Obama warns of 'catastrophe' if bail out isn't passed
This mantra is getting tiresome - especially since the bill, as it now stands, won't stimulate anything except perhaps the saliva glands of Democratic constituencies.
According to the AP report, Obama said the recession will turn into a "catastrophe" if the bail out is not passed quickly.
He rejected several criticisms of the plan including that "tax cuts alone" will solve the problem (no one is proposing that the bill only include tax cuts). The White House released some of Obama's remarks ahead of an event on executive compensation limits.
He also hinted at his "I won" meme and that lawmakers owed it to him to throw their principles out the window and blindly support him. Well, I'm sure he didn't put it quite like that but that's the thrust of his argument.
The man wants to talk about catastrophe? OK, I'll bite. How about these items in his "stimulus bill" as examples of "catastrophe:"
• $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.
• $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.
The best way to avoid a catastrophe is defeat this pork-laden beast and substitute tax cuts with some targeted infrastructure spending to get money in people's pockets and worker's back to work.