The handout package


In the WSJ yesterday was an enlightening article that listed most of what is in the $825bn stimulus package that passed through Congress. Here are the handouts, there's:

  • $66 billion more for eduaction
  • $54 billion will go to federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as "ineffective" or unable to pass basic financial audits
  • $40 billion for broadband and electric grid development, airports and clean water projects that are arguably worthwhile priorities
  • $30 billion, or less than 5% of the spending in the bill, is for fixing bridges or other highway projects
  • $8 billion renewable energy funding
  • $7 billion for modernizing federal buildings and facilities
  • $6 billion mass transit
  • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects
  • $2 billion for child-care subsidies
  • $1 billion for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn't turned a profit in 40 years
  • $650 million (on top of the billions already doled out) to pay for digital TV conversion coupons
  • $600 million more for the federal government to buy new cars
  • $400 million for global-warming research
  • $150 million The Smithsonian is targeted to receive
  • $50 million for that great engine of job creation, the National Endowment for the Arts

$252 billion is for income-transfer payments (cash or benefits to individuals for doing nothing at all)

  • $81 billion for Medicaid,
  • $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits,
  • $20 billion for food stamps
  • $83 billion for the earned income credit for people who don't pay income tax

...$20 billion for business tax cuts

Depressingly the WSJ can only see, “$90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus."

This is a list that damns the US to a long and rocky road to recovery. But there will be many in the US who will be able to furnish their pockets with the creative wealth of the hard working, and most of those voted for change. This is their reward.