For the Non-Believers

John Campbell
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Posted: Jan 29, 2009 2:16 PM
I listened to many of the speeches given by supporters of the bill yesterday. I also had the opportunity to question the Director of the Congressional Budget Office on the subject. The tepid arguments and weak rebuttals of the proponents here lead me to believe that perhaps even they know that this is not really about stimulus. Being generous, I can say that maybe 25% of the items in this bill have some multiplier effect. But the rest is just spending. Just 2 months ago, President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, said “Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."  

Couple that statement with the President’s repeated comments yesterday that this is just “the first” in a series of economic recovery actions, and it becomes clearer to me that this bill is really about getting about a 20% annual increase in non-entitlement federal spending right now, and paying for it with tax increases to be named later. The public would not stand for that in the normal course of politics.

If you don’t believe that, I hereby submit for your consideration a document that was sent to me by a Democratic Congresswoman from California in order to entice me to vote for the package because of the money that California would receive. It actually pushed me even further in the opposite direction. I think it will have the same affect on you so here is link. Virtually all the spending in here is merely the federal government paying for programs that the state is already doing. In another case,  billions of dollars are allocated for more school construction, at a time when we have just borrowed and spent $30 billion on school construction in California, and where some of our failing schools happen to be housed in beautiful new buildings.  The State of California will get a $32 billion spending increase in this bill, paid for by federal taxpayers. I hope that the idea of raising taxes in California will be dead now. Isn’t $32 billion more spending enough for now?