I’ll get a lot of hate mail for saying this, but I’m not a big fan of Sarah Palin. Check that…I’m not a big fan of Candidate Sarah Palin. When she was a spitfire governor of pristine Alaska, that Washington outsider narrative had some pop to it. Today, her Gomer Pyle-with-lipstick schtick wears thin. But what do I know? I’m considered by many to be an insider myself.
I will say this: Palin has put her finger smack dab on the pulse of this country when it comes to frustration and outright disdain for the federal government. And like a PETA activist with a piece of fur, she’s not letting go.
The public’s disgust was documented again in historical proportions last week with the Pew Research Center’s release of a poll surveying voters’ trust in government. Four in five Americans – Democrat, Republican and independent alike – told Pew’s researchers they’ve reached their tipping point. The Federal City is a modern day Sodom. They can’t trust our national government, and they no longer have faith the federal machine is capable of addressing our nation’s most significant problems, no matter how much money officials throw at them or how many bureaucrats they hire.
This isn’t an epidemic peddled only by a disgruntled few from the Tea Party Movement. This sentiment is pervasive, and brewing to the top of every American’s mind. Enough is enough. In less than 18 months, President Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men have managed to create a twisted economic cycle where the unemployment rate actually tracks increased percentages in federal spending: the more the White House cuts checks, the more businesses cut jobs. Somebody please tell me he didn’t do that on purpose. The tag line for this White House’s style of financial fixes should now read, "It’s the economy, by stupid." Friar Geithner’s policies fail to grasp even basic fundamentals of supply and demand, notwithstanding the intrinsic, long term value of private over public investments.
What has gone unnoticed and unreported, however, is that while economic indicators worsened, the federal government quietly began setting aside millions in hopes of changing American lifestyles over fixing Americans’ life lines.
The Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative, for example, allocated $650 million worth of stimulus funding to projects in attempts to change the consumption and recreational habits of Americans. You read that correctly. Apparently, getting little Timmy to throw the Frisbee at a state park instead of playing Xbox somehow constitutes "job creation" to Biden’s bean counters off 17th street. From backyard gardening in Boston to private gym memberships in Maine, Obama’s stimulus package moved millions of dollars from potentially worthy job creation initiatives to some social engineering exercises.
But wait, it gets better. According to a new watchdog website (mywastedtaxdollars.org), some CPPW programs actually used stimulus funds to advocate for higher state taxes. It seems salted foods, tobacco and sweetened beverages are the new Bernie Madoffs of the Treasury Department, and so Congress allocated stimulus dollars to programs that castigate individuals who consume fast food and puff cigarettes. The irony is not lost that this is the same blue collar demographic hardest hit by the recession. It’s getting so you can’t even have a smoke while standing in the unemployment line.
This is mission creep, leftist style. The Mafia Don, Rahm Emmanuel, said it best when he admonished his team to "never let a crisis go to waste." Even after knowing the CPPW initiative irresponsibly allocated funds to backyard gardening, radio dramas and tax-hiking lobbying efforts, lawmakers decided to expand the program. Including nearly identical language in the Senate’s health reform package (Sections 4002 and 4201), Congress has committed another $2 billion or more annually (beginning in 2015) to frivolous projects that try to control Americans’ recreational and consumption habits. At a time when nearly half of surveyed Americans report the government negatively affects their daily lives, legislators continue to increase their reach into our everyday functions.
Fellow Americans, we’ve entered an entirely new dimension of the ends justifying the means. These new federal programs weren’t well-intentioned, altruistic notions in the drawing room that suddenly veered off course once a null bureaucrat got his hands on them. No, they did exactly what they were designed to do – quietly grow the reach of government.
No other explanation makes sense. During the darkest days of this recession, even some conservative economists privately and sheepishly stated a trillion dollar stimulus package may not be enough to help the economy find its footing again. A trillion dollars – not enough. And so, the compromise stimulus plan passes with less than that amount, and the masses are led to believe every dollar spent will be watched like a hawk, because “nobody messes with (BFD) Joe!”
At the exact moment when there were so many real and true demands for stimulative action these federal dollars would leverage, the White House stashes away slush money to later dole out to its leftist friends interested in a socioeconomic experiment.
Who isn’t for healthier lifestyles? No one I can name. But don’t try to pretend these programs are worthy of receiving monies intended to spur job creation and economic growth. The president misses a larger point here. When he attempts to cater to his special interest friends by asking for more than he allegedly needed, his arguments (and credibility) are cheapened.
Listen, we know this reads like insanity with outrage and contempt for how Stimulus dollars are being spent. Believe me when I tell you that it’s impossible for me to make this stuff up. Just read the links and website references for yourself above and draw your own disgusting and pathetic conclusions about this White House and Congress. You are the final judge as to whether they’re acting in the best interest of our country’s severe economic downturn in how they’re recklessly spending this money.
Sign up to the Human Events newsletter