The GOP Wises Up
House Democrats have come up with an $825 billion stimulus bill. Republican Minority Leader John Boehner's initial reaction -- "Oh, my God!" -- expressed the abject disgust that many will feel once they learn what is in it. Boehner's office put out a handy guide to some of the "lowlights":
1. The House Democrats' bill will cost each and every household $6,700 additional debt, paid for by our children and grandchildren.
2. The total cost of this one piece of legislation is almost as much as the annual discretionary budget for the entire federal government.
3. President-elect Obama has said that his proposed stimulus legislation will create or save three million jobs. This means that this legislation will spend about $275,000 per job. The average household income in the U.S. is $50,000 a year.
4. The House Democrats' bill provides enough spending -- $825 billion -- to give every man, woman, and child in America $2,700.
5. $825 billion is enough to give every person living in poverty in the U.S. $22,000.
6. $825 billion is enough to give every person in Ohio $72,000.
7. Although the House Democrats' proposal has been billed as a transportation and infrastructure investment package, in actuality only $30 billion of the bill -- or three percent -- is for road and highway spending. A recent study from the Congressional Budget Office said that only 25 percent of infrastructure dollars can be spent in the first year, making the one year total less than $7 billion for infrastructure.
8. Much of the funding within the House Democrats' proposal will go to programs that already have large, unexpended balances. For example, the bill provides $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which already have $16 billion on hand. And, this year, Congress has plans to rescind $9 billion in highway funding that the states have not yet used.
9. In 1993, the unemployment rate was virtually the same as the rate today (around seven percent). Yet, then-President Clinton's proposed stimulus legislation ONLY contained $16 billion in spending.
10. Here are just a few of the programs and projects that have been included in the House Democrats' proposal:
- $650 million for digital TV coupons.
- $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.
- $400 million for "National Treasures."
11. Almost one-third of the so called tax relief in the House Democrats' bill is spending in disguise, meaning that true tax relief makes up only 24 percent of the total package -- not the 40 percent that President-elect Obama had requested.
12. $825 billion is just the beginning -- many Capitol Hill Democrats want to spend even more taxpayer dollars on their "stimulus" plan.