Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Back of Envelope Blogging

Republicans in Washington, in full obstructionist mode, have decided they are going to do everything they can to stop the economic stimulus plan floating around in congress from passing. They contend there is too much "waste" and they would rather no stimulus at all than have a bill with anything even remotely objectionable to them.

So what parts of the $900 billion package do they find so offensive they would hold up attempts at economic recovery? Well, they released a list of several dozen items o’ waste. I went ahead and added up all of the amounts on the list and it comes to about $24.5 billion. That’s a whopping 2.7% of the bill. These guys are willing to go to the mat over less than three percent of the total cost. And look at some of the things they deem wasteful:

$2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

$88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

$1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs

$1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs

$600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees

$160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

$75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

Yup, no stimulus there at all. Those things are all going to get done without hiring a single person. So let’s just stand in the way of whole thing.

Update: Ha, ha. The GOPers are now asking “Joe” the “Plumber” for assistance in formulating a proper stimulus package. I guess the war correspondent thing just wasn’t working out for him.


Anonymous said...

how about 400 Million to prevent STDs

248 million for furniture at Homeland Security

150 Million for Smithsonian facilies

246 million for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

I have no problem putting this in the annual budget, even though I don't think there should be any earmarks, but this does not stimulate the economy.

I rather we give that 26 billion to welfare.

Dave said...

Those things add up to about one tenth of one percent of the entire bill. And you don't have a problem in general with them. So why hold up the entire bill?

Anonymous said...

Because they are wasteful.

And I did not even list the payouts to Acorn

Frank said...

I created a page that let's you vote item by item (from the CNN list not the full list). I'm interested to see which items people are most upset (or happy) about.


Dan said...

Kettle meet Pot, end of long one sided story. Too easy to flip this one on it's back side and use Democrats as the bad guys.

The audacity of nope is pretty funny, though it provides more insight into the Obama administration than the republican party.

Promises made during the campaign sounded like Hope but have ended up as Nope, can't really do those things I promised.

Nope, the old way of doing business works much better than the idea's I tossed out on the campaign trail.

Sorry but Nope, I need those Lobbyists on my White House team. I'll make sure they don't get out of hand, trust me again.

Nope, your change is what's left in your pockets after the stimulus bill filled with pork for my campaign contributors.

Nope, those will be 'Jobs Saved AND-OR Created and the numbers change by the day'.

the Audacity of Nope?

Karrie said...

I dont see how the GOP can be obstructionists here. The Dems have the majority. They can pass this without the GOP. If they really believed in it, they would vote it in.

The real reason they want GOP involvement is because they want to point fingers when it fails. In otherwords, spineless.

Kathy D. said...

"Anonymous" forgot to mention the billions Haliburton has made of the war in Iraq.
There are practical reasons for ALL of the items listed by the Republicans. Take, for example, the GAO report on the Smithsonian museums.
It says the Smithsonian needs several billion dollars to take care of its aging facilities. That $150 million dollars would go directly into creating construction jobs--exactly the type of jobs this legislation hopes to create.
I am so glad the Republicans are no longer in power. The only sad part is that any of them are still around.

Anonymous said...

Karrie, you're retarded. If that's the way you really think, you might want to stop talking about politics in public.

Karrie said...

anon, r u saying the dems dont have the votes to pass this stimulus package?

geek_guy said...

And I did not even list the payouts to Acorn
Republican Lie: In fact, the bill contains no language mentioning ACORN. The false claim is based on a misrepresentation of a provision that would appropriate $4,190,000,000 "for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008." The provision requires that money will be distributed through competitive processes. It states that "not less than $3,440,000,000 shall be allocated by a competition" to "States, units of general local government, and nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities." It also provides that "up to $750,000,000 shall be awarded by competition to nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities to provide community stabilization assistance."

Are you taking your meds? Nope.

Karrie, The dems do NOT have filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The American-Haters have promised filibusters, even after Obama put provisions in the bill to appease the losers.

Karrie said...

geek guy,

I did not know that. Tks.

Observer said...

Let's assume the stimulus package is 900 billion. Also let's assume that all the bad things in the list are actually "bad" and should be done or funded. The total amount by my quick reckoning is 2.1 percent of the total. Which I guess means that we have 97.9 percent concurrence.


Anonymous said...

Most of the spending mentioned will hire people but, not until AFTER the economy has either recovered or on its way to recovery which defeats the idea of it being a STIMULUS. The items listed may be may have merit but not as a stimulus package hurriedly passed without debate. While Congress is wasteful even when it does debate, it is better than passing spending through without even that. The objectionable portions of the bill appear to be Democrats, including the President, playing partisan politics with a bill they claim is urgent. All you need to do to understand this is to know that 11 Democrats voted against it in the House. Heath Shuler(D-NC) had to ask permission from Nancy Pelosi before he voted against it. Sounds partisan to me if you need to ask permission to vote your conscience.

Anonymous said...


Then just tell the dems to take out the bad parts and pass the rest.

geek_guy said...

I wish they would take other "bad" things out of the budget, like Bush's Iraq war and Abstinence-Only sex-ed. Doesn't work that, because even no-brainer things like clean water is "bad for business".

Anonymous said...

geek guy,

Good point about the war, didnt Obama promise us that he would get us out, and yet here he is funding it.

Makes him seem sort of like, well, a liar.

geek_guy said...

Anon, he has set a deadline to get the troops out. Most will be out by the end of the year. The rest will need funding, also you need funding to return our soldiers and equipment. It's a long walk otherwise. He is keeping his promise, that makes you, well, a liar.

P.S. Get a real name so I know which idiotic lying anon I am talking to.

true anon said...


What is the deadline this week?

geek girl said...

All Obama has to do is to get his Cabinet nominees to pay their fricking taxes and we can balance the budget. How many more crooks is this guy going to nominate?

But then again, he grew up surrounding himself with crooks, so this should not surprise anyone.

Great start Barack,,,btw, how is that little nothing of a nation Iran doing now? You know they just shot off a satellite.

I guess it is time to make a decision. Do you know how to do that? "Present" doesnt count in the White House dude.

geek_guy said...

Geek Girl,
If you want to look at crook, look at the last 8 years.
They did not intentionally NOT pay their taxes. One company sent the wrong forms out to him and lots of other employees, it happened so much the IRS gave blanket exemptions to all the other employees (or as you refer them to, crooks). The other got free car and driver like he did in congress, apparently in the civilian world you got to pay for even if you don't get any 1099s from your employer. It's easy to track your income if you have only one job, they have book deals, speaking engagements, etc.

Being a Crook implies intent, you can't prove it.

Well since Iran shot off a (non-armed) satellite and it happened before 9/11 of the new presidents administration, it's Bush's fault.

The "present" talking point has been already covered as the bullshit it is. Educate yourself idiot.

Finally, you are either for Obama or your for the terrorist. Which are you?

geek girl said...

Geek guy,

I am for the American people. And based on Obama's first 2 weeks, it looks like he is in way over his head.

Again, those 2 nominees didnt pay their back taxes and fines until they thought they would get caught. Hypocrisy with a capital H

Now we have Obama wanting to remove the buy American clause in the so called stimulus package that doesnt even spend most of the money until 2011...talk about being an idiot.

geek_guy said...

talk about Hypocrisy, How many gay-bashing Repubs got caught with their male lovers or family-first with mistresses and hookers.

stimulus package that doesnt even spend most of the money until 2011
According to the latest CBO report, 65% of the funding will be spent by Sept 2010. Of course with the America-hating Obstructionist Repubs, it can take longer...talk about being an idiot.

Of course we can always dish out more tax cuts, it worked so well for the last 8 years...talk about being an idiot.

geek_guy said...

And based on Obama's first 2 weeks, it looks like he is in way over his head.
Of course, the first 9 months of Bush's term he was playing golf and clearing brush on his photo-op ranch.

Now watch this drive!

Then he and the rest of the America-Hating Repubs worked hard on trashing and raping America and the Constitution.

geek girl said...

Still hung up on Bush huh. You should take a chill pill and get rid of the hate man. Cant we all get along.

What is eating you.

geek_guy said...

Last time I checked the Repub mantra was no taxes, less government. Like I said, you can not prove they did not "want" to pay their taxes.

I had 8 year Bush and the idiot Repubs, I have reason to hate what they did to America. Why do you hate Obama? Hypocrisy with a capital "H".