Obama’s pork barrels

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The historic $ 789 billion stimulus package signed by president Obama is basically a spending spree which favors unilaterally the Democratic power base - a wasted opportunity because it does not contain any tax cuts that could stimulate new investment. On the contrary it dries up the money market through government grabs and doles out cash to political movements with very dodgy credentials.

• It gives $2 billion to ACORN, an anti-capitalist "community" group that's been accused of voter registration fraud; $30 million to restore wetlands and save the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse in the San Francisco Bay Area (a Nancy Pelosi project); another $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund for education programs on sexually transmitted diseases.

• Tens of billions will be spent on high-speed rail lines, which will be of little practical use but of great political service, and projects to expand high-speed Internet access in rural areas.

Remember: It was the new potential of the internet that put the Obama campaign ahead of his competitors. Secondly the stimulus is set to undo the 1996 welfare reform, signed by Bill Clinton. It rewards bad behavior:

• By releasing $800 billion in new welfare spending over the next decade, undermining current work requirements…

• States that have spent recklessly for years will get bailouts when they should instead suffer the consequences of their actions.

• The compromise bill includes $54 billion to hand out to state and local governments, a perverse reward for elected officials who can't control their spending.

To sum it up: The United States is now set on the same track that heralded Japan’s lost decade.