Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pork and Beans

President Obama wants a new stimulus package, the House passed its version and the Senate will take up a stimulus bill this week. Everyone in Washington seems to have come down with stimulus fever, and the only prescription is more spending. A lot more spending.

For what its worth, I would like to offer my economic stimulus plan. Here it is;

Make the Democrats pay their taxes. Pretty simple, right?

Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and now Chief performance officer designate Nancy Killefer have all mysteriously 'overlooked' paying taxes on their income. According to Vice President Joe Biden, they must not be very patriotic. If this continues, the President will name others to key positions in his cabinet, they will find more back taxes owed, they will be forced to withdraw, and the cycle will repeat. This could be a boon to the Treasury. Now if we could get just get someone to convince Representative Charlie Rangel to come clean on his taxes, we could start talking about real money.

On a slightly more serious note, spending a trillion dollars, that's trillion with a T, on big government programs isn't what the economy needs. The main problem is still the housing sector. Until the market finds its bottom and the huge amount of 'toxic loans' are somehow digested or bought up, no amount of government spending will right the economy.

The Democrat's stimulus bill was first sold as an "Infrastructure and roads bill' that would help rebuild America's highways, bridges and alike. I am all for rebuilding our infrastructure, but isn't that where our federal highway and gasoline taxes are supposed to go right now?

So, how much of this trillion dollar stimulus package is going for roads and bridges? About 3.3% No wonder the Senate is trying to add another 25 Billion in road and infrastructure spending to their version of the bill. Nice try, but if you really want to rebuild the roads and bridges, rework this pork-laden bill and cut some of those billions from your pet projects and political paybacks move it into infrastructure. There are many folks who work in commercial construction, engineering firms, building materials and aggregates who would love to see a real infrastructure bill passed.

Calling this bill a 'economic stimulus package' is similar to a can of Pork and Beans. That one tiny piece of bacon fat makes up the 'Pork' and the rest is beans. This bill works the other way around, a whole lot of Pork and not much else.

Start over, if you are going to sell it as an infrastructure bill, spend the money on roads, bridges, ports, canals and other high priority projects. The bill should come to around 40 billion, let’s start there.

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