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Obama Stimulus Triumph: Government Paid to Lobby Itself

Barack Obama wasted huge piles of your money on some crazy stuff in his 2009 “stimulus” ripoff, a trillion wasted dollars you’ve already paid billions in interest to finance.  But this one really takes the cake – or, more to the point, it wants to take your cake.  As the Daily Caller reports today, millions of “stimulus” dollars were spent by the government to lobby itself in favor of higher taxes:

The idea of government money going toward efforts to lobby the government sounds like some type of joke, but it’s not.

Since March 2010, 30 states and Washington, D.C. have received $230 million in obesity prevention grants under the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative (CPPW), a program established in the massive 2009 stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to public records, however, money from some of the CPPW grants and also from the Community Transformation Grants (CTGs) — another Centers for Disease Control and Prevention program established to bolster to the CPPW’s efforts — have been and are being used to lobby local governments in support of policies including sugar and soda taxes.

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen “Death Spiral” Sebelius, this was perfectly acceptable, because at least the federal money wasn’t being turned right back around and used to lobby the federal government.  No, that would have been just crazy!  Nevertheless, you’ll be happy to know that the President’s next bloated budget would include prohibitions against all lobbying with “stimulus” finds.

However, it appears this particular Obama abuse of taxpayer dollars might have been not just ridiculous, but illegal:

According to Kentucky Republican Reps. Ed Whitfield and Brett Guthrie, lobbying with taxpayer money is illegal regardless of the level of government. In a letter the pair sent to Sebelius last week they cited multiple federal laws which prohibit the use of tax dollars to lobby any level of government. For instance, they referenced Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 1913, which states:

“No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy or appropriation …”

Additionally, there are HHS and White House Office of Management and Budget regulations that prevent the use of grant money for lobbying.  Happily, King Barack I does not generally regard himself as bound by such piddling regulations, especially when exercising his Constitutionally-granted powers to regulate the lard out of his subjects.

If you have any friends who still seriously think the Obama “stimulus” bill was some kind of well-intentioned, if ineffective, plan for “job creation” – or especially if you know anyone who still falls for Obama’s “jobs created or saved” rhetoric – try asking them what these millions of dollars spent lobbying the government in favor of higher taxes have to do with job creation.  You might ask the same of the $200 million grant program these lobbying funds were extracted from.  The evidence mounts that the only thing “stimulated” by Obama’s wild spending spree was the growth of government.

Meanwhile, enjoy the spectacle of our massive government Leviathan chewing on its own tail.  You, and your children, paid a lot of money for tickets to the show.

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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