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

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Location: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

American born, living in Mexico since 1992.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Stimulus Miracle: Chapter Three - Traded, Jaded, And Sedated

Continuing on in our tour of the Stimulus Plan, the next section is Commerce, Justice, and Science. It's a baffling combination. Why they combined three seemingly unrelated areas is beyond me. But again, what do I know? I'm just some dumb-ass with a calculator.

It begins with administrative funding for Economic Development: 250 million dollars. Okay, so apparently the U.S. has an economy, and apparently, it is insufficiently developed. We need administration! The good news is that apparently it takes only half as much to administrate economic development as it does to administrate & distribute food and nutrition programs. Next comes Periodic Censuses and Programs: 1 billion. It's important to count people, and we need more statistics because statistics give the government reasons to create money and save the economy, as insufficiently developed as the economy apparently is. And this provides jobs! Clipboard, pencil, and go! I bet that clipboard and pencil manufacturers are loving this.

Administrative costs for National Telecommunications and Information: 350 million dollars. Apparently, broadband needs to be administrated. I guess I'm lucky. I have broadband here in Mexico, and my administrative costs are, um, nothing. Must be the exchange rate. Wireless and Broadband Deployment: 2.8 billion. I love the word deployment. I picture a massive number of geeky former cable-installers quickly marching throughout the countryside with wireless, high-speed modems, fighting the good fight in the war against dial-up. This is directly related to the Digital to Analog Converter Box Program: 650 million. Because nothing beats taking shiny new digital technology and converting it into good old analog. Well, except that giving partial credit toward purchasing televisions that receive a digital signal would create a lot of new jobs. Wait...

Moving along, we come to Scientific and Technical Research: 100 million (70 million for necessary expenses of the Technology Innovation Program and "$30,000,000 shall be available for the necessary expenses of the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.") Now, before you get all bent out of shape over the 30 million going to the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership, otherwise known as MEP, it's a non-profit organization. That doesn’t mean it's free, though. It's like church. You attend, and they pass the plate. Think of it as your government giving a little bit to the church, and you'll feel better. Wait...

Construction of Research facilities: 300 million. I have no idea what's going to be constructed, but for 300 million, I bet that it's awesome. And to NOAA Operations, Research, and Facilities: 1 billion. NOAA is already outstanding, I hit their web site daily. I can see storm cells approaching a full hour before they actually hit. With that extra billion, I reckon I'll be able to count the raindrops on my roof. I'll need that information if the census takers come around.

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance: 3 billion. With State and local governments forced to spend money on lobbyists to get their fair share of funding in this bill, it's nice to see the Federal government reciprocate by providing funding in order to re-hire the cops that had to be laid off. And for Community Oriented Policing Services: 1 billion. Hell, the acronym alone is worth a billion. COPS! And I can't stress enough the accounts I've read where the police just weren't sufficiently community oriented. "Robber who shot store clerk is shot by police!" It's such a shame. If only the police would have been more community oriented.

NASA: 600 million. I'm happy to see government of the United States of America willing to fund a one-way trip back to the moon. Maybe those soon to be rich folk in the urban sector will pitch in and we can get the rocket ship back home. Also, for reasons beyond my simple mind's ability to contemplate, 50 million of NASA's money goes toward already guaranteed disaster relief from a previous disaster. Lastly, the National Science Foundation: 3 billion. This goes toward research and related activities. Related activities are, um, you know, related activities. It isn't important, I guess, to define related activities, it's only 3 billion dollars.

My calculator says 50.761 billion so far, but at least we won't be going back to the moon anytime soon, so we're in good shape.

Next: Chapter Four – Defense Wins Championships.


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