Austin Hill

You did hear about “Booty Call,” didn’t you?

I’ll have a “Booty Call Update,” in seconds. But first, let’s take a look at the disastrous, so-called “economic stimulus bill” making its way through Congress.

What’s not to love about it? Plenty. The bill has little to do with “stimulating the economy,” and lots to do with expanding the size and scope of public welfare programs. Two billion of our tax dollars devoted to Child Care Block Grants. $120 million for the hiring of part time workers at senior citizen’s community centers. $87 billion for Medicaid “family planning services” (contraception). $650 million to “assist” Americans in buying digital TV converter devices.

Forget tax cuts, or added deductions, that might encourage investors to risk their capital in new, job-creating business ventures. This is about your government employing more daycare workers, preventing pregnancy, and protecting you from the hardship and horror of having to pay for your own digital TV converter.

And then, of course, there’s the $335 million allotted for education on sexually transmitted diseases. And yes, part of this effort involves funding for an “educational program” entitled “Booty Call.” We can all imagine what gets stimulated with participation in a “Booty Call” program - - but it is certainly not the economy.

After passage in the House of Representatives (and with no Republican support at all), the bill is now being considered in the Senate, where it is already being met with opposition from the Democratic majority. One of the nay-sayers, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri said of the bill “whether it is the National Endowment of the Arts or some of the STD funding or contraceptive funding, all we did was just tee up ammunition for the other side to tear this thing down. And I would like to think we are smarter than that. I'm hopeful on the Senate side we will be smarter than that.”

Call me crazy, but it sounds like Senator McCaskill is tacitly admitting that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s idea of “economic stimulus” is not smart. I’ll take it a step further and declare it to be dumb.

But Speaker Pelosi was not the only high ranking government official to display a frightening level of economic illiteracy last week. None other than President Obama himself, in an extemporaneous, and not-so-eloquent moment in front of reporters, had another anti-business tirade last Thursday. Ostensibly, he was upset over reports of bonuses being paid to executives who head-up poorly performing companies. Some of these companies had even been recipients of government “bailout funds.”

The President said that the executives’ conduct was “shameful” and the “height of irresponsibility.” But are corporate CEO’s really to blame for this? If a corporation is paying a big bonus to an executive who shrinks the business, instead of growing it, that’s a huge mistake on behalf of the corporate board of directors, not the executive that the board employs. And the most irresponsible and “shameful” part of this is that our federal government “bails out,” and subsidizes, this kind of corporate dysfunction in the first place.

But worse yet, in this midst of his moral indignation, President Obama said of the executives “there will be time for them (corporate executives) to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses -- now is not that time.” Is President Obama really so economically illiterate that he thinks that the words “profits” and “bonuses” are to be used interchangeably? Or, as is usually the case for socialists, does he actually believe that, indeed, executives should not be producing profits right now?

The Republican minority in Congress is facing a tremendous opportunity in all of this - - an opportunity to point out the obvious. Some Representative or Senator needs to get bold, and set the record straight: the “economic downturn,” the very “crisis” that Speaker Pelosi and President Obama purport to be saving us from, has unfolded precisely because corporations are not producing adequate profits. And things won’t improve until businesses begin to produce greater profits once again.

But wait, there’s more! Congressional Republicans now have an opportunity to atone for their own reckless ways earlier this decade, and return to a truly conservative vision of the appropriate role of government in the lives of the American people.

Opposing federally-funded “STD education” and contraception programs is appropriate. But it is inappropriate to push for federally funded “abstinence only education” and “marriage enrichment” programs at the same time. The Bush-era, “big government is okay as long as it advances my interests” approach has to be abandoned - - NOW - - and the sooner Congressional Republicans assume this stance, the sooner the party will begin to regain its momentum.

Government-funded “Booty Call” is bad. Corporate profits are good. And marriage, and sex education, are far too important to entrust to government bureaucracies.


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.