffers. I’m talking about Legislative Directors, Chiefs of Staff, Committee staff, etc. Those folks are committed to what they are doing to the point of making financial sacrifices to remain at the levers of power.
On the Hill, information is power. It’s the ultimate power. So when you can withhold information to keep the Members on board and not quibbling with the details, you can wield awesome power.
This entire exercise demonstrates why term limits won’t work. Staffers outwit, outplay and outlast most Members of Congress. They are the true survivors.
So now we learn that one of the reasons for the rush to pass a stimulus bill today is so that Speaker Nancy Pelosi can do a President’s Weekend trip to Rome.
This is either a showstopping, must-do crisis (which means it should be done thoughtfully and without rash actions), or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways, Madame Speaker.
Remember when Nancy Pelosi said, “This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history” under Democrat control? That was in November of 2006. Remember when Obama said that he would bring a new direction to Washington, and “clarity and transparency to our plan?” That was in November of 2008.
Well, those were hollow promises. Democrats are putting the stimulus bill on the floor Friday morning at 10 a.m. EST, and they didn’t put the language up on the web until 11:00 p.m. EST Thursday – a mere 10 hours before going to the floor – and in the middle of the night. Thus, they have broken another promise they made (in the form of House Rules) to put bills online for the public to read 48 hours before consideration.
Nice to see that all this talk about change is just that, talk.
Senate and House negotiators have announced a “deal” on the stimulus package. It will cost about $789 BILLION. Reportedly, Senate Democrats are stomping their feet in anger because education funding has been reduced, and, well, because they need to make it look like this really was a compromise.
Democrats know that Republicans would be critical, so if they got some of their liberal members to start yelling, it would look like it was “the middle of the road.”
This is what we call “creating the right optics” and I can pretty much guarantee that Rahm Emanual was the mastermind behind all this.
As reported in the New York Times, liberal lion, Tom Harkin, played the supporting role perfectly (emphasis mine):
Even before the last touches were put to the bill, the emerging deal infuriated some Democrats who said that President Obama and Congressional leaders had been too quick to give up on Democratic priorities. Some critics also suggested that the final figure was too small to be effective because of the grave condition of the American economy.
“I am not happy with it,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. “You are not looking at a happy camper. I mean, they took a lot of stuff out of education. They took it out of health, school construction and they put it more into tax issues.”
Usually, if Harkin is not happy, I am, which is exactly what Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Emanual want – they want us happy to have a “trimmed-down” stimulus bill. Well, it isn’t going to work for me. I’m standing right there by Harkin and I’m infuriated!
The health care provisions in the “de-stimulus” bill continue to gain attention. Rush Limbaugh talked about it today on his radio show, including a parody on Tom Daschle, and now Congressman John Shadegg has just released an update. Read it, and be afraid. Seriously.
Healthcare Danger Hidden in Stimulus
Americans are up in arms, decrying wasteful spending in the so-called stimulus bill. They should be. But one of the bill’s worst provisions has gone almost unnoticed, dangerously lurking below the radar of those exposing the bill’s flaws.
“Comparative Effectiveness Research,” sounds innocuous, but big-government programs always do. The $1.1 billion of the stimulus package earmarked for this project is a significant step toward government-run healthcare. Comparative effectiveness research is a tool for bureaucrats to decide which medical treatments Americans should or should not have access to.
In countries with government-run healthcare systems, comparative effectiveness is often used as an excuse to deny patients life-saving medical care on the grounds of cost-effectiveness. The healthcare board of the United Kingdom has repeatedly denied breakthrough drugs to citizens suffering with breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even multiple sclerosis on the grounds of comparative effectiveness. The British government has stripped citizens of the freedom to choose their own healthcare. Congressman David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has already admitted as much. Just read his own words from the committee report on the stimulus, talking about this provision: “Those items, procedures, and interventions… that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed.” We must not allow it.
Comparative effectiveness “research” presents a danger to freedom of healthcare choice in America. And if the potential consequences of the study alone don’t scare you, recall President Obama’s failed nominee to oversee the Department of Health and Social Services. In his own book, Critical, Daschle talks about his desire to create a federal planning board to make Americans’ healthcare decisions. While Americans may have dodged a bullet with Daschle, the fight against government-run healthcare is only beginning.
“Thank You For Smoking” is a funny book (and later a movie) by Christopher Buckley (as in the son of William F. Buckley) about a tobacco lobbyist and the trials and turmoil that he must endure lobbying for “evil.” He even gets kidnapped and covered with nicotine patches, almost dies, but is actually saved because the years of smoking built up an immunity to nicotine, but then can never smoke again, because of the sensitivity. It’s funnier than that sounds, really.
However, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
Congress passed the SCHIP reauthorization bill last week. SCHIP stands for “State Children’s Health Insurance Program.” You know, it’s about the kids.
One of the problems with the bill, is that in order to fund the massive expansion, there is an increase in the tobacco tax. But, the amount of funding needed to pay for this expansion can’t be covered by the number of current smokers. In order to make up the shortfall, more than 22 million Americans would have to take up the habit!
With that in mind, this part of the Stimulus bill is particularly interesting:
$75 million for “smoking cessation activities”
So, last week we need 22 million people to start smoking “for the children.” This week we are going to use taxpayer money to try to get them to quit.
This is like a cheap dimestore horror story, but worse, because it is actually our own government at work. Instills a lot of confidence, huh?