Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Do We Get From the Stimulus Bill?

At this point, the Wall Street Journal quotes: "The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said government borrowing prompted by enactment of the plan would add another $347 billion, pushing the estimated cost of the stimulus plan to more than $1 trillion, including interest.

So what do we get for over a trillion dollars?

According to NewsMax, possibly up to $5.2 billion for ACORN and ACORN-like groups.

The International Herald Tribune is reporting that illegal immigrants will be eligible for the $500 and $1000 rebate checks; I guess we're going to have to include them on the list of people who get a check from the government but don't pay taxes. Please quit insulting us and calling that a tax cut.

The Opinion Journal notes:

$1 billion for AMTRAK
$2 billion for childcare subsidies
$50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts
$400 million for global-warming research
$2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects
$650 million for digital TV conversion
$8 billion for renewable energy funding
$6 billion for mass transit
$600 million for the government to purchase new cars, because $3 billion a year just isn't enough $7 billion to modernize federal buildings
$252 billion in income-transfer payments ( including: Medicaid $81B, $36B unemployment, $20B food stamps, $83B earned income credit to those who don't even pay taxes)
$54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits
$66 billion toward "education" including $6 billion toward university building projects with the caveat that "No recipient . . . shall use such funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools."

And Drudge is breaking

$335 million for STD prevention and education

This from House Republicans, POC Congressman Mike Pence

􀂾 $87 billion for Medicaid spending for states and $79 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. According to the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the total budget deficit for the states collectively for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2009 is $43 billion. Given that the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2009 deficit is already projected at $1.2 trillion—or 27.5 times greater than the total State shortfall—it is hard to understand why the Democrats would choose to further exacerbate the federal deficit, especially since most states are subject to balanced budget requirements whereas the federal government is not.

􀂾 $80 billion for refundable tax-credits. Unlike across the board tax cuts, these temporary tax credits send refund payments directly to individuals, even if they pay no taxes. These refunds do little to spur growth, create more jobs, or stimulate the economy and are more similar to new spending through tax policy than actual tax cuts.

􀂾 $30 billion—only 3.6% of the total spending—for highway construction. Despite calls by Democrats for increased infrastructure spending to create jobs, a relatively small share of the total $816 billion package is devoted to highway and transportation infrastructure.

􀂾 $13 billion in spending that could be construed as corporate welfare, which distorts the free market as private firms attempt to align their business models with the availability of government subsidies.

􀂾 $50 million in new funds for the Student Aid Administration to increase staff.

􀂾 $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts to fund projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector.

􀂾 $350 million to identify and track the availability and adoption of broadband services.

􀂾 $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

􀂾 $1 billion for expenses in conjunction to the 2010 decennial census.

􀂾 $200 million for Americorps and other paid volunteerism programs.

􀂾 $800 million for Amtrak—the federal subsidized rail carrier which consistently losses money—for the purpose of reducing Amtrak’s $10 billion capital backlog.

􀂾 $200 million for turf replacements and other construction projects on the National Mall.

􀂾 $400 million for NASA climate change research.

􀂾 $150 million for building repairs at the Smithsonian.
􀂾 $10 million for the Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership and Opportunity Program, which provides funds for non-profits like ACORN, an organization that has been accused of practicing unlawful voter registration and intimidation techniques in the past.

􀂾 $253 million for repairing Department of Agriculture (USDA) facilities.

􀂾 $650 million for Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupons and related activities surrounding the ongoing transition to digital television.

􀂾 $300 million to construct research science buildings at colleges and universities, many of which have billion dollar endowments.

􀂾 $1 billion to conduct "comparative effectiveness research" to evaluate the effectiveness of different preventative healthcare interventions.

􀂾 $88 million for the cost of leasing a new facility and moving the headquarters of the Public Health Service, which houses 2,500 federal employees.

􀂾 $245 million to modernize the computer systems at the Farm Service Agency.

􀂾 $150 million for the Coast Guard to alter or remove 12 obstructive bridges across the country.

􀂾 According to CBO, under current law, the federal deficit will rise to a record $1.2 trillion, or 8.3% of GDP, in 2009. Even without this massive spending bill, the deficit will be by far the highest on record nominally and as a percentage of GDP during peacetime, easily exceeding the previous record of 6% in 1983 and the highest New Deal level of 5.9% in 1934.
􀂾 CBO estimates that H.R. 1 would cost $816 billion, which does not include debt service for the interest created by the legislation over the 2009-2019 period. When the $347 billion in debt service is included, the total ten year cost of the bill increases to $1.16 trillion.
􀂾 The cost of the stimulus, combined with the current deficit estimates, would raise the staggering 2009 deficit to roughly $1.36 trillion.
􀂾 CBO reports that $526 billion (65%) of the bill will be spent by 2011. However, the vast majority of that money ($382 billion) would be spent on expanded federal assistance programs and tax credit refunds. Only $144 billion would be spent on infrastructure spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy in 2009 and 2010.

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