Where’s the Pork? (Nowhere)

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    I am glad to see that someone is putting out the facts.


    Where’s the Pork? (Nowhere)

    By Will Straw | February 6, 2009

    ...

    Renovations to golf courses and insurance for honeybee farms have become the latest items used by conservatives to belittle the spending measures in the recovery bill currently before Congress. But let’s look at the facts. The total Senate package totals about $920 billion as of this moment. This includes $247 billion for investments in health, education, and training; $191 billion for infrastructure, green energy, and science; $342 billion for tax cuts to working families and businesses; and $99 billion for the hardest hit from the recession. So where do the so-called “pork” items come from?

    The renovations to golf courses come from a United States Conference of Mayors report released on January 17 when the ink was barely dry on the initial House proposal. The mayors’ report includes 18,750 ready-to-go infrastructure projects at a cost of $150 billion. Less than half that amount is allocated to local infrastructure in the package and that will be spent by a combination of governors and mayors.

    Indeed, the proposal listed in the Wall Street Journal from the mayor of Austin to build a 36-hole “disc” golf course is competing with $80.2 billion worth of other projects on the mayors’ list in addition to state-level projects in spending categories for which the Senate package only allocates $10.2 billion. It’s a pretty safe bet to assume that Austin’s new leisure facility won’t be in place any time soon—at least not at federal taxpayer expense.

    The reason these measures made the mayor’s list was explained by Greg MacLean, public works director in Lincoln, Nebraska, who said in the Wall Street Journal that, “Our approach has been to list everything, because we don't know what the final guidelines will be or what the final dollar amount will be.” Thankfully, the recovery plan before Congress does not adopt a “kitchen sink” approach and has extremely stringent accountability arrangements in place.

    As outlined by Reece Rushing, the plan requires regular, public reports and disclosure of detailed data on investments made and progress achieved. A Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board will meet at least once a month to coordinate and examine spending, and to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. It will submit quarterly and annual reports on its findings to Congress. Finally, Obama has created a website, www.recovery.gov, to provide detailed data on each contract awarded and, crucially, monthly updates on investments in each state and congressional district.

    The bottom line: If states or municipalities try to use the money for golf courses, then they will be held accountable.

    So what about honeybee insurance? As Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times unearthed, the furor turned out to be more a red herring than a pot of honey since it was just part of a disaster insurance program for all livestock producers. Beekeepers were a minor recipient. Indeed, Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and David Vitter (R-LA), who railed against the provision, voted for it in 2008.

    There are other examples circulating that purport to show other crazy spending—special tax breaks for industries and money for sons of congressmen. As with the golf courses and honeybee insurance, the accusations all turn out to be the result of wildly tortured logic.
    The truth behind all these claims is that conservatives are pecking through the small print of the bill and the wish lists of mayors to come up with measures that discredit the wider bill. But analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows that programs criticized by conservatives on TV or in a letter they sent to the media total just $19.5 billion—less than 2 percent of the total package. So even if these complaints were legitimate, they’re small potatoes.

    ...

    The truth is hard for conservatives to take. Interest rates are at about zero so monetary policy no longer works. Tax cuts to individuals have their place in this package—because we need a very large stimulus and we, in fact, don’t want to expand our spending to areas that truly are irresponsible and because middle- and low-income people are struggling—but a large portion of those tax cuts probably will be saved or used to pay down personal debts. Tax cuts to corporations are even less justified. The best way to help businesses is to provide them with customers—by getting the private economy growing again. Businesses are unlikely to make investments or start hiring because of tax breaks until they again have customers for their products.

    ...

    - rest at www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/02/wheres_the_pork.html
     
  2. Dragoon68

    Dragoon68
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    You'd better read the legislation itself, Ken, because it's a trainload of pork from the first to the last car.
     
  3. just-want-peace

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    Naivety (to put it nicely) has obviously become an epidemic!:rolleyes::BangHead:
     
  4. KenH

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    There is a link to the House bill that was passed at the link in red:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/
     
  5. rbell

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    Dear Ken,

    You had a misspelling in your post earlier. Below, I have taken the liberty of corecting it. It wasn't a big deal--just a missing space.

    Old post (unedited, incorrect):

    Corrected post:

    You're welcome.

    :D
     
  6. Dragoon68

    Dragoon68
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    You'd better read some of it. I've already read a lot of it.
     
  7. Creyn

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    Wow, what an amazing society we live in when $19,500,000,000 is "small potatoes". How about this: I'll opt out of any benefits there MIGHT be with all these "small potatoes" and you keep your hands out of my pockets.
     
  8. dragonfly

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    It's a good stimulus bill and it needs to be passed. Thank God there is not enough right-wingers to stop it. In the end, it will pass, thanks especially to the three republican Senators who have agreed to vote in favor of this needed package.
     
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    And the hole just keeps getting deeper... We are digging our way right to China!
     
  10. rbell

    rbell
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    It's nice to see name-calling is still an art form.

    Tell me...if I oppose this bill, what character flaw does it specifically show me to have?
     
  11. OldRegular

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    It is not pork it is just slop for the hogs!
     
  12. dragonfly

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    What name did I supposedly call you?
     
  13. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    After listening to the President's cramming of the "stimulus" down our throats the other night on TV, and his inability to tell the truth about the "package" stating that it wasn't full of pork, fully knowing that it was one of the most pork filled packages in history, with most of the democrats specially chosen things to support their own districts inserted, along with a change in medicine slipped in that would allow for the socialization of it, making us more of a socialist state than any past administration, as it has taken away our ability and RIGHT to speak our minds as citizens, instead, following the principals of another democratic socialist, Mr. Tom Daschle from his book last year in his hopes of becoming the HHS secretary to an Obama administration, I am MAD and I am not going to sit idly by and listen to the lies of these people.

    I'm going to write the congressmen of IL, as well as the Senators to voice my opinion while it is still legal to do so.

    TAKE BACK OUR GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

    Mr. Obama has not kept his promise to defend the Constitution of the United States. He has taken over the Census for 2010 (according to published news reports), a duty that belongs to another branch of the United States Government, and made it his own to further the socialists interests, eroding even more the Constitutional rights of Americans.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE....if it's not already too late!
     
  14. saturneptune

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    It really does not matter where the pork is. The whole bill is a facade. It is not the function of the federal government to bail out people and institutions that do not know how to make common sense decisions for themselves. They created the situation, now they can get out of it, just not on my dime.
     
  15. rbell

    rbell
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    C'mon..."right-winger" is a perjorative (and look back...I don't use the left-sided version of those).

    Your assertion is that to oppose this bill means one is a "right-winger," including all of the negative connotations associated with it.
     
  16. chuck2336

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    What is good about it? I am not shooting you down or anything I really want to know what parts of this spending bill you think is "good".
     
  17. EdSutton

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    [​IMG] Where’s the Pork? (Nowhere)

    Oh, please. :rolleyes:




    ('Corrected' post of rbell.)

    Where’s the Pork? (Now Here)


    Exactly! :thumbsup:

    Ed
     
  18. dragonfly

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    I'm sorry. I have never considered the term "right-winger" to be pejorative. Someone who is on the extreme right is a "right-winger."

    If you find this to be offensive, remember that I mean it as someone who is a strict conservative, in their political viewpoint. Someone who opposes any form of Socialism.
     
  19. Dragoon68

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    It is then the opposite of a left-winger, a liberal, and socialist.
     
  20. LeBuick

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    I noticed a lot of you are saying how it is full of pork but I haven't seen one post with one piece of pork from the bill. I am not doubting it has some pork but if it is as full as you all say then it should be easy to make a list. How about listing the pork with a reference to exactly where it is in the bill?
     

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