White House, Senate and House negotiators reportedly are close to agreement on a $789 billion “stimulus” package that allegedly includes 35% tax cuts. No one really knows, though, what is in the bill, which apparently was assembled without any Republican input. Yesterday, the House voted unanimously to make the final text of the bill available on the internet for 48 hours before a vote is taken on it, so that the American people can have some idea what is being voted on. It doesn’t appear, though, that this will be done.
Actually, the way the bill is written it is very difficult to tell where the money will go. Generally it just authorizes a category of spending–in large, round numbers–without saying what, specifically, the money will go for. I guess you just have to know what the Dems have in mind. This morning Michael Steel of the House Republican caucus wrote:
One of the proudest boasts of Democrats supporting their trillion-dollar spending plan is that it doesn’t contain earmarks. But it seems like powerful Democrats will still find a way to bring home the bacon. Appropriations Committee Republicans have been asking federal agencies exactly how the pots of money in the bill will be spent – since much of the spending isn’t explicitly spelled out in the legislation. One response? Thirty million dollars for wetland restoration in the San Francisco Bay Area – including work to protect the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. Hrmm … this sounds like spending projects that have been supported by a certain powerful Democrat in the past. And it certainly doesn’t sound like it will create or save American jobs. So can Speaker Pelosi explain exactly how we will improve the American economy by helping the adorable little fellow pictured below?
The Democrats really seem to believe the absurd proposition put forward by President Obama that all spending is stimulative–apparently equally so–so it doesn’t really matter what the “stimulus” money is spent on. The salt marsh harvest mouse will therefore make out better, in the Dems’ plan, than the taxpayer.
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