Monday, February 2, 2009


Photo: Siberian tigers in the snow


"The new kind of politics of hope. Eight hours of debate in the House of Representatives to pass a bill spending $820 billion -- or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate. Only 10 percent of the 'stimulus' [is] to be spent on 2009. Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ (or both) members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions or other Democrat-controlled unions. This bill is sent to Congress after President Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long. According to my calculations, not one member of Congress read the entire bill before this vote. Obviously, it would have been impossible, given his schedule, for the president to have read the whole thing. For the amount spent, we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000. We could give every person who had lost a job and is now passing through long-term unemployment of six months or longer roughly $300,000. There has been pork-barrel politics since there has been politics, but the scale of this pork is beyond what had ever been imagined before -- and no one can be sure it will actually do much stimulation. ... This is more than pork-barrel -- this is a coup for the constituencies of the party in power and against the idea of a responsible government itself. A bleak day. Unfortunately, it is only the latest in a long series of such days stretching across decades of rule by both parties, to the point where truly responsible government is only a distant echo of our forgotten ancestors." --writer, actor, economist and lawyer Ben Stein


"For those on the right who still cling to the fantasy that Obama is a bipartisan centrist, I refer you to his recent statement that FDR did not do enough by way of government spending to end the Depression ... and his government-expansion-on-steroids, non-stimulus pork bill. The inevitable explosion of federal debt this legislation would cause is reason enough to oppose it, even if it were likely to stimulate the economy. But even some liberals are disputing its potential to stimulate. The hastily crafted bill, with its corrupt funding of ACORN and other favors, is a disgracefully irresponsible effort to expand the public sector, diminish the private sector, empower the autocrats, and further divest us of our individual liberties -- all at the expense of present and future generations." --columnist David Limbaugh


"All of us should remember that the federal government is not some mysterious institution comprised of buildings, files and paper. The people are the government. What we create we ought to be able to control. I do not intend to make wildly skyrocketing deficits and runaway government simple facts of life in this administration. As I've said, our ills have come upon us over several decades, and they will not go away in days or weeks or months. But I want the American people to know that we have begun." --Ronald Reagan


"Every new president flatters himself that he, kinder and gentler, is beginning the world anew. Yet, when Barack Obama in his inaugural address reached out to Muslims by saying 'to the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,' his formulation was needlessly defensive and apologetic. Is it 'new' to acknowledge Muslim interests and show respect to the Muslim world? Obama doesn't just think so, he said so again to millions in his al-Arabiya interview, insisting on the need to 'restore' the 'same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago.' Astonishing. In these most recent 20 years -- the alleged winter of our disrespect of the Islamic world -- America did not just respect Muslims, it bled for them. It engaged in five military campaigns, every one of which involved -- and resulted in -- the liberation of a Muslim people: Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. The two Balkan interventions -- as well as the failed 1992-93 Somalia intervention to feed starving African Muslims (43 Americans were killed) -- were humanitarian exercises of the highest order, there being no significant U.S. strategic interest at stake. In these 20 years, this nation has done more for suffering and oppressed Muslims than any nation, Muslim or non-Muslim, anywhere on Earth. Why are we apologizing? And what of that happy U.S.-Muslim relationship that Obama imagines existed 'as recently as 20 or 30 years ago' that he has now come to restore? Thirty years ago, 1979, saw the greatest U.S.-Muslim rupture in our 233-year history: Iran's radical Islamic revolution, the seizure of the U.S. Embassy, the 14 months of America held hostage. ... Every president has the right to portray himself as ushering in a new era of this or that. Obama wants to pursue new ties with Muslim nations, drawing on his own identity and associations. Good. But when his self-inflation as redeemer of U.S.-Muslim relations leads him to suggest that pre-Obama America was disrespectful or insensitive or uncaring of Muslims, he is engaging not just in fiction but in gratuitous disparagement of the country he is now privileged to lead." --columnist Charles Krauthammer


"This was the lead in [Thursday] afternoon's Chicago Tribune story, following the conviction of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich: 'The Illinois Senate voted to remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office Thursday, marking the first time in the state's long history of political corruption that a chief executive has been impeached and convicted.' The vote to oust Blagojevich, who is a Democrat, was very close ... 59-0. The thing which struck me about the Trib's lead was the phrase 'the state's long history of political corruption.' What a wonderful legacy to the Republic that its fifth most populous State have a 'long history of corruption.' And how absolutely marvelous that the very state which has that 'long history of corruption' happens to the be the home state of ... Oh, my. Can it be? Yes! President Barack Obama. The only person ever to have served in the Illinois State Senate to have emerged with his robes unsoiled; his hands unsullied; his soul pure. It is as if you cannot just say his name. Angels have to sing it: Baaaaarrrrraaaaack Ohhhhhbaaaaaahhhhma. Well, we'll see. The thing about Blagojevich I have disliked the most is how hard it is to remember how to spell his name. Sort of like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Or Albuquerque. Gray Davis was recalled in California. Elliott Spitzer resigned in New York. And now Rod Blogzoiub;zytch has been convicted of impeachment in Illinois. While they certainly do not have the corner on corruption and bad behavior, it seems to me that Democratic Governors are in a slump." --political analyst Rich Galen


"GOP proposals make a lot more sense [than the Democrats'] because they are not calling for a mountain of spending to further enlarge government. They want deeper income tax cuts to immediately strengthen family budgets and businesses that produce most jobs. ... This is the message Republicans are selling: Cut taxes to unleash the power of free enterprise and American productivity to create jobs, and cut federal spending to slow the growth of government, which has weakened the economy. All this is good as far as it goes, but supply-side conservatives over at the House Republican Study Committee, now chaired by hard-charging Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, think their plan can do even better. Mr. Price's hardy band of tax-cutters want a permanent 5 percent across-the-board income tax cut. ... They are calling for the repeal of the Alternative Minimum Tax on Individuals (AMT), and making all withdrawals from individual retirement accounts tax-and-penalty-free in 2009 to allow hard-pressed taxpayers during the recession free access to their savings. Plus ... cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent... This is the kind of tax cut-driven, capital-growth economic recovery plan that is needed to get this $14 trillion economy back on track and lift the global economy along with it. It's time the network news shows gave the GOP's tax cuts the attention they and the American people deserve. Barack Obama and his economic advisers might even learn a thing or two about economics if they did." --columnist Donald Lambro


"Congress is currently haggling over how to spend $900 billion generated by American taxpayers in the private sector. (It's important to remember that it's the people's money, not Washington's.) In a Jan. 23 meeting between President Obama and Republican leaders, Rep. Eric Cantor (R., Va.) proposed a moderate tax cut plan. President Obama responded, 'I won. I'm going to trump you on that.' Yes, elections have consequences. But where's the bipartisanship, Mr. Obama? This does not have to be a divisive issue. My proposal is a genuine compromise. ... Let's say the vote was 54% to 46% [for Obama]. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me. Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people's wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth. I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate -- at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations -- in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There's no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There's no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There's no reason to insist that recovery can't happen quickly, because it can." --radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh



Democratic congressional leaders and the Obama Administration have hyped the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as an urgent and essential “economic stimulus” package. This bill would be more aptly titled, the Pelosi-Reid Borrow-and-Spend Act!

The Senate is planning to vote on S.1, its version of the “stimulus,” this week. We can defeat it if all of the Republican members of the Senate vote NO, as their Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives did. I urge you to send a powerful message to your U.S. Senators today that you oppose this bloated, ill-conceived plan!

The $819 billion “stimulus” package approved by the House last week and the nearly $900 billion version now under consideration in the Senate would add to a federal deficit already projected to reach a record $1.2 trillion this year. This bill is not only one of the largest spending measures ever to pass through Congress, it will cost more over two years than we’ve spent to date on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!

The bill’s ability to fulfill its stated mission of stimulating the economy is also questionable at best. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has concluded that more than half of the hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending contained in the bill, such as $26 billion of the $30 billion allocated for highways and $15.5 billion of the $18.5 billion for renewable energy projects, will not take place for more than two years -- long after economists predict the current recession will have ended.

What’s more, the tax cuts in the package are narrowly targeted, with the largest portion going to more rebate checks, a strategy that failed to reverse our economy's slide last year.

Even worse, the bill contains all sorts of special-interest and congressional pet spending projects that have virtually nothing to do with economic growth. As just one example, it allocates $335 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Not only will this “healthcare” spending do nothing for the health of our economy, CDC has a track record of using such funds for events like a transgender beauty pageant in San Francisco and a conference, entitled “Got Love? Flirt/Date/Score,” that taught participants how “to flirt with greater finesse.”

Rather than burdening today’s and tomorrow’s taxpayers with this massive government spending spree, Congress should create more incentives and opportunities for private-sector jobs and growth by cutting government spending and enacting across-the-board tax cuts for individuals and businesses, like those that helped reverse economic slumps in the 1960s, 1980s, and earlier this decade.

If the Senate follows the House’s lead and passes this borrow-and-spend "stimulus" bill, it will waste record amounts of tax dollars, provide virtually no benefit to the economy, and only add to our nation's soaring liabilities.

Please tell your Senators today that you want them to vote NO on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act!


Thomas A. Schatz

P.S. If the Senate approves the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, federal lawmakers will have authorized more than $2 trillion in new government spending since February, 2008. While the cost of “jump-starting” the economy is sobering, the coming fiscal mushroom cloud is truly alarming. The national debt currently stands at a mind-numbing $10.6 trillion, and America is sinking into debt at the rate of $3.3 billion per day. Our children and grandchildren simply can’t afford this borrow-and-spend “stimulus” bill. Please deliver that message to your Senators today!

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), the nation's largest taxpayer watchdog organization with more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CCAGW is a 501(c)(4) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that lobbies for legislation to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Contributions to CCAGW are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes. For more information about CCAGW, visit Help CCAGW wage and win this battle to stop the Senate from passing this disastrous ”stimulus” bill and burdening future generations with crippling debt by making a contribution to support our grassroots and lobbying efforts today.

Please help us put a stop to this so-called "economic stimulus" bill by contacting your friends and neighbors and urging them to write to their Senators.

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