As we prepare for another round of budget battles when Congress returns from August recess, be prepared to hear Dear Ruler and his Democrat cohorts pleading that we need to increase spending and raise taxes. That’s just what Democrats do.
Their object is not to grow America. Their goal is always to grow government, because to Democrats government is America. Part of the pitch will be that we need another stimulus plan to create jobs and rebuild our “crumbling roads and bridges.” In fact, Obama has already hit the campaign trail (did he ever leave?) pitching that line.
Hearing his latest campaign speeches, it occurred to me that I’ve heard it all before. It was 2009 when the newly elected President was promoting the largest stimulus in U.S. history. It was the first of his many political victories. Don’t buy the rhetoric that the Republicans have prevented him from accomplishing his goals. He is achieving all of his goals. He is unstoppable. He doesn’t need Congress. If they don’t cooperate, he will “just do it.” But, he will never claim responsibility for the results. So, what were the results of the last stimulus?
It was an $800 billion program that would “kick start” the American economy. Unemployment would never rise above 8%. On February 17th, 2009, Obama was in Denver at the Museum of Nature and Science and said, “Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges.”Where did all of that stimulus money really go? According to the legislation, approximately one-third of the spending would go to “shovel ready” infrastructure projects.
A year later, Obama would joke that we learned that “shovel ready” doesn’t really mean what it says. Who could not notice all of those American Recovery Project signs everywhere? Unfortunately, I didn’t see many of them on roads and bridges as I drove around the country as a volunteer laborer with the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program. I do recall seeing some at a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground on Coralville Reservoir in Iowa. They were proudly displayed at the site of several new outhouses. The campground already had several outhouses and I never had to wait in line before that time. Out of curiosity, I wrote to the ACE inquiring how much the restrooms cost. I never received a reply. I even checked out the government’s new website, Recovery.gov, but was unable to find specific details for that project. But, you can get a breakdown of spending by category from that site.
According to Recovery.gov, $290 billion went to tax relief, $256 billion went to contracts, grants and loans and $251 billion went to “entitlements.” Somewhere in all of that, $140 billion was spent to aid state and local governments, so they could maintain programs and avoid mass layoffs of public employees, mostly teachers.