Monday, February 2, 2009

Kissing $8100 Goodbye

I knew that should Obama get into office, my wallet would suffer greatly. I still believe that he will make my wallet suffer less than under former President Bush who multiplied the size of our government in eight short years to unbelievable proportions but when I started reading about some of the items included in versions of the stimulus bill now being considered by Congress, it made me sick to my stomach. Many components of the bill have absolutely nothing to do with stimulating our economy and have everything to do with increasing the size of our government and thus the expense to me. Here are some of the things that I have found and my thoughts on them along with how much of it is my share assuming a population of 333,333,333 million and my household of three individuals.

Amtrak is slated to get around $1 billion ($9 my share) of the stimulus package. Now here is a government subsidized business that hasn’t turned a profit in over 40 years and yet we still insist on funding it year after year. This $1 billion is on top of what we already subsidize it on a year to year basis. How many of you would continue to throw money after bad money for 40 years?

There is $2 billion ($18 my share) being proposed to throw at child-care subsidies. I really have to stretch my imagination to understand how this will create jobs or stimulate the economy but not as much as comprehending the $50 million ($0.50 my share) for the National Endowment of the Arts. I love the Arts and would gladly cough up the two quarters for my share but I can’t see that creating a lot of jobs anytime soon nor do I think it is the government’s responsibility to force every taxpayer to support it.

About $30 billion ($270 my share) is going for highway infrastructure projects which would probably create jobs and it sorely needed in my neck of the woods where the bridges are literally falling down but this is still less than 5% of the total bill.
Although my house could probably use some updating, I’ll have to wait awhile but the federal buildings will get $7 billion ($63 my share) for updates and that doesn’t include $150 million for the Smithsonian Institute.

A whopping $252 billion ($2268 my share) will go for income-transfer payments, something that occurs solely on paper and will definitely not create one single job or stimulate the economy one red cent.

Speaking of which, I would guess that the biggest sector or the American public that would actually stimulate the economy would be the middle to upper class, those with capital to spend. So why exactly are the poorest among us getting so much to “stimulate” the economy? I’m talking about $81 billion ($729 my share) for Medicaid, $36 billion ($234 my share) for expanded unemployment benefits, $20 billion ($180 my share) for food stamps and $83 billion ($747 my share) for earned income credit for those who don’t even pay income taxes.

Last but not least, don’t forget the $66 billion ($594 my share) for the Department of Education which was just recently doubled over the last eight years by the previous occupant of that White House up on the hill. In total, I’m going to be on the hook for $8100 of this total bill. Perhaps if this would truly solve the ills of our economy, something I highly doubt, I could believe that it is all worth it for a one time bailout. However, this stimulus bill will inevitably be permanently tacked onto our annual budget and I will be on the hook for $8100 next year and every year in the foreseeable future. When is the last president that actually decreased the size and budget of the government?


sage said...

Have you figured out the share of AIG and of all the major banks that you now own? Maybe the govt should just give us those perferred shares of stock that supposedly "we the people" now own.

TC said...

Wow, you did a lot of work on this! Of course, I'm now depressed, but hey, whatever, right?

Ed Abbey said...

Sage & TC - It's easy to figure. For every billion the government spends, it comes to approximately $3 for every man woman and child. In my case, my household consists of 3 people so my share of the tab is $9 per billion spent. I find that it adds some realism to our government spending problem.

The Real Mother Hen said...

I think that the government doesn't use your money on the actual work. I mean, your $9 per billion spent is mostly likely used for servicing the LOANS that they took for the actual work. So in actual fact, you may actually cough up $20 per billion spent per year and there is to pay interest only. Your child and your grandchildren will be paying the principal.

Actually that is the strategy used by the US in the '70s to loan money to the so-called 3rd world nations to get them in debt forever, through mega projects that profited Halliburton, World Bank, US govt etc. Ask your wife if there was any mega electric projects going through her hometown. If yes, then the US govt & selected companies were involved and profited from it. Now it's almost the same approach, but the other way round only.

Beau said...

Wow... you've given this a fair bit of thought. Probably much more than most Americans. I don't really know what it's all for, but it just seems to be a focus on political spending rather than expanding economic activity. Between the "cut taxes" or "increase spending" debate, one would think our beloved leaders could find a way to compromise, and hopefully get us back on track again.

Ed Abbey said...

Mother Hen - Sometimes I think our government would be better run if everything was on a pay-as-you-go basis so I and everyone else would have to physically write the check to bail out all these people. I'm guessing things would drastically change in a hurry if it was done this way.

Beau - I am one of those who feel that there is little use of cutting taxes until we get spending in check. I have little faith that any of our presidents now or in the future will get us back on track short of a revolution by the people.

R. Sherman said...

Preach it, brother!