Thursday, February 05, 2009

Federal Self-Stimulation

Federal Self-Stimulation

Today our fearless leader has posted an Op-Ed in the Wapo, claiming that the sky will fall if congress does not give him another trillion dollars immediately. Democrat chicken littles in the Senate have taken up this clarion call to decisive action. Apparently the reason for the brinksmanship is that more and more of We the People are deciding the bill is a bad idea every day. And with good reason.

In today's Wall Street Journal Daniel Henninger offers his take on the bill and its concentration on giving most of the money to themselves. A sample:
Check your PC's virus program, then pull down the nearly 700 pages of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Dive into its dank waters and what is most striking is how much "stimulus" money is being spent on the government's own infrastructure. This bill isn't economic stimulus. It's self-stimulus.

(All sums here include the disorienting zeros, as in the bill.)

Title VI, Financial Services and General Government, says that "not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be used for construction, repair, and alteration of Federal buildings." There's enough money there to name a building after every Member of Congress.

The Bureau of Land Management gets $325,000,000 to spend fixing federal land, including "trail repair" and "remediation of abandoned mines or well sites," no doubt left over from the 19th-century land rush.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting $462,000,000 for "equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities, including necessary repairs and improvements to leased laboratories."
The Opinion Journal Widget

The National Institute of Standards gets $357,000,000 for the "construction of research facilities." The Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets $427,000,000 for that. The country is in an economic meltdown and the federal government is redecorating.

The FBI gets $75,000,000 for "salaries and expenses." Inside the $6,200,000,000 Weatherization Assistance Program one finds "expenses" of $500,000,000. How many bureaucrats does it take to "expense" a half-billion dollars?

The current, Senate-amended version now lists "an additional amount to be deposited in the Federal Buildings Fund, $9,048,000,000." Of this, "not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be available for measures necessary to convert GSA facilities to High-Performance Green Buildings." High performance?

Sen. Tom Coburn is threatening to read the bill on the floor of the Senate. I have a better idea: Read it on "Saturday Night Live."
This is no laughing matter though. It is nothing less than a bald-faced plan to take an immense amount of power from us and empower the Faceless Federals, far beyond what the constitution allows and in a way that the founders most feared. These self serving myrmidons of power fully intend to get themselves past the tipping point, and make more than half the electorate directly beholden to them, with jobs or checks "refunding" taxes they never paid. Prior to the founding of this great nation philosophers debated the very idea of a large nation operating under a system of republican democracy, and some believed that no democracy could survive beyond the point that a majority found that it could vote itself largess from the treasury. We are at that point today. If this monstrous idea is enacted, if this bill passes in its present form, we will have passed that point.