Quick note on the stimulus bill
The U.S. House just voted on and passed the $800 Billion dollar stimulus bill. Again, no GOP support for the bill and 7 Democrats voted against it. It is 1,100 pages long and not a single member of the House has read the entire bill. The final version of the bill was crafted behind closed doors by a small group and was not given to members until around midnight last night. It was first posted as 995 pages but by 8:20 this morning it had ballooned 72 pages and is now 1,071 pages long. So, once again we have no transparency. Obama promised that bills would be posted on the internet with sufficient time for the public to view. And Obama's website said that he will put an end to legislation being crafted behind closed doors. That didn't happen either. So, now we have a $1.2 Trillion dollar bill borrowed from China when you include interest. This is the largest spending bill in the history of the world!
The CBO reported that it would be better to do nothing at all then to pass this legislation and accumulate this much national debt. The Congress' own committee does not support the stimulus bill.
Many of us already know about the wasteful spending in the bill and the special projects and handouts for specific lawmakers to get their vote - like the millions of dollars for both medical research (animal research) AND promised funds for a new train from Reading to Philadelphia for Arlen Spector.
The bill has no provision to make sure illegal immigrants are not hired with the money. Thus, an estimated 300,000 illegal foreign nationals will be employed with this money.
An estimated 2,000 legal foreign nationals (visa holders) will likely be employed with this money.
The Buy American Steel and Iron provision was re-worded and now you can be sure that Chinese steel will be used for many of these projects. Thus, the only part of the bill that directly helped American manufacturing is useless.
Thus, the bill does nothing for American manufacturing. American manufacturing is what created and will maintain the middle class. We do need to re-build our infrastructure and transform our economy into one fueled by clean renewable domestic energy. However, this bill doesn't do as much of that as the public seems to think.
We can build all the roads that we want. And we can build all the wind turbines that we want. But, that is NOT going to turn our economy around and stop our slide. This bill simply puts a band aid on the economy for a temporary amount of time. It does not address the real problems that we face.
We will continue to lose jobs year after year with or without this stimulus plan.
A strong manufacturing base would re-strengthen our foundation and allow us to afford to fix our infrastructure and switch to clean renewable domestic energy.
The stimulus bill passed today provides more unemployment and food stamp funds, but the problems will remain when the boost in spending ends. The green jobs and infrastructure spending are not long-term jobs. These are important projects, but they won't last that long. After that we will have nicer roads and more wind mills but our jobs and companies will continue to be lost. Thus any stimulus bill would serve us much better if at least 50% of it was manufacturing. Then divided the rest into infrastructure, green energy and military spending.
At least 6 out of 10 cars that are bought with the new automobile tax credit will be foreign built cars. Others will be buying their tax savings on foreign made crap - thus the largest transfer of wealth will continue.
This bill is a disaster and it will not help the downward spiral that we are in. Until Washington gets a backbone and is willing to stand up for American workers then they will continue to sell us out to corporate, foreign and ethnocentric interests.