List of Wastefull spending on Stimulus Bill

02/03/2009 11:58 am
Rate this Blog
Yours:

Total:

Rated 2 times.
$2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

Don't Miss
GOP senators draft stimulus alternative
• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
face.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 12:51:43 PM
 Quote this comment
emoticonemoticon

A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film. - #*(%&(%*@&^*( You guys!
$88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship). - If its melting, who needs a ship?
$75 million for "smoking cessation activities." -"Do what thou Wilt"

emoticon

$1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.
$200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.
$850 million for Amtrak.

emoticonemoticon

$25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction
$650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
Rated 0 times. $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Carlos44ec screwed with this at 02/03/2009 12:52:00 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 01:04:14 PM
 Quote this comment
I don't think all of these things qualify as a "waste."

Assuming they don't mean "green for greens sake," (ie This building has a big carbon footprint, so lets buy some trees) which they very well could mean, those would eventually pay off. For example, if wouldn't be a "waste" for you to spend $2000 improving your house to save $50 a month on heating/energy costs. You'd eventually break even, then even start "profiting."

Wildfires and floods on the Mississippi also cost tons of money a year, if there's actually something that can be done to cut back on that then that would also pay off in the long run.

Also, some of these numbers, while they are a lot of money for us, are pennies a person. Not that wasting it is ok, but it reduces the "sky is falling" aspect a bit.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 2 times.
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
02/03/2009 @ 01:14:23 PM
 Quote this comment
$2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.
-Any project manager knows if you throw enough resources at a project you can get it done. After all, we can do anything we put our minds too right?

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
-I'm assuming the catch is that the movies have to be government approved.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.
-Because TV is right, not a privilege

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).
-I thought I just read an article that global warming was going to open up the shipping lanes from ice?

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.
-Currently working out of FEMA trailers?

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
-Giving away existing furniture to the homeless

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
-Clearly, taxpayers would rather pay more taxes so that federal employees can have hybrids and no one else can afford them

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.
-It takes that much money to says, "Don't go around having sex with random people."?

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.
-Don't rural people have enough land to just bury their own waste?

Don't Miss
GOP senators draft stimulus alternative
• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.
-I assume this is mostly adding in more motion detectors and such

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.
-If you build it, people will come and spend more money thereby causing a cascading economical boost?

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.
-And, this has what to do with a stimulus bill?

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."
-Unless this involves selling more nicotine gum, won't this hurt the economy?

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.
-This one actually makes sense and I'd be for it

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.
-Raises or new hires?

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.
-Lame

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.
-I'll say good in theory since it says reduction, not prevention

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.
-Ok

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.
-I'll bring the paint brushes!

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.
-No

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.
-No

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.
-No

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.
-Housing is cheap, why renovate?

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.
-Is this for moving that "disease island" place to the mainland?

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.
-Never heard of it

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
-Don't pay volunteers

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.
-like such as in South Africa and the Iraq

• $850 million for Amtrak.
-Can't they make money? And if not, isn't that a problem?

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.
-By doing what exactly?

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.
-Seems unnecessary

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.
-???

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.
-As long as it's not ethanol
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 01:30:13 PM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:14:23 PM

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.
-Clearly, taxpayers would rather pay more taxes so that federal employees can have hybrids and no one else can afford them


Well this, like a lot of items on this list, is completely context free. Does this mean we are going to junk a bunch of perfectly good cars and replace them with Hybrids for the sake of it, or just that we're going to start buying Hybrids instead of "regular" cars when the time comes that new cars are needed? (The increased one time expense would be offset by reduced fuel costs.)

Maybe the film thing just means that previously film was a weird exception from the normal rules everyone gets in regards to things being a "business expense" and all they are doing is changing that back. (Or they want to encourage film making, which, since films employ 324,239 people, isn't as ridiculous a thing to have on a stimulus bill as it looks at face value.)

Also, you don't like the idea of fire departments, or what?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Jeremy messed with this 2 times, last at 02/03/2009 1:42:31 pm
reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 01:55:53 PM
 Quote this comment
You also have to look at the fact that the Republicans are incredibly good at labeling things with the general public. As it is, this has been labeled in the public's eye as a "Spending Bill." If this were a Republican administration and a Republican proposal, it would be a "Jobs Bill," which is the name it should have. This bill should be designed to create jobs, not just infuse capital into the system, and, with a few glaring exceptions, the things listed above do a pretty good job at that. Infrastructure projects create a lot of jobs immediately, which, right or wrong, is the intended goal here. I would love to see a lot more infrastructure projects aimed at 21st century technology, laying broadband, etc, etc. as it would create less old-school blue-collar jobs that are just going to be phased out eventually anyway, but I haven't read the bill yet and probably won't until the final draft is released, since it's going to look a heck of a lot different than the house and senate bills out there now.

Alex Wrote - Today @ 02:14:23 PM
$2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

Right, so the Bush Department of Energy stopped a clean coal plant because it was inefficient. I would take that one to the bank. People want to revisit every other decision they made, why not this one?

And who isn't for summer jobs for kids. In Brooklyn, there aren't high school DECA programs handing jobs at banks to students, nor can you just walk down to Copp's and get a job bagging groceries, since there are no giant grocery stores. Plus if you want to talk economic benefits, these kids aren't going to pay any taxes on their income because they won't make enough, and they'll spend every dime they make on the frivolous crap our economy is built on.

Amtrak is also a government-run organization, and while I completely agree with the "if it can't stand on its own let it fail" sentimentality, have you ever ridden amtrak? It's freaking sweet. You show up 10 minutes before your train leaves and get your ticket from a machine that never has lines. There are no security lines, you don't have to check luggage, the seats are super comfortable, there are outlets at every seat and when the person in front of you leans all the way back, it doesn't affect you at all. Anyway, the 850M might be money it was going to get anyway, but who knows.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
02/03/2009 @ 02:34:20 PM
 Quote this comment
Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:55:53 PM
Anyway, the 850M might be money it was going to get anyway, but who knows.


Yeah, you have to wonder how many of these things would be funded anyway, but got lumped into here for simplicity sake.

As for the kids programs/summer jobs thing: 1.2 billion is an awful lot, but I'm pretty sure there's some pretty good data out there on the benefits of these kinds of things. (By which I mean a pretty direct cause/effect kind of thing, as opposed to conjecture or things that take 10 years to pay off)

Edit: Also, I'm not sure if Amtrak qualifies, but there are certain things (public transportation, the postal service, etc) that should supersede the normal "If it isn't profiting, let it die" mentality. Not enough people ride the buses here in EC to pay for the bus system, but on the flip side, 90% of the people who ride it would be completely screwed without it. Somethings are just as much a public service as anything. Sure, a taxi company would fill the "people don't all have cars" gap, but it would cost a lot more.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Jeremy edited this at 02/03/2009 2:40:50 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
02/03/2009 @ 03:40:37 PM
 Quote this comment
Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:55:53 PM
You also have to look at the fact that the Republicans are incredibly good at labeling things with the general public. As it is, this has been labeled in the public's eye as a "Spending Bill." If this were a Republican administration and a Republican proposal, it would be a "Jobs Bill," which is the name it should have.


Thanks Keith. Of course, maybe it's viewed as a "Spending Bill" because that is basically what it is. What we've seen so far certainly isn't a "Stimulus Bill". If it was, most of the spending would take place as soon as possible, not 2 or 3 (or more) years out when the recession would already be over.

As for jobs, lets just say that not all jobs are created equal. To quote my good buddy N. Greggs:

"If you hire your neighbor for $100 to dig a hole in your backyard and then fill it up, and he hires you to do the same in his yard, the government statisticians report that things are improving. The economy has created two jobs, and the G.D.P. rises by $200. But it is unlikely that, having wasted all that time digging and filling, either of you is better off.

People don’t usually spend their money buying things they don’t want or need, so for private transactions, this kind of inefficient spending is not much of a problem. But the same cannot always be said of the government. If the stimulus package takes the form of bridges to nowhere, a result could be economic expansion as measured by standard statistics but little increase in economic well-being."


Just spending for the sake of spending may create jobs in the short term, but if the jobs go away once the project is over without increasing the probability of longer term economic growth, then we probably shouldn't be spending money on it.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:34:20 PM
Yeah, you have to wonder how many of these things would be funded anyway, but got lumped into here for simplicity sake.


Maybe so, but I'm not a fan of throwing pet projects into "must pass" legislation. It's a stupid practice when Republicans do it and it's stupid when Democrats do it as well.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 04:19:39 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:30:13 PM
Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:14:23 PM
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees. -Clearly, taxpayers would rather pay more taxes so that federal employees can have hybrids and no one else can afford them
Well this, like a lot of items on this list, is completely context free. Does this mean we are going to junk a bunch of perfectly good cars and replace them with Hybrids for the sake of it, or just that we're going to start buying Hybrids instead of "regular" cars when the time comes that new cars are needed? (The increased one time expense would be offset by reduced fuel costs.) Maybe the film thing just means that previously film was a weird exception from the normal rules everyone gets in regards to things being a "business expense" and all they are doing is changing that back. (Or they want to encourage film making, which, since films employ 324,239 people, isn't as ridiculous a thing to have on a stimulus bill as it looks at face value.) Also, you don't like the idea of fire departments, or what?


As an NCO (middle manager, essentially) in the Army Reserve, I often have to take our GSA vehicle (government civilian van) places for Army-related activities when they don't pay mileage for my own car. Lately (last 5 years or so) I've noticed that the vehicles have gone from the absolutely-no-options vehicles to the feature-loaded variety- for exaple, low-end cars with tiny engines and roll-down windows to family vans with entertainment packages (tv screens for games/movies, etc) and high end stereos, climate controls, and all that. The reasoning? Resale value. They want to buy the nicer vehicles up front and take advantage of the unused accessories down the road.

Of course, anyone who's ever had a company vehicle or has rented one knows that you never buy a fleet car- those things are beaten worse than Micah at one on one Hoops with Dr. Carl.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 04:23:03 PM
 Quote this comment
Matt Wrote - Today @ 04:40:37 PM
Micah Wrote - Today @ 02:55:53 PM
You also have to look at the fact that the Republicans are incredibly good at labeling things with the general public. As it is, this has been labeled in the public's eye as a "Spending Bill." If this were a Republican administration and a Republican proposal, it would be a "Jobs Bill," which is the name it should have.
Thanks Keith.


No Child Left behind? Clear Skies Act? Patriot Act? Micah's comment doesn't seem all that much of a lefty comment.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
02/03/2009 @ 04:34:25 PM
 Quote this comment
Don't forget the "Death Tax" and "Fair Tax!"
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 04:36:04 PM
 Quote this comment
Or the "we don't kick kittens act"
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 04:48:11 PM
 Quote this comment
Carlos44ec Wrote - Today @ 04:19:39 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:30:13 PM
Alex Wrote - Today @ 01:14:23 PM
• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees. -Clearly, taxpayers would rather pay more taxes so that federal employees can have hybrids and no one else can afford them
Well this, like a lot of items on this list, is completely context free. Does this mean we are going to junk a bunch of perfectly good cars and replace them with Hybrids for the sake of it, or just that we're going to start buying Hybrids instead of "regular" cars when the time comes that new cars are needed? (The increased one time expense would be offset by reduced fuel costs.) Maybe the film thing just means that previously film was a weird exception from the normal rules everyone gets in regards to things being a "business expense" and all they are doing is changing that back. (Or they want to encourage film making, which, since films employ 324,239 people, isn't as ridiculous a thing to have on a stimulus bill as it looks at face value.) Also, you don't like the idea of fire departments, or what?


As an NCO (middle manager, essentially) in the Army Reserve, I often have to take our GSA vehicle (government civilian van) places for Army-related activities when they don't pay mileage for my own car. Lately (last 5 years or so) I've noticed that the vehicles have gone from the absolutely-no-options vehicles to the feature-loaded variety- for exaple, low-end cars with tiny engines and roll-down windows to family vans with entertainment packages (tv screens for games/movies, etc) and high end stereos, climate controls, and all that. The reasoning? Resale value. They want to buy the nicer vehicles up front and take advantage of the unused accessories down the road.

Of course, anyone who's ever had a company vehicle or has rented one knows that you never buy a fleet car- those things are beaten worse than Micah at one on one Hoops with Dr. Carl.


Well, I guess that makes sense, if the money works out. It's also fair to say that those features are getting more and more common/cheaper and that it's just harder to get a bare bones car now, and that's probably especially true of minivans, or any vehicle made for 6-7 people.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Jeremy edited this 2 times, last at 02/03/2009 4:51:09 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 04:53:33 PM
 Quote this comment
Scott Wrote - Today @ 04:23:03 PM
Matt Wrote - Today @ 03:40:37 PM
Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:55:53 PM
You also have to look at the fact that the Republicans are incredibly good at labeling things with the general public. As it is, this has been labeled in the public's eye as a "Spending Bill." If this were a Republican administration and a Republican proposal, it would be a "Jobs Bill," which is the name it should have.
Thanks Keith.


No Child Left behind? Clear Skies Act? Patriot Act? Micah's comment doesn't seem all that much of a lefty comment.


From the "2008 Taxes" thread:
Matt Wrote - 01/23/2009 @ 07:00:33 AM
Remember though, if you worked for the International Monetary Fund, you need to pay self-employment tax.

Micah Wrote - 01/23/2009 @ 08:14:42 AM
Thanks Rush...I'm planning on using Turbo Tax this year so I don't have to pay my self-employment tax.


Just a little tit-for-tat.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Matt perfected this 2 times, last at 02/03/2009 4:55:29 pm
reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - They just want the damn ash of that field
02/03/2009 @ 05:13:38 PM
 Quote this comment
I got it...although Rush never looked as sweet as this

Olbermann-Patrick-NBC.jpg
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
02/03/2009 @ 05:23:24 PM
 Quote this comment
youngrush.jpg
[Click to Enlarge]
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
reign_of_fire.jpgMicah - 584 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 05:42:04 PM
 Quote this comment
Nice...I stand corrected
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
2887.gifAlex - But let history remember, that as free men, we chose to make it so!
02/03/2009 @ 09:19:41 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 02:34:20 PM
Yeah, you have to wonder how many of these things would be funded anyway, but got lumped into here for simplicity sake.


Simplicity my ass. I don't go around creating global variables in my code for simplicity's sake, and Congress shouldn't go around lumping 100 totally unrelated things into the same bill. Seems like whenever they "compromise" it's by adding even more crap into crap laden legislature. Wouldn't it make more sense to remove anything that can't be agreed on, pass the bill, and argue about the rest later?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 09:35:55 PM
 Quote this comment
Micah Wrote - Today @ 01:55:53 PM
Amtrak is also a government-run organization, and while I completely agree with the "if it can't stand on its own let it fail" sentimentality, have you ever ridden amtrak? It's freaking sweet. You show up 10 minutes before your train leaves and get your ticket from a machine that never has lines. There are no security lines, you don't have to check luggage, the seats are super comfortable, there are outlets at every seat and when the person in front of you leans all the way back, it doesn't affect you at all. Anyway, the 850M might be money it was going to get anyway, but who knows.


I haven't ridden but based on that description I'm not inclined to hand them more money, sounds pretty lavish for public transportation. And if they were going to get the money away, put it in a "Give Amtrak money" bill and not in the stimulus bill.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:30:13 PM
Also, you don't like the idea of fire departments, or what?


Not sure why it would be included in this bill, or why the federal government is handing out money to local and state fire stations. If people in some city in some other state aren't paying enough local taxes to finance their own fire station why should my federal tax dollars pay for it? I don't even know what a "state" fire station is; I thought they were all local.

Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:04:14 PM
Also, some of these numbers, while they are a lot of money for us, are pennies a person. Not that wasting it is ok, but it reduces the "sky is falling" aspect a bit.

Red herring.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/03/2009 @ 09:39:02 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 01:30:13 PM
(Or they want to encourage film making, which, since films employ 324,239 people, isn't as ridiculous a thing to have on a stimulus bill as it looks at face value.)


Yeah, because the federal government creating initiatives to influence private business sectors has such a sterling track record of success emoticon
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 09:43:08 PM
 Quote this comment
On a more general note, many of those things can't be categorically classified as good or bad, so it comes down to setting priorities, which the federal government is horrible at in my opinion, mostly because they don't do it all or at least they can't ever say, "We'd like to do x and y, but right now x is more important so we can only do that" because then supporters of y will scream and wine like 5 year olds and politicians must pander to everyone regardless of how ridiculous it is.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/03/2009 @ 09:47:00 PM
 Quote this comment
Also, I'd like to present my plan for eliminating the national deficit by the end of the year. Audit all Democrats in D.C. and get them to pay their back taxes. The end. Actually, I bet that's why there was a surplus during the Clinton years, the Dems had to stay on the up and up, but when Bush was in power they just let it ride. emoticon
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/04/2009 @ 12:12:51 AM
 Quote this comment
Well the very fact that virtually everyone being looked at hard enough didn't pay for this or that and it took being vetted for cabinet position for someone to notice tells me that the tax system is messed up beyond repair. It's like an awful computer program with 60 years of band-aids from people who all want it to do different things. The time has come to shit can the whole thing and start fresh.

Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:39:02 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 01:30:13 PM
(Or they want to encourage film making, which, since films employ 324,239 people, isn't as ridiculous a thing to have on a stimulus bill as it looks at face value.)


Yeah, because the federal government creating initiatives to influence private business sectors has such a sterling track record of success emoticon


Well, it's merits could be open to debate, but this is, supposedly, a stimulus bill.

Alex Wrote - Yesterday @ 09:19:41 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Yesterday @ 02:34:20 PM
Yeah, you have to wonder how many of these things would be funded anyway, but got lumped into here for simplicity sake.


Simplicity my ass. I don't go around creating global variables in my code for simplicity's sake, and Congress shouldn't go around lumping 100 totally unrelated things into the same bill. Seems like whenever they "compromise" it's by adding even more crap into crap laden legislature. Wouldn't it make more sense to remove anything that can't be agreed on, pass the bill, and argue about the rest later?


First of all, you're assuming they agree on anything. Secondly, yes, in a perfect world they would vote on a bill to feed orphans separate from the bill to invest in sharks with laser beams on their head, but they debate these things for way too long as it is. It would be nice, but ultimately our government is the epitome of "group think." Where the solution in the end ends up satisfying no one and it barely accomplishes the task it set out do to.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - You had me at "Hello"
02/04/2009 @ 07:48:15 AM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:12:51 AM
Well the very fact that virtually everyone being looked at hard enough didn't pay for this or that and it took being vetted for cabinet position for someone to notice tells me that the tax system is messed up beyond repair. It's like an awful computer program with 60 years of band-aids from people who all want it to do different things. The time has come to shit can the whole thing and start fresh.


Sounds like a revolution's a-brewin!
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
02/05/2009 @ 12:43:16 AM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 09:35:55 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 01:04:14 PM
Also, some of these numbers, while they are a lot of money for us, are pennies a person. Not that wasting it is ok, but it reduces the "sky is falling" aspect a bit.

Red herring.


I don't think so. It's important to look at these numbers with the portion they represent in mind. Wasting money is never awesome, but some of these are the financial equivalent of me getting all bent out of shape because I feel Sarah wasted $5 on something.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 4091 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 06:07:35 AM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:43:16 AM
Alex Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 09:35:55 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 01:04:14 PM
Also, some of these numbers, while they are a lot of money for us, are pennies a person. Not that wasting it is ok, but it reduces the "sky is falling" aspect a bit.

Red herring.


I don't think so. It's important to look at these numbers with the portion they represent in mind. Wasting money is never awesome, but some of these are the financial equivalent of me getting all bent out of shape because I feel Sarah wasted $5 on something.


Gambling is not wasting. :)
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
matt.jpgMatt - 3354 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 04:02:45 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 12:43:16 AM
Alex Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 09:35:55 PM
Jeremy Wrote - 02/03/2009 @ 01:04:14 PM
Also, some of these numbers, while they are a lot of money for us, are pennies a person. Not that wasting it is ok, but it reduces the "sky is falling" aspect a bit.

Red herring.


I don't think so. It's important to look at these numbers with the portion they represent in mind. Wasting money is never awesome, but some of these are the financial equivalent of me getting all bent out of shape because I feel Sarah wasted $5 on something.


Yeah, but add them up and suddenly you're wasting $50 or $100. Add in the fact that you are already in debt $5,000 and I think it's alright to argue against wasting a few bucks here and there.

Also, as I'm sure you are aware, the costs may average out to pennies a person, but they're not "paid" that way at all.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 05:18:56 PM
 Quote this comment
The stimulus package is 900 billion dollars. The whole list Scott posted is just over 19 billion. It's 2% of the whole kitten caboodle. Factor out the top 5 things on the list and you're now talking about 7.4 billion for the other 27 items. That's .8% of the overall bill. I understand that costs add up, and I doubt this is the GOP's entire list, still, there's a certain about of "big picture" perspective that needs to go on here, otherwise you're just nit picking.

It's like a guest on the daily show was talking about the other day. People were/are so upset that the automakers' reps took private jets to Washington to beg for money, and that people on Wall St. gave themselves 18 billion in bonuses. The auto industry hemorrhages $50,000 a minute and Wall St lost trillions recently. So, though those may be decent examples of why those things are defunct, they also aren't the things people should be in a tizzy over. (Though the gist of the message is the same as I'm trying to get across, I'll point out, and disagree with the guest a little bit, in that people do know (or have a feeling for) those other facts, and the outrage is largely over the "nerve" to still "be greedy")
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Jeremy perfected this 4 times, last at 02/05/2009 5:28:11 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
02/05/2009 @ 05:39:02 PM
 Quote this comment
In other words, if you want to be against this bill that's fine, but if the Republicans and Democrats really only disagree on anywhere close to 2% of this bill I'd say it's a pretty smashing bi-partisan success, and probably an unprecedented amount of agreement.

You could argue this is a pretty brief "highlight reel" of waste, but they have sums on it as low as 5.5 million (.0006% - About the equivalent of someone who makes $40K a year losing a quarter a year.), and only as high as 6 billion. (.6%) It seems to me if that was the goal they should have been able to find some pretty ridiculous things with some pretty ridiculous price tags.

Otherwise it's like if we discussed how preposterous it is that Cris Carter was left out of the HOF again, then proceeded to open our argument by posting his rushing stats and comparing then to other receivers. Either we're stupid, or we don't have a very good case.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Jeremy perfected this 4 times, last at 02/05/2009 6:03:58 pm
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
02/05/2009 @ 05:41:37 PM
 Quote this comment
You said: "but some of these are the financial equivalent of me getting all bent out of shape because I feel Sarah wasted $5 on something". Your phrasing did not indicate that, in your analogy, the $5 represents all of the waste in the bill.

Even so, as you said, I don't think the list provided is the extent of the waste in this bill, and the "add them up" clause can apply to the instances of government waste in their "normal" spending bills as well.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
02/05/2009 @ 05:51:20 PM
 Quote this comment
If an individual has $20,000 of credit card debt, should they say, "Screw it, I don't really need X at X dollars, but it's only .0006% more so who cares, I'll take 5 of them"?

Here's my response if this bill passes,
"Washington, you just did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land your plane! You don't own that plane, the tax payers do! Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash. You've been busted, you lost your qualifications as section leader three times, put in hack twice by me, with a history of high speed passes over five air control towers, and one admiral's daughter!"
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 06:09:00 PM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Today @ 05:51:20 PM
If an individual has $20,000 of credit card debt, should they say, "Screw it, I don't really need X at X dollars, but it's only .0006% more so who cares, I'll take 5 of them"?


That's not really the debate here. It's not they should or shouldn't do anything. The point is be upset at that person for having 20 grand in debt, be upset at them for buying another car, the fact that they bought a gumball isn't their big problem, it's barely even indicative of their problem.

I mean come on people. The Dems are spending 900 BILLION dollars here. There's GOT to be some examples of 14 billion to save some owl that's perfectly fine on its own, or 29 billion for public schools to start "feel good about yourself" programs.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 06:15:33 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:39:02 PM
In other words, if you want to be against this bill that's fine, but if the Republicans and Democrats really only disagree on anywhere close to only 2% of this bill I'd say it's a pretty smashing bi-partisan success, and probably an unprecedented amount of agreement.

You could ague this is a pretty brief "highlight reel" of waste, but they have sums on it as low as 5.5 million (.0006% - About the equivalent of someone who makes $40K a year losing a quarter a year.), and only as high as 6 billion. (.6%) It seems to me if that was the goal they should have been able to find some pretty ridiculous things with some pretty ridiculous price tags.


Like I said, I'm sure that the items on the list are not the only things the Republicans object to, and you can't just assume that the rest of the bill is good just because it hasn't been specifically objected to (it may be the case that it is, or it may not be). Moreover, the bigger problem with this bill so far is that most of the money won't even be spent within the year. The whole point of this kind of Keynesian recession spending is that this otherwise "bad" debt will be beneficial as it will lessen the economic downturn. So, even if there is spending in the bill that would be ok to the Republicans now, if it comes two years from now it won't do any good and will just be a drag on the future economy (see this story on a CBO report).
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 1 times.
Matt edited this 2 times, last at 02/05/2009 6:33:29 pm
matt.jpgMatt - Washington Bureau Chief
02/05/2009 @ 06:27:29 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 06:09:00 PM
I mean come on people. The Dems are spending 900 BILLION dollars here. There's GOT to be some examples of 14 billion to save some owl that's perfectly fine on its own, or 29 billion for public schools to start "feel good about yourself" programs.


Also, there are certainly appropriations of money in the bill that are "bad" but don't lend themselves to lists like this because no "layperson" would understand what the program is, let alone instantly recognize it as "pork".
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Ombudsman
02/05/2009 @ 06:32:02 PM
 Quote this comment
I forgot to add this, but it would also be nice if some burden would be on Congress and the Administration to demonstrate how certain programs are actually the best programs to get the most "bang for the buck".
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
02/05/2009 @ 07:39:47 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:39:02 PM
In other words, if you want to be against this bill that's fine, but if the Republicans and Democrats really only disagree on anywhere close to 2% of this bill I'd say it's a pretty smashing bi-partisan success, and probably an unprecedented amount of agreement.


I hate the word bi-partisan. 500 some supposedly responsible adults might manage to put aside their high-school like clique wars in order to do something vaguely representing the job they are being paid to do, and I'm supposed to be happy about it? Really? Should we start a petition to give them $18.4 billion in bonuses for their excellent performance?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
newalex.jpgAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/05/2009 @ 07:49:54 PM
 Quote this comment
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 06:09:00 PM

That's not really the debate here. It's not they should or shouldn't do anything. The point is be upset at that person for having 20 grand in debt, be upset at them for buying another car, the fact that they bought a gumball isn't their big problem, it's barely even indicative of their problem.

I mean come on people. The Dems are spending 900 BILLION dollars here. There's GOT to be some examples of 14 billion to save some owl that's perfectly fine on its own, or 29 billion for public schools to start "feel good about yourself" programs.


Your right, the real problem is that there is a stimulus bill in the first place, not that some of the things in it are dubious. If your in a canoe and it starts tipping to one side, do you quick lean hard in the other direction or just stiffen up and slowly regain your equilibrium? Does all this doom and gloom talk from Obama and his rampant sense of urgency to "do something" remind anyone else of the post 9/11 days when Bush rushed through laws that deprived citizens of their privacy rights (at the least) in the name of stopping terrorism?
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 1.21 Gigawatts!?!?
02/05/2009 @ 10:59:42 PM
 Quote this comment
Alex Wrote - Today @ 07:39:47 PM
Jeremy Wrote - Today @ 05:39:02 PM
In other words, if you want to be against this bill that's fine, but if the Republicans and Democrats really only disagree on anywhere close to 2% of this bill I'd say it's a pretty smashing bi-partisan success, and probably an unprecedented amount of agreement.


I hate the word bi-partisan. 500 some supposedly responsible adults might manage to put aside their high-school like clique wars in order to do something vaguely representing the job they are being paid to do, and I'm supposed to be happy about it? Really? Should we start a petition to give them $18.4 billion in bonuses for their excellent performance?


Well, first off we have to get over this notion that all working together in happy rainbow land is even the ideal goal. There are supposed to be multiple opinions. The problem is that people don't vote based on their opinions anymore, for the most part they just tow the party line. I mean, I get that they would a lot of the time, there's generally a reason they are in that party, but you would think they would have a stray opinion every so often. (And if and when it does happen people react like that person is Benedict Arnold .)
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
02/09/2009 @ 07:17:50 PM
 Quote this comment
I like how the "Stimulus Bill" became the "Recovery Plan", that's not sarcasm.

Voting on party lines is a huge problem.

If Republicans can only come up with 2% of the bill as objectionable, why wouldn't the Dems just slash that and say ok, let's pass this? It's like they want to have their cake and eat it. Opening of SNL was hilarious this weekend. Also, I hate how Obama says, in paraphrase, "Dems won the election, and that's what the election was about, so we're basically going to do whatever we want and no one should object".
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
02/09/2009 @ 07:28:11 PM
 Quote this comment
If Bush can make a claim on a mandate with 51% of the vote, Obama can make the claim with close to 54% of the vote.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - Nutcan.com's MBL
02/09/2009 @ 09:35:39 PM
 Quote this comment
Maybe, but that's not change we can believe in.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Total:

Rated 2 times.
thumbnailCAW1I0O3.gifMatt - 3354 Posts
02/11/2009 @ 05:32:00 PM
 Quote this comment
I've always hated the notion that, when faced with an argument or disagreement, a compromise solution is somehow always optimal. Sure, sometimes compromises can create a win/win situation, but there are plenty of times where a compromise has as good of a chance to create a lose/lose situation instead. Anyway, I was reading an article dealing with this subject and liked this passage:

"For certain Beltway centrists, the highest principle is to prove that you are attached to no principle. Rather, your duty is to split the difference between the “ideologues.” If one side says we need a 1,000-foot bridge to span a canyon, and the other side says we don’t need a bridge at all, the centrists will fight for a bridge that goes 500 feet and no farther, then pat themselves on the back.

Yes, sometimes the middle position is the correct one. But there is no rule that says it must be."


I think there is a bit of truth there, which makes it both funny, and a little sad.

For the full article go here (FYI - It's an article about the stimulus from a conservative position, but the points about the centrists are, I think, somewhat universal).
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
02/11/2009 @ 05:45:49 PM
 Quote this comment
Yeah, especially in politics, where it's almost always a lose/lose. Besides that, even if a compromise is needed, it doesn't have to be a "let's take half of what you want and half of with I want" type situation. Most of the time there's some middle ground where cutting off both extremes gives you a workable solution that satisfies most people. It shouldn't be about meeting in the middle, it should be more like making the issue into a bell curve and trimming the ends. (Assuming it makes sense to, sometimes one side is just plain right and the other is just plain wrong.)
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
matt.jpgMatt - Ombudsman
02/12/2009 @ 07:44:56 PM
 Quote this comment
Maybe this stimulus bill isn't so bad after all.


EDIT: Go here to get in on the action.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Matt screwed with this at 02/12/2009 7:49:11 pm
hoochpage.JPGSarah - 4091 Posts
02/12/2009 @ 07:52:28 PM
 Quote this comment
Matt Wrote - Today @ 07:44:56 PM
Maybe this stimulus bill isn't so bad after all.


EDIT: Go here to get in on the action.


Sweet, I got in my bit, I should be receiving my check shortly. Do you think I'll get the better Twins tickets or Nutcan? Maybe they'll be right next to each other.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Sarah perfected this at 02/12/2009 7:54:14 pm
2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
02/12/2009 @ 08:10:50 PM
 Quote this comment
A bit unrelated, but here's a fantastic quote from a Senator who almost became a Cabinet member

"In an interview with The Associated Press, Gregg said, "For 30 years, I've been my own person in charge of my own views, and I guess I hadn't really focused on the job of working for somebody else and carrying their views, and so this is basically where it came out.""

Sucks to live in New Hampshire I guess because your Senator does whatever he wants!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/gregg_withdrawal
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
2887.gifAlex - Who controls the past now controls the future
08/04/2010 @ 11:23:17 PM
 Quote this comment
http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ContentRecord_id=20532b9f-f9ae-46d7-b2bf-0f01cd75d90d

• $193,956 to study voter perceptions of the economic stimulus

• $363,760 to help NIH promote the positive impacts of stimulus projects
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
scott.jpgScott - If you aren't enough without it, you'll never be enough with it.
08/05/2010 @ 08:43:48 PM
 Quote this comment
Does anyone else show that I am the author of this blog? I don't remember writing this, nor do I think I would have wrote this blog. Any thoughts?

On second thought, I probably did indeed write it. I didn't make any commentary, but I could have just copied and pasted the info from some website. Disregard this comment altogether.
Rate this comment
Yours:

Rated 0 times.
Scott edited this at 08/05/2010 8:48:54 pm
Leave a Comment of your very own
Name:
Comment:
Verify this code
Verify the Code in this box, or sign in, to post a comment.
click me!
There's an emoticon for how you feel!
click me!
My Files
Sign up, or login, to be able to upload files for Nutcan.com users to see.