The Wall Street Journal‘s Daniel Henninger doesn’t point out congressional Republicans voted against the stimulus, not out of opposition to Big Government, but in spite of it. They simply wanted their pork included.
But Henninger does ask the question no one on Capitol Hill wants offered — if this $1.2 trillion Frankenstein’s monster of wealth transfers and exploding spending is supposed to create jobs and help families, why then does it do more for Pennsylvania Avenue than for Main Street? And he takes Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to task for playing along with Obama’s dreams of exponentially-expanding government.
Check your PC’s virus program, then pull down the nearly 700 pages of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Dive into its dank waters and what is most striking is how much "stimulus" money is being spent on the government’s own infrastructure. This bill isn’t economic stimulus. It’s self-stimulus.
(All sums here include the disorienting zeros, as in the bill.)
Title VI, Financial Services and General Government, says that "not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be used for construction, repair, and alteration of Federal buildings." There’s enough money there to name a building after every Member of Congress.
The Bureau of Land Management gets $325,000,000 to spend fixing federal land, including "trail repair" and "remediation of abandoned mines or well sites," no doubt left over from the 19th-century land rush.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting $462,000,000 for "equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities, including necessary repairs and improvements to leased laboratories."
The National Institute of Standards gets $357,000,000 for the "construction of research facilities." The Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets $427,000,000 for that. The country is in an economic meltdown and the federal government is redecorating.
The FBI gets $75,000,000 for "salaries and expenses." Inside the $6,200,000,000 Weatherization Assistance Program one finds "expenses" of $500,000,000. How many bureaucrats does it take to "expense" a half-billion dollars?
The current, Senate-amended version now lists "an additional amount to be deposited in the Federal Buildings Fund, $9,048,000,000." Of this, "not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be available for measures necessary to convert GSA facilities to High-Performance Green Buildings." High performance?
Sen. Tom Coburn is threatening to read the bill on the floor of the Senate…
…President Obama is saying the bill will "create or save" three million new jobs. The bad news is your new boss is Uncle Sam.
Read Henninger’s column for yourself at The Wall Street Journal website.