The federal stimulus package that the Minnesota DFL has built their economic plan around is being put in rather stark terms by House Republicans. One Republican who’s speaking out about it is Minority Whip Eric Cantor. Here’s what Rep. Cantor has written about it:

Specifically, we want to keep the stimulus bill, as well as all other future economic “rescue” measures, limited in scope and transparent.

Our country has no other choice. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a sobering report that this year’s deficit will likely climb to over 8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, or $1.2 trillion. That’s higher than at any point since World War II, and those figures don’t even account for the forthcoming stimulus.

Such heavy borrowing runs the risk down the line of rampant inflation, which scares away foreign capital while making the purchasing power of the dollar weaker for American consumers.

Rep. Cantor wrote that he agrees with President Obama that the bill’s content should be transparent:

Second, Democrats have to live up to President-elect Obama’s vow for “unprecedented transparency.” The GOP welcomes and strongly encourages the president-elect’s idea to post all contents of the bill online for the American people to judge.

I suspect that Congressional Democrats will balk at that based on this information from Minority Leader John Boehner’s office (H/T: Powerline):

A Dozen Fun Facts About the House Democrats’ Massive Spending Bill

1. The House Democrats’ bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.

2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.

3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year.

4. The House Democrats’ bill provides enough spending, $825 billion, to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.

5. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the U.S. $22,000.

6. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.

7. Although the House Democrats’ proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill, or three percent, is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office said that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion for infrastructure.

8. Much of the funding within the House Democrats’ proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already have $16 billion on hand. And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.

9. In 1993, the unemployment rate was virtually the same as the rate today (around seven percent). Yet, then-President Clinton’s proposed stimulus legislation ONLY contained $16 billion in spending.

10. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats’ proposal:

  • $650 million for digital TV coupons.
  • $6 billion for colleges/universities, many which have billion dollar endowments.
  • $166 billion in direct aid to states, many of which have failed to budget wisely.
  • $50 million in funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
  • $44 million for repairs to U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters.
  • $200 million for the National Mall, including grass planting.
  • $400 million for “National Treasures.”

11. Almost one-third of the so called tax relief in the House Democrats’ bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package, not the 40 percent that President-elect Obama had requested.

12. $825 billion is just the beginning; many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their “stimulus” plan.

Newt’s been making the point that there’s other pork currently in the legislation that must be termed poke. He said that one appropriation in the bill is for building an organized crime museum in Las Vegas. Another appropriation is for building 2 new hotels in Harrisburg, PA. Newt is quick to point out that he was born in Harrisburg and that there isn’t a shortage of hotel space in the city. By Newt’s estimation, building 2 hotels in Harrisburg when there’s ample hotel space might force other hotels out of business, creating at best a job shift, at worst a net job loss.

Please explain this: why should the taxpayers’ money should be sent to models of mismanagement like Michigan and California? Both states haven’t cut spending even though it’s obvious that they’re spending money far faster than they’re taking it in. What’s worse is that they’ve been doing that for years.

Rest assured that the money will be sent to Michigan and California without accountability or reform provisions attached to the cash. If such a list isn’t included, there’s a strong likelihood that they’ll just treat it like a cash injection to keep doing what they’re currently doing.

How is that in our national interest? I can’t picture that jumpstarting our economy though I can picture it lining the pockets of the Democrats’ political allies.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

4 Responses to “How Big Will This Stimulus Package Be?”

  • Tony says:

    We live in tough times and something must be done quickly. However, making quick decisions doesn’t mean making poor ones.

    The goals of the stimulus bill are ideal. Unfortunately, the specifics still leave room for wasting money or spending it on things that don’t stimulate the economy. $819 billion is alot of money. I think accounting for money spent must be kept as public as possible.

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