Sunday, February 08, 2009

Behemoth Spending Act of 2009

Just a few words on the BBQ pork behemoth.

First, if they're going to spend a trillion and they want immediate feedback on the economy--but are afraid that cash payments might be saved or used to pay down debt (a legitimate concern) why not give out coupons for services? Dividing a trillion dollars by 300 million people comes to about 3333 dollars apiece (assuming the zeros aren't off--there's a lot of 'em).

Imagine being given a coupon to spend on travel, home improvement, education, food, or TVs, etc. at your choice within a specified period of time. Parents would get additional coupons for their kids, non-transferable and tagged to SS#. People would spend wildly.

But instead we have a trickle down plan--trickle down through government. Read less than half the bill and you'll understand why Rush Limbaugh is right about the size and scope of government. 90 million for education about the loss of analog TV? Cripes. Can't we just ask everyone to volunteer to get the word out on that one?

Most of bill is simply extra appropriations to the agencies and programs who'll then be charged to buy services from private businesses. This keeps control in-house and grows government at the same time, a win-win for Dems. The worst-kept secret on earth is the cost of goods and services under government contract (will no-bid contracts now come back in style?)

Presumably the Secretary of Commerce, Judd Gregg, will be charged with shepherding this mess through to shovel level, a daunting task and perhaps the reason Obama selected a Republican. The administration says accountability will come through '', allowing citizens to follow the money, which sounds fine, but what guarantee do we have that the truth will accurately be portrayed if parties are engaged in Blagojevich-style shenanigans? Who monitors the monitor, Snopes?

Speaking of the internets, part of the plan is for a national broadband network reaching all four corners of the US. Sounds good right? But how much control will the government have once everyone is online via a government-backed WIFI network? Will private providers be rolled into the national plan? And if so, will there be a position similar to the FCC Commissioner for the internet, a person empowered to make content decisions, etc? Right now the internet is the last bastion of raw freedom in America and a bulwark against tyranny. Some sunshine here would be nice.

No comments: