Home > Uncategorized > AND THE BEAT GOES ON… By Lynn Stuter

AND THE BEAT GOES ON… By Lynn Stuter

February 17, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

On September 22, 2008, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Also Known As (AKA) Obama stated,

These are the types of reform I will pursue beginning on my very first day in office as President of the United States – political reform, government reform, and regulatory reform.

First, I’ll reform our special interest-driven politics. When I am President, I will start by closing the revolving door in the White House that has allowed people to use their Administration job as a stepping stone to further their lobbying careers.

I’ll make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama Administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer, or your bank account – it’s about serving your country. When you walk into my administration, you will not be able to work on regulations or contracts directly related to your former employer for two years. And when you leave, you will not be able to lobby my Administration – ever. I will also institute an absolute gift ban so that no registered lobbyist can curry favor with members of my administration based on how much they can spend on a fancy dinner.

I’ll make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people’s business. As Justice Louis Brandeis once said, sunlight is the greatest disinfectant. As President, I will make it impossible for Congressmen or lobbyists to slip pork-barrel projects or corporate welfare into laws when no one is looking because when I am president, meetings where laws are written will be more open to the public. No more secrecy.

When there is a bill that ends up on my desk as President, you will have five days to look online and find out what’s in it before I sign it. When there are meetings between lobbyists and a government agency, we will put as many as possible online for every American to watch. When there is a tax bill being debated in Congress, you will know the names of the corporations that would benefit and how much money they would get. And we will put every corporate tax break and every pork-barrel project online for every American to see. You will know who asked for them and you can cast your vote accordingly.

Fast forward to January 26, 2009 and H.R. 1, otherwise known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a/k/a, the infamous “stimulus package”, dubbed the Porkulus Package by radio talk show commentator and AKA critic, Rush Limbaugh, who it seems, is a deeply embedded thorn in AKA’s side. So much so that AKA recently admonished Republicans that they should ignore Limbaugh if they intended to “get along” with him. Oh, my, my, but aren’t we full of ourselves! Must be that narcissism showing.

The “Stimulus” act was introduced on January 26, 2009 by Representative David Obey (D-WI) with nine co-sponsors: Barney Frank (D-MA), George Miller (D-CA), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Bart Gordon (D-TN), James Oberstar (D-MN), John Spratt, Jr (D-SC), and Nydia Valazquez (D-NY).

Two days later it passed the House, 244 Democrats voting “yea,” 11 Democrats and 177 Republicans voting “nay.”

On February 10, 2009, it passed the Senate with 57 Democrats, 3 Republicans (Collins, Snow, Specter), and 1 Independent (Lieberman) voting “yea” and 37 Republicans voting “nay.”

The bill then went to conference, emerging as a joint-conference bill on February 12, 2009.

On February 13, 2009, the conference bill passed the House with 246 Democrats voting “yea,” 7 Democrats and 176 Republicans voting “nay.”

On the same date, the conference bill passed the Senate with 57 Democrats, 3 Republicans (Collins, Snow, Specter) and 1 Independent (Lieberman) voting “yea” and 38 Republicans voting “nay.”

AKA is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.

Dubbed by AKA and Congressional Democrats as a stimulus package, H.R. 1 is the largest pork barrel spending law ever passed. As introduced, the bill was 647 pages. It emerged from passing the House and Senate as 1400 pages of bill that remained, for the most part, unread by Democrats and Republicans alike. The conference bill, as passed, is close to 1100 pages of pork-barrel spending. Here is some of the pork barrel courtesy of Jeff Bennett, Federal Observer:

  • $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Dept. of Energy defunded last year because the project was inefficient
  • A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film
  • $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program
  • $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship)
  • $448 million for constructing the Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters
  • $248 million for furniture at the new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters
  • $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees
  • $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD’s
  • $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities
  • $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion
  • $75 million for “smoking cessation activities”
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges
  • $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI
  • $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction
  • $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas
  • $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings
  • $500 million for state and local fire stations
  • $650 million for wildland fire management on Forest Service lands
  • $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities
  • $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs
  • $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service
  • $412 million for CDC buildings and property
  • $500 million for building and repairing NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
  • $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the VA “National Cemetery Administration”
  • $850 million for Amtrak
  • $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint
  • $75M to construct a new “security training” facility for State Dept Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
  • $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems
  • $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
  • State Medicaid Bailout: $87.7 billion Through 3 different mechanisms, the bill would provide additional federal funds to state Medicaid programs over the next 3 years. This is nearly $70 billion more than the governors asked President Obama for in December, and should be a loan to be repaid by the states.

And, as Mr. Bennett graciously concedes, that isn’t all!

In the mix is a $1 billion allocation, under “Community Planning and Development” for community development block grants (CDBG). Liberal groups like La Raza and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) are eligible for these funds. Another $10.7 billion is allocated to public housing, all or part of which fund allocations ACORN is also eligible to receive. This is beyond the $17.2 million in federal grants received by ACORN from HUD in December 2008, and the $2 million that Jeff Poor, Business and Media Institute, reported that ACORN received from Bank of America after it was bailed out by the taxpayers!


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ACORN is currently under federal investigation for voter fraud! They are also a group with whom AKA has known association, both as a lawyer and an activist! Should we be surprised?

Here’s more pork:

  1. $7.2 billion for Broadband to increase broadband access and usage in unserved and underserved areas of the Nation, which will better position the U.S. for economic growth, innovation, and job creation.
  2. $1 billion total for NASA.
  3. $3 billion total for National Science Foundation (NSF).
  4. $2 billion total for Science at the Department of Energy including $400 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E).
  5. $830 million total for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
  6. $13 billion for Title 1 to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential.
  7. $12.2 billion for Special Education/IDEA to improve educational outcomes for disabled children. This level of funding will increase the Federal share of special education services to its highest level ever.
  8. $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500. This aid will help 7 million students pursue postsecondary education.
  9. $53.6 billion for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $39.5 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes; $5 billion to states as bonus grants for meeting key performance measures in education; and $8.8 billion to states for high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education and for modernization, renovation and repairs of public school facilities and institutions of higher education facilities.
  10. $13 billion for Title 1 to help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential.
  11. $12.2 billion for Special Education/IDEA to improve educational outcomes for disabled children. This level of funding will increase the Federal share of special education services to its highest level ever.
  12. $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500. This aid will help 7 million students pursue postsecondary education.

H.R. 1 was touted as a job creation bill. Only problem is, no one seems to know how many, if any, jobs will be created; and if those jobs are created, who will benefit.

What the government has done here is to grant themselves a loan, the money for which loan, debt service, and money to pay for the resulting government growth will come out of the already depressed economy. The total cost of the loan? Try $4.06 trillion over the next decade, broken down as follows: $789 billion for the loan, $744 billion in debt service on the loan, and $2.527 trillion in increased spending from new and expanded programs created by the bill. These figures come from the Congressional Budget Office.

Who will pay for that loan in its entirety and the resulting growth in government? It won’t be the government; it will be the American taxpayers.

The only way to stimulate the economy is to do the exact opposite of what occurred here: cut government spending, cut the size of government, and lower taxes.

After introduction, members of Congress were given no chance to read H.R. 1 before it was brought to the floor; everything was a “rush… urgent … an emergency”. Yet most of the money appropriated will not be spent until 2011, 2012 and beyond. Even so, the bill was rammed through with great haste, dispensing with rules governing the usual path of legislation through the House and Senate. The House/Senate conference bill was not posted gotten to members of Congress until the night of February 12, with no time for them to read the 1100+ pages before it was voted on February 13 by both House and Senate.

And counter to the claims made by AKA in his September 22, 2008 speech in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this bill is full of earmarks, full of pork, and he plans to sign it four days following its passage. There was no transparency and certainly no disinfecting sunlight; there was no public scrutiny; secrecy was the name of the game.

An interesting side-note: the speech by AKA, made in Green Bay, Wisconsin on September 22, 2008, does not show up among the speeches on the AKA/Biden campaign website. Must have accidentally gotten deleted.

Quite obviously, the amount of money that will eventually end up in the hands of AKA’s ACORN is just more of the special interest-driven politics AKA promised to rid us of.

In short, for all his claims, AKA is not to be believed; he is a man who says, “Believe what I say, look not at what I do!” In three short weeks he has shown himself as bad as, if not worse than, his predecessor whom he disparaged relentlessly.

At a time when America needs a strong leader, a strong voice, a man of integrity, it is apparent that AKA is not but an empty suit; a smooth talking con man with great oratory skills.

It is so apparent that one has to ask, “How long can this façade go on before his worshippers finally catch on?”

And how long before the Supreme Court and Congress can no longer ignore the fact that he is a usurper to the Oval Office?

Economist after economist has stated, bluntly, that the so-called “stimulus” package would make things worse, not better, for the American economy. The American people, overwhelmingly, told Congress, “Do not even think about doing this.” Yet Congress did it anyway.

When this country devolves into the inevitable depression that is coming, may the American people (and especially those who voted for AKA) remember who wrote this bill, who sponsored this bill, who supported this bill, and who voted for this bill.

It is the straw that will break the camels back.

© 2009 Lynn M. Stuter – All Rights Reserved

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Activist and researcher, Stuter has spent the last fifteen years researching systems theory and systems philosophy with a particular emphasis on education as it pertains to achieving the sustainable global environment. She home schooled two daughters. She has worked with legislators, both state and federal, on issues pertaining to systems governance, the sustainable global environment and education reform. She networks nationwide with other researchers and a growing body of citizens concerned with the transformation of our nation from a Constitutional Republic to a participatory democracy. She has traveled the United States and lived overseas.

Web site: www.learn-usa.com

E-Mail: lmstuter@learn-usa.com


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