Read this piece from Veronique de Rugy at Reason Magazine about what exactly our legislators voted on yesterday.
It will turn your stomach, at the very least. With the economy falling down around our ears, these pork-loving, cynical, selfish bastards larded up a spending bill with some provisions that will easily make the Hall of Fame of Wasteful Spending.
A partial list:
- $24 million for United States Department of Agriculture buildings and rent
- $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
- $290 million for flood prevention
- $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
- $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
- $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp programs
- $1 billion for the 2010 Census
- $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
- $650 million for the digital TV converter box coupon program
- $2 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program
- $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
- $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
- $1 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program
- $1 billion for NASA
- $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
- $400 million for equipment and facilities at the National Science Foundation
- $3.7 billion to conduct “green” renovations on military bases
Again, for dimwitted lefties who may be lurking out there, some of this spending is no doubt needed - but has absolutely no business being attached to this bill. Why can’t some of these programs be funded through normal legislative channels? Because the whole Congress knows they would never be able to spend the amounts earmarked in this stimulus package or even pass some of these spending provisions at all unless we had a president out there deliberately and cynically ginning up fear in order to scare people and thus justifying its passage as a result of a national emergency.
And that’s not all:
The conference report dedicates 30 percent of all discretionary spending to 33 new programs totaling $95 billion and expands 73 programs which are normally part of the regular appropriations process by $92 billion.
That’s 33 new government programs brought into existence that, like almost all government programs, will take on a life of its own and we will be funding them long after you and I have let this planet for more hospitable climes.
Also, that’s another 73 programs getting money in this stimulus that should have gone through the regular appropriations process but didn’t because Democrats wanted to spend more money on them than they could possibly get going through channels.
That kind of thing happens occasionally. Bills will have riders attached that have little to do with the nature of the spending but is stuck in there by some member as the result of a favor. But it has never been done to this gargantuan extent nor with such blatant disregard for rules and procedures.
Finally, de Rugy shows us some things that were put back in conference that the senate had taken out:
So now funds can go to museums, stadiums, arts centers, theaters, parks, or highway beautification projects. Most significantly, this reopens the door for many of the projects on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ wish list of “shovel ready” projects that includes many items that are nothing but waste and pork, such as doorbells, construction of dog parks, replacement of street lights, and money for a “mob museum.”
“No earmarks” doesn’t mean that Democratic mayors aren’t salivating over the prospect of getting their hands on this cash for their little pet projects. The only people who will benefit by that kind of spending are the political supporters and cronies of the big city mayors.
I am suffering from “outrage fatigue” this morning. And after reading de Rugy’s piece, I feel like getting sick to my stomach. The rank cynicism it took to write this bill and then sell it as a panacea for what ails us is perhaps the greatest betrayal of the public trust in my lifetime.
I only hope there are American historians a hundred years from now to write about it.
This blog post originally appeared in The American Thinker