President Barack Obama took the oath of office last week (twice, in fact) and prepared the nation for “gathering clouds and raging storms.” Obama is spending the early days of his presidency flooding Congress with a so-called “stimulus” plan saturated with special-interest projects and causing turbulence with the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next attorney general. Conservatives certainly have their work cut out for them.
Obama’s spending plans have some problems, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The AP reported that CBO discovered the congressional Democrats’ spending plan was full of waste. The report stated that only 7% of the spending on roads and other infrastructure projects — $26 billion out of $274 billion — will be done by September. Furthermore, only one in seven of the “energy efficiency” and “renewable energy” monies would be spent in the next 18 months.
This doesn’t sound like an emergency plan to stimulate the economy. It sounds like more of the pork–barrel, special–interest, big-government plans of the past. Remember when President Bill Clinton said “the era of big government is over”? Evidently Obama is trying to make big-government solutions to our economic problems cool again.
House Republican Leader John Boehner has stated that the House Democrats’ plan will cost each household $6,700 in debt, which will be paid for by our children and grandchildren. The plan is almost as much as the annual discretionary spending budget for the entire federal government. The House Democrats’ Plan is intended to create or save 3 million jobs — which means this plan will spend $275,000 per job.
Boehner cites the following projects in the House plan to show how this plan is the old-style pork-barrel spending — not stimulus:
• $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.
Think of the Obama “stimulus” as a tax for wasteful projects levied on kids, which they will have to pay upon graduation from college or earlier. The Obama plan could cause families to defer college tuition for kids, not buy that first car for a teenager, or steer young boys away from healthy activities such as sports, which tend to cost money. Liberals love to use the government to try and ban tobacco products or eliminate global warming in the name of saving the kids. Well, if they really cared about the children, they wouldn’t be handing them a massive tax bill in 2030 for a wasteful spending spree today.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is working on a real stimulus plan for the economy. The DeMint Plan is similar to a plan rolled out by The Heritage Foundation: Keep in place the tax rate reductions scheduled to expire in 2011 and lower marginal tax rates across the board on individuals, small business and corporations.
According to DeMint, his stimulus package will “call for a 10-percentage-point cut in the top rate (from 35 percent to 25 percent)” and other rate cuts. DeMint explains that “these tax cuts would soften the recession and expedite the recovery to the tune of 500,000 new jobs in 2009 and 1 million new jobs in 2010 and surpass by 2012 the president’s stated goal of 3.5 million new jobs.”
This is a genuinely conservative stimulus package — one that would lower taxes and allow individuals, not bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., to make decisions on how to spend stimulus money.
Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and David Vitter (R-La.) were the only two senators to vote no on the nomination of Hillary Clinton to be the next Secretary of State. They had concerns about Hillary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State coming into a conflict of interest with former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation. At least Vitter and DeMint take the “advise and consent” constitutional function of the Senate seriously.