Free Markets, Free People


Details, Promises And Other “Stimulus” Package Fun Stuff

As the details of the compromise stimulus package come out, most will find plenty to not like.

For instance, those stimulative tax cuts for 95% of Americans:

Q: What are some of the tax breaks in the bill?

A: It includes Obama’s signature “Making Work Pay” tax credit for 95 percent of workers, though negotiators agreed to trim the credit to $400 a year instead of $500 — or $800 for married couples, cut from Obama’s original proposal of $1,000. It would begin showing up in most workers’ paychecks in June as an extra $13 a week in take-home pay, falling to about $8 a week next January.

$13 bucks a week for 6 months, down to $8 bucks a week by January. $338 in ’09, and, if it stays in place for all of ’10, $416.

Wow. 800 billion of your dollars and in the next year and a half you’re going to see $754 of it. Go make that down payment on the new house or car now!

Now, here’s the rope-a-dope:

Q: How will infrastructure spending affect jobs?

A: The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that every $1 billion the federal government spends on infrastructure projects translates to 35,000 jobs. Collins put the total infrastructure spending — including highways, mass transit, environmental cleanups and broadband facilities — at $150 billion. Do the math and that translates into more than 5 million jobs, based on the highway administration’s assumptions.

Senate leaders have offered their own estimate — they said Wednesday that the total stimulus package will sustain some 3.5 million jobs.

Most of that work will go to people who already have jobs. And those who are hired will be hired on a temporary basis. When the revenue stream for that job ends, so will the temporary jobs.

And one other thing to keep in mind – these people are estimating based on nothing more than some assumptions they’ve decided look rosy and fit their narrative. They have no freakin’ idea how many jobs, if any, their spending will bring.

Q: How long would it take for highway projects to begin?

A: Lawmakers say most of the projects could be up and running within 90 days, although it could take somewhat more time in northern states with longer winters. Highway construction groups have estimated that there are thousands of projects that could be started within that 90 days.

Here’s a dirty little secret about this answer – projects that are 90 days from beginning have most likely already been funded and those who are going to work on them have been hired.

All the rest of the projects in the bill will have to go through the normal years long bidding process that is required by government. So “shovel ready” does not necessarily mean an infusion of new cash or jobs.

Q: Does the bill include federal aid to the states?

A: Yes. It includes major contributions to states to help with their budget shortfalls and assure the viability of Medicaid and education programs.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, the moderate Republican who helped broker the deal, said the spending includes about $90 billion in increased federal matches to states to help pay for Medicaid, along with a $54 billion “fiscal stabilization” fund that states could use to build and repair schools and improve facilities at institutions of higher learning.

This bill is the “State Fiscal Mismanagement Bailout Bill” which rewards states for budget busting.

Tell me, in life, what is one of the major means of changing behavior?

Pain. No pain, nothing learned. Be it emotional, physical or financial pain, unless you suffer it, you have no reason to change your behavior. Given this bill, profligate state governments have no reason to change their spendthrift ways.

BTW, none of that spending will stimulate anything but more government.

More:

Q: What are some of the other main focuses of the bill?

A: Here are some highlights:

Education: The package has some $11.5 billion to support the IDEA program for special education. There’s another $10 billion for a federal program to help low-income students.

Energy: The package includes funds to modernize the electrical grid — in part by incorporating renewable energy resources — and to make federal buildings more energy efficient and help low-income households weatherize their homes.

Health: The plan includes subsidies to allow people who are laid off to purchase health insurance through the federal COBRA plan. There is also money to support hospitals seeking to modernize health information technology.

Infrastructure: The infrastructure section of the package includes funds for building and repairing highways and bridges, expanding transit systems, upgrading airports and rail systems and building and repairing federal buildings — with the focus on making them more energy efficient. Funds are available for clean water projects, cleanup of environmental waste areas and nuclear waste cleanups.

Nothing listed here is stimulative. Nothing. This is all the pork that everyone has denied is in the bill. This is the left’s shopping list of the last 40 years rolled into one big raid on your wallet.

And what about the engine of productivity, the creator of jobs and wealth? Not much at all:

From auto dealers to the home-building industry, big business appears to be the biggest loser in the final economic stimulus plan being pieced together Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Negotiators from the House and Senate sliced billions of dollars in tax incentives for businesses and slashed huge tax breaks for consumers that were strongly backed by industry lobbyists.

Many of the business tax provisions were added to the stimulus legislation in the Senate in an effort to attract Republican votes. President Barack Obama wants bipartisan support for the plan and was dealt a setback when no Republicans voted for the House version of the plan two weeks ago.

But when only three Republican senators voted for the Senate version of the bill Tuesday, Democrats slashed the business tax proposals in an effort to bring the total cost of the bill under $789 billion.

That’s right, Democratic spite and their propensity toward government as the solution have mostly driven tax breaks for business, the one sector that can, in fact, create real jobs that produce wealth, out of the bill.

Tthe Democrats like to use the term “trickle down” derisively, but as Karl Rove notes, you’re  about to see their version of it. The difference is the money will “trickle down” through the government filter. Any guess as to how much will actually reach down to where it is needed?

Well, don’t bet that whopping $754 bucks you’ll be seeing over the next year and a half that it will do any good. Instead you might consider buying gold with it, since my guess is it isn’t going to be worth $754 when the Democrats get done with screwing around with the economy.

~McQ

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11 Responses to Details, Promises And Other “Stimulus” Package Fun Stuff

  • Maybe I ought to dip into the home equity line for some stimulus.  Yeah, I’ll owe the money, but this way I’ll get 100 percent of what I borrow.  This bill puts us in debt for probably $3000 for every citizen in the country, and some of us get a whopping $750 back.  It’s like the lottery, except nobody wins.

  • I have to wonder if industry lobbyists will wake up and smell the roses, and decide fattening up the DNC’s coffers isn’t getting them the ROI they had HOPED for.

  • My daughter called, she’s so happy. When this goes through she and my 3 grandkids can have pizza night once a week.

    Maybe I should look into Pappa John’s stock. :P

  • Souls are cheap these days, only $8.00 a week.

  • Like manure, this bill is also “shovel-ready”

  • “Most of that work will go to people who already have jobs. And those who are hired will be hired on a temporary basis. When the revenue stream for that job ends, so will the temporary jobs.”

    And these infrastructure jobs will not be started concurrently.  A state only has so many paving machines to put into operation at one time.

  • Don’t forget all the ‘studies’ any building project will require to make sure we’re not paving over prime terrain for the “Tennesee Hills Red Booted Havester Ant” and the “Green Throated red ruby yellow toed tree warbler”, plus the odd bit of eminent domain wrangling to get those evil grannies and grandies out of the path of stimulus progress!  Employment for researchers, Animal Rights activists, hack lawyers and all and sundry will help boost our economy!
     

  • “Shovel ready” is a Washington term, and as such has a somewhat different definition than the rest of the English speaking world might expect.
    Some folks outside  Washington may remember last summer seeing road construction projects at night,using lights, as well as during the day. Not so much during the winter, day or night. There is a reason for that. I also doubt that there is much excess capacity in  concrete or asphalt production, either. Etc.

  • My favorite is this:  “Energy: The package includes funds to modernize the electrical grid — in part by incorporating renewable energy resources — and to make federal buildings more energy efficient and help low-income households weatherize their homes.” 

    Now, I am not opposed to modernizing the electric grid.  In fact, I think it might be a great idea.  But tell me, how is making federal buildings more energy efficient, weatherizing low-income households, or incorporating renewable energy resources modernizing the grid?  Those things do absolutely nothing for actually making the grid able to carry more electricity, more dependable, or … well… modernized.

    • the calculation for how much debt per person this will create is not right. Don’t forget, there is a class tof people that pay not taxes, and that will not change. The amount due will be paid by just a smakk group of people.
      carlton

  • The Federal Highway Administration has estimated that every $1 billion the federal government spends on infrastructure projects translates to 35,000 jobs. Collins put the total infrastructure spending — including highways, mass transit, environmental cleanups and broadband facilities — at $150 billion…  Do the math and that translates into more than 5 million jobs, based on the highway administration’s assumptions.

    That’s not so bad, as it works out to about $28,500 per job.  TAO and the filthy dems (spit) have promised that Porkulus would create or save 4 million jobs…  at a total cost of $750 billions, or about $187,500 per job.  My company is cutting back and putting many of us on furlough for a week each month to save money.  Hell, if TAO would simply send my company a fraction of the dough he’s planning to blow to “stimulate” the economy, we could all keep our jobs AND get raises instead of going on the dole.  But I guess TAO and the dems (spit) don’t trust us to spend our money to “stimulate” the economy in the right ways.

    BTW, can somebody who is familiar with wage and benefit scales give me some idea of what sort of job can be had for $28,500 / year?  According to salary.com, the average American salary in 2007 was $35,062 / year.  So, aren’t these transportation jobs really pretty lousy?  There isn’t even enough money to pay an average salary, not to mention benefits.

    I guess this is why the dems (spit) want to ram Porkulus through as fast as they can: when people have time to really think about it, it looks like a really terrible deal.

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