Thursday, February 26, 2009

Earmarks, or Don't You Just Trust These Guys Implicitly?

[the 2009 omnibus spending bill] also includes $208,000 to control a weed known as cogongrass in Mississippi; $1.2 million to control cormorants in Michigan, Mississippi, New York and Vermont; $1 million to control Mormon crickets in Utah; and $162,000 to control rodents in Hawaii.                                 
The above is in addition to nearly 9000 other earmarks, worth nearly $8,000,000,000.  This according to the New York Times, February 25 ,2009  (House Passes Spending Bill, and Critics Are Quick to Point Out Pork, by Robert Pear).   If the Times published it, the article probably underestimates the amount of pork.   I guess this is what the attendees at Obama's fiscal responsibility summit had in mind:   Take taxpayer money and use it to buy votes.  


The photo of Iago and Othello is from the New York Times also.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

F for Congress

The following article appeared in The Warwick Advertiser, a local newspaper in Orange County, New York, on Friday, February 20, 2009. I am going to grade the stimulus plan, much as a high school teacher might grade a homework assignment. The New York delegation, in particular, think they are very smart. Lets see how they did on this little project. For each answer, the grade will be “E” if it is something that is likely to stimulate the Economic growth by creation of jobs, or “G” if it likely to stimulate Government growth via expansion or creation of liberal social engineering programs. If there are more E’s than G’s, Congress gets an “A,” but if there are more G’s than E’s, Congress gets an “F.”

Early details for NY in stimulus package
By The Associated Press

According to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, the economic stimulus package, subject to final congressional approval, contains roughly $20 billion for New Yorkers over 27 months, including:

$8.6 billion of additional Medicaid money for the state, $2.8 billion for New York City, $929 million for upstate counties and $262 million for Long Island. G

$2.7 billion in stabilization funds for education G

$800 million for special education funding G

$1 billion Title 1 education funding G

$87.5 million for drinking water projects E

$439 million for sewage projects E

$1 billion for highway funding E

$1.3 billion for mass transit E

$403 million for weatherization E

$96 million for hiring extra police G

$390 million for the public housing capital fund in New York City G

$98 million for community development block grants for the state G

$142 million for homelessness prevention G

$251 million for governments and community groups to offer affordable housing and rental assistance to the poor G

College tuition tax benefit up to $2,500 per student for middle-class taxpayers G

Totals: 10 G’s, 5 E’s

Looks like Congress fails again. So its back to middle school for all of them, including Chuck Schumer. I think I was pretty generous with the E’s, too. Mass transit? An economic stimulus? Give me a break. It certainly will not help us in upstate New York. But I have to confess something: I am no Bobby Jindal. If they offer me a $2500. Tax break for my daughter’s college tuition, I am not going to refuse it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


According to David Espo, AP, President Obama said the following:
This historic step won't be the end of what we do to turn our economy
around, but rather the beginning. The problems that
led us into this crisis are
deep and widespread, and our
response must be equal to the task.
[emphasis added]

Deep and widespread? I would say the problems that led us into the recession spread from Barney Frank's senate desk to Christopher Dodd's. Maybe with a via point at Senator Barack Obama's. Does the Obama forget how these democrats pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to guarantee bad mortgages? Does he forget the hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions he received from Fannie and Freddie? Does he forget the sweetheart mortgage rates Dodd was granted by Countrywide, and that Countrywide has already received big bailout bucks that all three of these phonies voted for?

The new era of openness, honesty, and transparency has begun. How come I feel like I am looking through frosted glass?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Porky and Harry


In another bit of liberal condescension, my senator, Charles E. Schumer, referred to those who object to the economic bailout bill as the "chattering class." Then he went on to say that the American People do not care about the "porky amendments" in the bailout bill. Few things irk me more than a politician--especially a self-serving liar like Chuck Schumer--saying what the American people want, or care about, or think; or what we expect from our fearless leaders in Washington. But I am proud to be included in the "chattering class." We chatterers are American citizens exercising our First Amendment rights. Chuck would just LOVE it if we could be shut up. That is why this boondoggle of a bailout bill, this blatant purchase of political power, has been kept secret right up to the eleventh hour, when it is too late to do anything about it. That is why, on a daily basis, democrat after democrat demagogues the so-called fairness doctrine. That is why Obama is misappropriating the Census Bureau to the executive branch, where Rahmbo will have control of it.

Chuck Schumer is one of those democrats who objected to the rush to war after 9/11. It was a year and a half after 9/11 before President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. The Obama has been president for what, three weeks, and we must pass this bill now! Even 48 hours of delay is too much. Why? Because the chattering classes and work-a-day Americans might actually learn what is in it if they wait too long. Thus we begin the new era of openness, honesty, and transparency in our federal government.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Japan, Role Model for the U.S.?

Yesterday, the New York Times front page contained this article: "Japan’s Stimulus Push Holds Lessons for U.S.," by Martin Fackler. The gist of the article is that, in the 1990s, when Japan’s economy went down the tubes, the Japanese government spent over $6 trillion on public works projects, mostly construction-related, to spur the economy back to life. After 10 years of this, the Japanese were still in a recession. The most telling paragraph in the article is this(P. A10):

Among ordinary Japanese, the spending is widely disparaged for having turned the nation into a public-works-based welfare state and making regional economies dependent on Tokyo for jobs. Much of the blame has fallen
on the Liberal Democratic Party, which has long used government spending to grease rural vote-buying machines that help keep the party in power. [emphasis added]

Sound familiar? Suppose we paraphrase Fackler(changes in italics):

Among ordinary Americans, the spending is widely
disparaged for havingturned the nation into a public-works-basedwelfare state and making regional economies dependent on Washington for jobs. Much of the blame has fallen on the liberal Democrat Party,which has long used governmentspending to grease rural,
city, and
vote-buying machines--
such as unions,
Acorn, the ACLU,the NAACP, La Raza, etc
.--that help keep
the party in power.

Will ordinary Americans (or, as Dan Rather used to call us, “work-a-day Americans”) be as smart as “ordinary Japanese”, and realize what a colossal power-grab this so-called stimulus package is? I am not optimistic.