The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Reasons to Vote Against the Economic Stimulus

From a Republican on the House Appropriations Committee via the Weekly Standard:


TO: Members of the Appropriations Committee

FROM: Mark Kirk

DATE: January 21, 2009

RE: Things You Should Know About the Stimulus Bill

Here are some things you should know about the bill before our Committee today:

A. Large Taxpayer Cost Per Job Saved

Combined with the provisions of the Ways & Means Committee, this legislation will cost taxpayers $825 billion and claims to save “3.7 million” jobs. That means the government will save each job at an average cost of $222,972. Combined with the previous $700 billion bailout bill, the cost per job saved by recent congressional spending is $412,162 per job saved. On average, the private sector created 2007 jobs at a cost of $50,283 per job.

B. Most Items Are Unrelated to Economic Stimulus

The legislation contains 152 separate appropriations. Only 34 line items have estimates in the committee report estimating jobs saved. 117 appropriations have no job saving estimate at all.

C. Major Job Producing Items Cost $65 Billion

Just 11 appropriations out of the 152 in the bill generate over 1,846,800 jobs at a total cost of $65 billion. These programs that have the highest payoff are some of the lower cost items:

1. Highway Infrastructure Investment (835,000 jobs, $35,928 each) $30B
2. Clean Water State Revolving Fund (282,000 jobs, $21,276 each) $6B
3. Transit Capital Assistance (165,000 jobs, $36,363 each) $6B
4. Child Care Development Block Grant (125,000 jobs, $16,000 each) $2B
5. Weatherization Assistance (104,000 jobs, $59,615 each) $6.2B
6. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (94,000 jobs, $21,276 each) $2B
7. Grants-in-Aid for Airports (75,000 jobs, $40,000 each) $3B
8. Head Start (50,000 jobs, $42,000 each) $2.1B
9. State Energy Program (41,000 jobs, $82,926 each) $3.4B
10. Energy Efficiency & Conservation Grants (40,800 jobs, $85,784 each) $3.5B
11. Capital Investment Grants (35,000 jobs, $28,571 each) $1B

D. Bill Language Requires Extremely Fast Spending

Under Title I of the bill, all formula grants must be allocated within 30 days and all discretionary grants must be allocated within 90 days. This will require unprecedented speeds in federal spending.

E. Few and Friendly Economists Cited in Report, CBO Ignored

CBO reported that of the $550 billion in spending approved by this bill, only $26 billion will be spent in FY09. Of the $30 billion appropriated for highways, only $3 billion will be spent in FY09 and $4.2 billion in FY10. Over $60 billion of spending in the bill will not be spent during President Obama’s first term. CBO’s comment on the bill is not mentioned in the committee report.

The Committee report does cite the work of only three economists supporting this legislation: President Obama’s Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer, Vice President Biden’s economic advisor, Jared Bernstein, and Mark Zandi of Moody’s Zandi is a political contributor to Sen. John McCain and Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). Zandi is quoted no less than six times.

F. Despite $550B in Spending, No Funds for Troops in Field

Despite spending $550 billion, no funds are provided for troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. The Defense Department estimates they will need $60-$80 billion soon to support immediate combat operations.

G. Funds Specifically Prohibited for Casinos, Aquariums and Pools, Not Bars
The text of the bill specifically prohibits funding from this bill to support “casinos, gaming institutions, aquariums, zoos, golf courses or swimming pools.” The prohibition does not mention bars or the pornography industry.

H. No Bipartisan Oversight

The bill creates an Accountability and Transparency Board. All board members are appointees of the President.

I. No Analysis of Unprecedented Trillion Borrowing Triggered by the Bill

There is no mention of the borrowing needed to finance this bill. CBO projects that if this legislation is passed, the federal government will need to borrow over $2 Trillion in the coming months. This will increase the public debt from $6 Trillion to $8 Trillion in a matter of weeks. No bond market has ever handled so much debt sold so quickly.

J. Very High Cost Broadband Provided at Taxpayer Expense

The bill creates a rural broadband program at a cost of $2.8 billion to serve 3.6 million people. Under these terms, the bill will provide broadband to rural (but not urban or suburban Americans) at a taxpayer cost of $784 each.

K. Funding Provided for Programs About to be Out-of-Date

The bill appropriates $650 million for digital-to-analog converter boxes despite the impending deadline of the program, announced two years ago of February 17, 2009.

My thoughts: The only good I see out of this is the provision for broadband internet service in rural communities; they’re at a disadvantage without them. Even that, though, seems like a high price to pay for it.

You have to assume that President Obama would have the foresight to appoint a bipartisan board to keep oversight of the stimulus monies spent. We’ll see.

I’d like to know what the other 117 items in the bill are? And is this really a “stimulus” if it costs $65 billion to start it up? And why the 30-90 days to get it all done? The effects from the first stimulus package weren’t seen until months down the road.


Written by Coby Dillard

January 27, 2009 at 12:31 pm

One Response

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  1. We all know the help Acorn gave the Democrats in stealing winning the last election. What was in it for them? Is 4 billion dollars enough?
    Democrats attempt to pay off Acorn

    The Intellectual Redneck

    January 27, 2009 at 10:15 pm

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