House Passes “Economic” Stimulus Package

And another step towards the Socialist Nanny States of America continues. That or someone is fond of the failed idea Keynesian economics.

House Passes Economic Stimulus Plan

Zero Republicans voted for the bill, being joined by eleven Democrats in their opposition. So much for President Obama vaunted bi-partisianship for this pork fest special interest pay-off. My only hope is the Senate cut as much of the garbage and pork instilled in this bill by corrupt politicians at the behest lobbyists and neo-socialists.

Remember to Read the Stimulus!

Examples of pork and other assorted unnecessary spending in the bill:

  1. Billions for the DoD for facilities maintenance and upgrades. This should be part of the normal military budget.
  2. Billions for broadband internet. Laudable but should be part of the regular budget. For that matter, should the government be in the business of broadband internet?
  3. Billions for DH&HS. Again should be part of the budget, not an economic stimulus program.
  4. Millions for STD prevention. Laudable, but having nothing to do with economics, I’m afraid.
  5. Billions for carbon capture demonstration project. Once again laudable, but should be part of budget not the stimulus bill.
  6. Billions to states to help “balance their books”. The federal government should not be involved in supporting the fiscally irresponsible state governments.
  7. A billion dollars for Amtrak. Privatize this elephant already and quit throwing good money after bad.

You know this thing is a failure for the future when only about 12% of the bill will actually have any future stimulative effect on the economy according to the experts.

10 steps (and nothing else) I think would better serve the economy:

  1. Permanently reduce taxes on personal income.
  2. Assistance and aid for mortgage debt. Force renegotiation of home values to actual levels rather than the overinflated levels.
  3. Passing usury laws against credit card companies slashing interests rates to levels in line with the banking industry (i.e. 4-5%) and requiring payments count at least 90% towards principle debt, not interest.
  4. Extend unemployment benefits.
  5. Extend and expand business and skills retraining programs.
  6. Permanently cut corporate tax rates to 15%-20% for in country corporations and make corporate taxes on those who transfer jobs/production facilities overseas 30-35%.
  7. Temporary tax breaks on businesses for payroll, insurance, et. al., to encourage keeping jobs until economy is better.
  8. Investment into infrastructure. (Which is in the stimulus bill.)
  9. Temporary freeze on all government workers pay. Politicians should take a pay cut (if not take any pay at all). Everyone should have to shoulder the burden of the bad economy.
  10. Pass a balanced budget amendment.

Not a complete solution, of course, but at least it’s a far more reasonable start than the “stimulus bill”. It’s not the role of the government in a capitalist based economy to create jobs, nor is its to support failing companies or political entities hiding as an array of NGOs and non-profits.

And in closing a little humor:

Cry, comrades, cry.

For the time of the socialist is nigh.

Now we may all live well,

But they’re not gonna tell

That our grandkids will live

In financial hell.

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Obama Remark Unsettles Some

So much for bringing America together. The fanatics are already out trying to justify their useless existences for the next four years.

Obama Remark Unsettles Some

So certain fruitloop religious leaders suddenly don’t support the  message of acceptance and tolerance for all Americans in Obama’s inaugural speech because they don’t fit their narrow minded theological perspective. How hypocritical! I just don’t get people (especially black Americans from the civil rights era) that faced massive abuse and discrimination are so eager and willing to denigrate and dismiss others. Such attitudes is what leads to that self-same abuse and discrimination.

So Hindus, Muslims, Athiests, Agnostic, et. al. aren’t part of American culture? Funny, my Hindu, Muslim, Athiest, Agnostic, et.al. friends and family members may have a few words to say about that! What about the Native American tribes that still practice their ancient rites? Suddenly they’re not Americans (again)?

It is this very notion by some so called civil rights leaders and their religious supporters that completely undermines and destroys any credibility and gravitas they may have on civil rights issues. I pity Christians who view non-Christians and non-believers as a threat, so much so that they start making excuses to justify their own hatred and bigotry. I pity the black leaders who’ve already forgotten the pain of discrimination and oppression in their frenzy to discriminate and oppress others.

I take heart in the fact that the vast majority of people I’ve known have shown far greater religious values (Christian or otherwise), tolerance, and understanding than people such as Bishop E.W. Jackson  and Rev. Cecil Blye and their ilk. They obviously learned all the wrong lessons from the Bible and Jesus’ teachings.

More Stimulus Package Info

The feeding frenzy continues in Washington and I continue my on going research on the stimulus bill and news related to it and keep finding things that I find disturbing,

Economic Stimulus Bill Mandates Electronic Health Records for Every Citizen without Opt-out or Patient Consent … ( WASHINGTON Jan. 23 — The Institute …)

The Institute for Health Freedom (IHF) warns that the economic stimulus bill mandates electronic health records for every citizen without providing for opt-out or patient consent provisions.

I’m of the opinion that the American citizens should each decide for themselves whether their records be made electronic. The government, banks, and other secured computer systems are incapable of keeping peoples information private and secure as if as evidenced by recent stories involving hacking of major credit card companies, VA records, and so. I even found a security hole at a major national bank (which I also promptly reported to the bank) the other day that could be easily exploited by hackers and others assorted financial and identity thieves. So, yeah, I am completely opposed to placing people’s medical information online without consent or recourse, especially when mandated by a government and medical industry rife with unethical individuals.

Medicaid Expansion. The House bill expands Medicaid eligibility to cover unemployed workers whose income does not exceed 200% of the Federal Poverty Line and expires in two years. The problem is I doubt come 2011 the government (state or federal) will willingly throw potentially millions of Americans off the roles out of fear of the political retaliation said Americans will inflict in elections. Another somewhat disturbing idea is that this essentially sets the frame work for a de facto socialized medical program to be forced upon the American public.

Medicaid Loopholes for Illegals and Children. In effect there are loopholes established allowing children and illegals to get Medicaid without parental notification (former) or proof of citizenship/worker visa (latter). The government can’t say children are a parents responsibility except when it doesn’t fit whatever social agenda the government is pushing. Illegals deserve medical care when needed, but also need to be sent back to where they came from once they’ve been treated and reviewed for any possible eligibility for asylum. In effect they undercut parental rights and authority as well allowing illegals to sponge off the U.S. taxpayers.

Read the Stimulus

ReadTheStimulus.org

Seems like a good site to keep track of the stimulus bill being floated by the 111th Congress. A number of people have found items that are certainly eye opening about how government operates and spends/wastes money.

What I’ve skimmed over the 01/15/2009 draft reveals a number of non-economic related projects. This is suppose to be an economic stimulus plan, is it not? So why is there money being diverted toward the 2010 census, aid to states who’ve already showed fiscal irresponsibility, and the National Endowment for the Arts? Why the huge sums of money to the military? I was also not surprised to see NASA operations essentially being suborned into environmentalism instead oh i don’t know…aeronautics.

Don’t get me wrong, but the whole thing is starting to read like massive payoff with some dubious returns. There are some good points such opening lending to small businesses.

I suspect I’ll be going over the thing for several days if not a couple weeks but I have to be concerned when even the Congressional Budget Office thinks the plan will have little to no impact on curbing the recession.

Just some thoughts

Meet the new boss, just like the old boss…

The Oathers

These guys are really grasping at straws trying to claim Obama may not be President because of the inaugural oath flub. Obama is President. Get over it. These “oathers” are putting themselves into the same nutter class as the ones demanding Bush be arrested, which makes them all idiots in my book. If you’re going to oppose Obama at least do it over legitimate differences in political philosophy, governance, and policy issues.

Lowry’s Benediction

Most of Rev. Lowry’s benediction was fine, but I admit feeling disturbed when he made the following statement and what I assume are unintended racist overtones:

“Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”

Perhaps it’s because I was born and grew up after the civil rights era that I don’t get this part of the benediction and assume has some connotation from that time period that simply doesn’t fly for me in this time period. I particularly disliked several notions these saying bring to mind:

  • Asians (“yellow”) were somehow overly industrious (or even hinting at  aggressiveness of Asians towards non-Asians).
  • I find it disturbing that he implies the racism against blacks was somehow voluntary with the whole “asked to get back” shtick.
  • Implying whites have never done anything “right” until this inauguration. I’m sure Lincoln, the abolitionists, and all the assorted civil rights people appreciate having their work denigrated so

I’m going to assume it was just something resonating from the civil rights era and was not intended as a racist slight towards anyone. Perhaps it was a regional thing, since I never heard anything even remotely like those words during the assorted civil rights awareness programs, Black History month, and history classes in school.  In Arizona the emphasis was more on the civil rights leaders that impacted the state which tended more towards important women, Native Americans, and Hispanics than African Americans (also part of the reason MLK day in Arizona is officially called Martin Luther King, Jr. Civil Rights Day).  That’s the problem with sayings or phrases that are not cross-generational or too regional. They can become misconstrued as a society and generations change.

Gitmo Exec Order

Apparently there is already a draft version of an executive order to close Guantanamo Bay. About the only thing I don’t agree with in the order, if true, is halting the war crimes trials over the year long period the facility is being shut down. As they say, justice delayed is justice denied. Let the trials continue while shutting the facility down so the detainees innocence or guilt may be determined without further needless delay.

A Dose of Reality

I laud the fact that the United States has a black president now, but disagree with all those who view Obama’s ascendancy as a panacea for all the racial turmoil in this country, past and present, and the idea that the U.S. is now post-racial. Enjoy the moment, and be proud as Americans of what was accomplished, but don’t let Mr. Obama’s success be used as an excuse to ignore ongoing problems or be hijacked into pushing negative social or racial agendas.

Much hatred and discrimination remains between all races, religions, genders, and ethnicities toward other races, religions, genders, and ethnicities. The U.S. has come a long way, as evidenced by the ability for Mr. Obama, Ms. McKinney (Green Party Presidential nominee for those who were unaware), and Mrs Clinton’s abilities to run for the Presidency but we have much work to be done in eliminating discrimination, harmonizing relations, and basing a society on the merits of each individuals skills and abilities rather than some label they’ve been assigned.