Everyone else is talking about what's in the $825 billion stimulus package, but here's the one thing I want to know: How can we let the government get away with calling it a "stimulus" in the first place?
Let's break down the numbers on this with the help of those non-partisan, radical hate-mongers over at the Congressional Budget Office.
According to the CBO, only $26 billion — just over 3 percent — will be spent this year. Another $110 billion — or 13 percent — will be spent next year. Which means that by the time President Obama's term is halfway through, just 16 percent of the money will have been spent.
I thought President Obama said this is supposed to be a quick "jolt" to the economy?
The president has also billed the stimulus as an investment in America's infrastructure. And if that were true, I'd be all for it. I mean, I-95 here on the East Coast isn't exactly the autobahn. Yet only 3 percent — just $30 billion — of this entire package is dedicated to road and highway spending.
Then you have the promise about creating "green jobs" and clean energy.
Again, you want to seriously get wind and solar and nuclear power off the ground, I'm in. But this isn't serious. Only 2 percent of the money is earmarked for clean energy and only 1/7th of that will be spent over the next 2 years.
The CBO tells us that billions of dollars are going to buy new computers and replace government cars with new alternative fuel vehicles. In all, the money is going to 150 different federal programs — from Amtrak to the TSA — and it's not clear a single new job will be created.
America, let's call a spade a spade: This package isn't meant to stimulate the economy, it's meant to reshape it.
If President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the progressives really believe that socialism is the best way out of this mess and the best way forward for America, then make the case. Let's debate it and allow the American people to decide.
But what they're doing now — using fear to promote long-term changes to the country — is exactly the kind of thing that has led to the biggest deficit of all: The deficit of trust we now have in our leaders.
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