Paving the road to nowhere, one word at a time.

My Photo
Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Stimulus Miracle: Chapter One - Birth Of A Jedi Knight

There is a bill, which has passed through Congress and seems destined to pass the Senate, referred to as "The Stimulus Package". Economies of any country, even the United States of America, rise and fall and rise and fall, and so on, regularly and unpredictably, because this is the nature of economy in a free market. Or, at least, it was. Apparently, government has the ability to fix this random behavior. I remain skeptical, but what do I know? I certainly don't enjoy seeing businesses fail and people out of work.

The expected number of jobs to be created by this bill is 3,675,000 new positions. For the heck of it, I pulled out a calculator. Holy crap! I'll never doubt the government again. Here I was thinking that these new jobs would amount to nothing but low-paying labor positions, but much to my surprise, each new job will pay out $224,489.80 dollars which is almost six years worth of salary for the average worker. This is assuming that all of the money actually goes towards its goal. But it will, I'm sure. At least, I'd like for that to happen.

I decided to take a closer look at this bill, because it isn't every day that a government creates 825 billion dollars out of thin air.

"A BILL - Making supplemental appropriations for job preservation and creation, infrastructure investment, energy efficiency and science, assistance to the unemployed, and State and local fiscal stabilization, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, this Act may be cited as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009".

Bills always start off sounding so promising. But the meat of the bill is what I am after, in other words, where is all of this 825 billion dollars going to go? Starting with General provisions:

Offices of Inspector General & Government Accountability Office for oversight and audit of programs, grants, and projects funded under this Act: 2.3 billion dollars.

Administrative costs are understandable. Especially when one considers that a committee has to ensure that the following provisions are followed:

"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool."

Apparently, none of these endeavors provide jobs. And are evil. Or wet. And golf, well, we all know about golf, and even if the television ratings of golf tournaments are far higher than those of, say, soccer matches in the U.S., golf is just too boring. And don't get me started on swimming pools, those snarky lifeguards and smug pool maintenance people piss me off. And everyone knows that employees of zoos, aquariums, and gambling establishments work for free, for the love of their hobby. So far, I'm down.

Another provision that must be closely watched for compliance is that construction projects funded by the bill must use steel produced in the U.S. This is important because of the ever-thriving steel industry in the U.S. See, the lying bastards that told you that the steel industry in the U.S. died because they couldn't compete with the Japanese and then the Chinese were wrong. It's a conspiracy. Honest.

So, the President appoints a seven-member board to conduct oversight of spending. After all, you can't trust just anyone with 825 billion dollars, freshly printed cash money, these people must be hand selected. The board members are chosen from the same departments where the President just nominated Secretaries. This is a lucky coincidence. The first thing that they will do is to create a web site so that you can see how wonderful everything is going. And it will be wonderful, you just wait and see.

Next, the President selects an independent advisory panel consisting of five people. I know what you're thinking: "But if the President selects an independent advisory council, isn't that conflicting what with the President selecting the board?" No. Congress and the Senate have come to learn that President Obama is actually Obi-Wan Kenobi. The force is with him, and only good flows through his light-saber.

The board gets $ 14,000,000.00 because Obi-Wan says so.

So far, we've spent 2.314 billion dollars. But we do have a Jedi Knight. I think it's worth it.

Next: Chapter Two – The Care and Feeding of Farmers and Ranchers


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home