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.


Bafflegabbed said...

So, money being sent home to families with kids in college expands the government?

Special Ed funding too?

If you switch education to the "E" category where it belongs, significantly more $ is in "E" than "G."

RKL said...

I think you went pretty easy with some of those choices.

As an aside, in the mail today I received my yearly bonus check. While the value wasn't much it is nice to get a little extra for all my hard work last year. Oh and by the way, the government took 40% of my bonus from me. A true stimulus would be to cut government spending and let people keep more of what they earn. But as we know, this isn't about a stimulus, it's about getting people hooked on the "crack cocaine" of government aid.


Desman said...

RKL: wait till you see how much they take out after the Obama tax hikes are enacted.

Bafflegabbed: No, money in my pocket to help pay for my daughter's education will not bring jobs to New York. If they want to help education, stop requiring my kids take courses on "diversity in America." What a waste of my money and taxpayer money. Is it any wonder we are falling behind India, Japan and China?

Publius said...

Concerning Bafflegabbed comment

He misses the point. Of course it expands the government. The government is expanded to set up systems and an agency to take your money in the first place, then it is expanded to give it back to you, then it is expanded under the guise of needing to measure the effectiveness of how the money was spent.

Not to put too fine a point in things, I can and will take care of the education of my kids myself and I do not ask bafflegabbed to do it for me. Likewise, I refuse to participate in bafflegabs robbing of me via some government feel good program so as to educate his.

As to Special Ed - Yup that is what people need to be thinking about when they are making dem babies - that it is their responsibility to care for their child - not mine. How dare you think it to be OK that via a government program that confiscates my money that I have to chip in to pay for your child. No Hillary, it does NOT take a village. It takes me.

Problem in America these days is that nobody wants to tell Johnny and Mary the reality of where steak comes from. So then, if my child needs Special Ed, that falls on me not you. To think otherwise puts both feet on the steep and slippery slope whereby the same tools used to justify the claim that a tribe members "problems" belong to the tribe and that it is the tribes responsibility to "make up the difference", will be used to argue the the fruits of a man's labor belong to the tribe too - i.e., that the tribe gets to (determine what I get to keep)

Oh but wait - this is exactly what is happening right now.

PS ALL these things expand government power and should get a "G". If you don't want to pay for your sewer treatment plant, or school, etc., yourself at your local level, then do not ask ME to pay for it.

Bafflegabbed said...

Publius, you've conveniently left out the part where my "robbing" you in order to keep education affordable, helps lower unemployment (in the long-run) and in doing so, ensures that more people are employed and spending there money. Investment in education is a safeguard for capitalism in a democracy.

You say that you are capable of paying for all sorts of things yourself. That's nice. We would all love to live in the sort of idyllic world where just minding oneself and one's own is enough. However, this is America. For nearly 233 years patriotic Americans have been making small (and large) sacrifices in order to ensure that their fellow Americans might have the chance to succeed. If you don't want to live in a place where you are expected to contribute to you nation's overall success, than I suggest you move. The America you seem to want sounds a lot more like Mexico to me. Maybe you'd be happier there.