Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Stimulus for Who?

by Ron Paul

This week the House passed an $819 billion economic stimulus package. In reality, this bill is just an escalation of a government-created economic mess. As before, a sense of urgency and impending doom is being used to extract mountains of money from Congress with minimal debate. So much for change. This is déjŕ vu. We are again being promised that its passage will help employment, help homeowners, help the environment, etc. These promises are worthless. This time around especially, Congress should know better than to pass anything of this magnitude without first reading the fine print. There are many red flags that I have found in this bill.

At least $4 billion is allocated to expanding the police state and the war on drugs through Byrne grants, which even the Bush administration opposed, and the COPS program, both of which are corrupt and largely ineffective programs.

To help Big Brother keep a better eye on us and our children, $20 billion would go towards health information technology, which would create a national system of electronic medical records without adequate privacy protection. These records would instead be subject to the misnamed federal “medical privacy” rule, which allows government and state-favored special interests to see medical records at will. An additional $250 million is allocated for states to nationalize individual student data, expanding Federal control of education and eroding privacy.

$79 billion bails out states that haphazardly expanded their budgets during the bubble years, but refuse to retrench and cut back, as their taxpayers have had to, during recession years.

$200 million expands Americorps. $100 million goes to “faith-and-community” based organizations for social services, which will further insinuate the government into charity and community service. Private charities are much more efficient and effective because they are directly accountable to donors, while public programs tend to get rewarded for failure. With its money, the Federal Government brings its incompetence and its whims, while creating foolish dependence. This is sad to see.

Of course the bill is rife with central planning projects. $4 billion for job training, much of which will be used to direct workers into “green jobs”. $200 million to “encourage” electric cars, $2 billion to support US manufacturers of advanced batteries and battery systems, which is yet another function of government I can’t find in the Constitution. Not to mention $500 million for energy efficient manufacturing demonstration projects, $70 million for a Technology Innovation Program for “research in potentially revolutionary technologies” in which government, not supply and demand, will pick winners and losers. $746 million for afterschool snacks, $6.75 billion for the Department of Commerce, including $1 billion for a census.

This bill delivers an additional debt burden of $6,700 to every American man, woman and child.

There is a lot of stimulus and growth in this bill – that is, of government. Nothing in this bill stimulates the freedom and prosperity of the American people. Politician-directed spending is never as successful as market-driven investment. Instead of passing this bill, Congress should get out of the way by cutting taxes, cutting spending, and reining in the reckless monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.

Dr. Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas.


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Comments

Right bailing out states is a bad thing, all those people deserve to go poor, hungry and homeless, they let themselves become poor! And of course the money going to the schools in California is a waste all of the inner city students are retards anyway right?

Green jobs aren't in the constitution congrats neither are white collar nor blue nor any other kind. No where is there the mention of an air force yet we have one. Why can't we just let these jobs be created so someone has jobs so someone is hiring.

I'm sure you know what getting a job is like right now right? Oh wait you just have to run for reelection every four years after getting money your zombie like followers. Yeah you know what getting a job is like, just like you know how the people who are begging for anything right now because Republican tax cuts won't help the jobless, homeless and foodless people whose numbers are growing by the day.

You may act like you are the defender of americans but you are no better than Bush, Obama or any of the others who see us as ways to grow their own walets. Your just another vampire bleeding us dry you just act different while you do it.

# posted at by Chris K

"Right bailing out states is a bad thing, all those people deserve to go poor, hungry and homeless, "

Honestly, what can you say to abject stupidity like this.

How much of the California state budget is being spent to feed the hungry? Very little. They spend it on all kinds of boondoggles.

You are an intellectual fraud. And, I bet you give virtually nothing to feed the hungry yourself.

# posted at by schmidtyphi

@ChrisK
"Right bailing out states is a bad thing, all those people deserve to go poor, hungry and homeless, "

Honestly, what can you say to abject stupidity like this.

How much of the California state budget is being spent to feed the hungry? Very little. They spend it on all kinds of boondoggles.

You are an intellectual fraud. And, I bet you give virtually nothing to feed the hungry yourself.

# posted at by schmidtyphi

Hmm, thats interesting, let's see, $12.1 billion for goevernment jobs, $68.5 billion for K-12 education,$26.7 billion, $79.5 billion for Health and Human sevices, $11.4 billion for corrections and rehabilitation. Money figures aside all of these things keep people educated, healthy, in prisons or in jobs. Yes there is money that is wasted for political gain, I don't deny that, no one really can but saying that everything is wasted is just sad.

If nothing is done about my states problems people will continue to lose jobs, homes and food. Yes the bailout has many faults but its the begginings of a movement in the right direction.

I'm an 'intellectual fraud'? I simply stated my opinion and had very little fact backing it up, I simply spoke out at a congressman who did nothing to try to fix the bailout that he thought was wrong, voting no is nothing when its going to pass since the democrats have the majority. He could have at least tried to get his fellow Republicans to attempt a filibuster like move and hold off voting for as long as the many Republicans in the congress could talk (one hour each if they follow the rules to the letter, then only allow a Republican to follow them after speaking. If I'm wrong on this sorry I'm not saying I know everything about how it works.)

"And, I bet you give virtually nothing to feed the hungry yourself." I admit I don't give as much as I would like but is simply because I'm living barely within my means as it is, the life of a college student isn't grand but books are expensive. I do volunteer, as much as I can about 10 hours a week, it's better than working at McDonalds and stealing food to give to the homeless.

# posted at by Chris K

RE: "Let's see, $12.1 billion for goevernment jobs, $68.5 billion for K-12 education,$26.7 billion, $79.5 billion for Health and Human sevices, $11.4 billion for corrections and rehabilitation. Money figures aside all of these things keep people educated, healthy, in prisons or in jobs."

Like many who think state action can magically cure all societal ills, you neglect to consider the unforseen, unintended consequences of these state actions.

For one thing, where will the money come from? Since the government does not have its own money, and it cannot create wealth our of thin air, the money must come from somewhere.

And that somewhere is out of the pockets of productive members of society - workers, thriving businesses, etc. - via confiscatory taxation. Thus, you are penalizing profitable, productive ventures to subsidize inefficient state schemes.

Keep in mind that private sector businesses must satisfy the needs of consumers just to remain in business. If private commerce slows, businesses must cut expenses to stay in business.

Government agencies have no such limits - they can spend, ad nauseum, no matter how wasteful or inefficient it may be. There is no accountability to the 'customer' (taxpayers).

After all, taxpayers cannot opt out of paying for a govt program if they do not want it or do not need the service.

Government cannot magically 'stimulate' the economy through spending and public 'investment' (which is often politically driven, not demand based). Because ALL government 'stimulus' comes at the expense of DE-STIMULUS in more efficient private sector investment.

# posted at by JT Lancer

Well, Chris K just got his mouth shut for him.

# posted at by Armando

"Right bailing out states is a bad thing, all those people deserve to go poor, hungry and homeless, they let themselves become poor!"

Right, so to keep people from becoming poor we're just gonna go ahead and cause run away inflation. Then the poor won't be so lonely because everyone in the country, except a few bankers, will be poor.

# posted at by Steve

we can fight the Iraq War again and still not equal the spending by the Democrats. This is nothing more than a wet dream orgasm of spending by idiots without regard to the American Constitution or moral restrictions.

If only Ron had won....

# posted at by govtsucks

"Well, Chris K just got his mouth shut for him."

Yes, and I learned a valuble lesson from it, so I think I'll be happy with getting my ego brusied a little bit.

"Like many who think state action can magically cure all societal ills, you neglect to consider the unforseen, unintended consequences of these state actions."

I don't think that nor did I ever say that, you assumed it, I think those are a few of the things that we do NEED not matter what, privite enterprises won't teach everyone, jail those who need to be jailed. We can't give everything to private business nor can we give everything to government, there is a balence somewhere, but one should be able to help the other out when help is needed, perhaps not 8 billion+ but some help so that the other doesn't go away, if that makes sense.

# posted at by Anonymous

Chris K became Anonymous!

Alas, this happens to all who have govmint-inspired muddled thinking.

# posted at by JoeBlo

Chris K became Anonymous!

Alas, this happens to all who have govmint-inspired muddled thinking.

# posted at by JoeBlo

Chris K became Anonymous!

Alas, this happens to all who have govmint-inspired, muddled thinking.

# posted at by JoeBlo

Chris K became Anonymous!

Alas, this happens to all who have govmint-inspired, muddled thinking.

# posted at by JoeBlo

Chris K became Anonymous!

Alas, this happens to all who have govmint-inspired, muddled thinking.

# posted at by JoeBlo

I just forgot, you didn't have to post that many times...and it's Government.

# posted at by Chris K

I'm a bit disappointed in the "debate" over the stimulus bill. On one side, there are those who view virtually all government spending as pure waste (rather than merely inefficient), and therefore inexcusable. On the other, there are those who seem to view government spending as if the money came from nowhere, without need of explanation.

Those who support the stimulus must, at the very least, indicate who is willing to lend our government the requested funds, or if it will be created from nothing.

Those who oppose it must, at the very least, indicate how the free market solution can even be implemented. If the government is going to truly abandon market-distorting subsidies, what plan is there to change the current political system?

On all sides, the debate needs to rise above childish arguments. Some are concerned with the *source* of economic activity, while others are concerned with the *aim* of economic activity. Somr prefer the source of economic activity to be the public, others prefer the aim of economic activity to be for the public good. Everyone wants a happy, healthy world, but we disagree on what makes that possible. This is understandably so, because the world is complex. This does not give us right or reason to deny its complexity and embrace dogma over reason.

# posted at by Ribald

I'm a bit disappointed in the "debate" over the stimulus bill. On one side, there are those who view virtually all government spending as pure waste (rather than merely inefficient), and therefore inexcusable. On the other, there are those who seem to view government spending as if the money came from nowhere, without need of explanation.