Monday, November 9, 2015

Speaker Ryan Cleans House

OK, he didn't exactly clean house, but he did get a big bipartisan Highway bill passed. He used the bill to Trojan Horse the crony crapitalist Ex-Im bank, but we can't have it all...

We need a highway bill. Our infrastructure is falling apart and we have illegal aliens who need the work. What worries me is that this is a gigantic political corruption honey pot spilling over with generous opportunities for crony crapitalist fraud, waste and abuse.

Uncle Stupid flushed $780,000,000 of taxpayer money down the toilet when politically-connected Green Goblins absconded with the loot and left bankrupt corporations behind, so we have a right to be skeptical.

Remember the "Stimulus?"

...and all that blather about "shovel ready jobs?"

Phillip K. Howard at HuffPo totes up what that $900 billion got us, beside the dubious claim of 6 million jobs "saved," whatever that means...

Despite all the happy talk, how much of the stimulus went to infrastructure?
$30 billion. That's a little more than 3 percent of the total stimulus plan. 
Where did the rest of the stimulus money go?
About $500 billion went to tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and "state fiscal relief" (shoring up insolvent state budgets).

The remaining $300 billion was spent on actual projects, of which the big beneficiaries were:

(i) subsidies for clean energy ($78 billion),
(ii) subsidies for education and child support ($50 billion)(student loans, special ed, and support for disadvantaged children),
(iii) health and health IT ($32 billion),
(iv) transportation infrastructure ($30 billion, as noted above);
(v) environmental cleanup ($28 billion),
(vi) new buildings ($24 billion),
(vii) scientific research ($18 billion), and a few other categories. (HuffPo)
So the government employee syndicates and the politically-connected cleaned up at our expense.

The post-WWII GI Bill produced an entire generation of engineers, doctors and business entrepreneurs that powered US dominance of the global economy. During the Depression, people celebrated and sang songs about the Dams, engineering marvels and other grand projects federal funds bankrolled and hard-working Americans constructed.  Great stately monuments from that era stand even today, with brass plaques affixed to them trumpeting the achievement.

What do we have to show for the $900 billion?

I don't think even Bruce Springsteen or Eddie Vedder sang any songs about Obama's stimulus and all the clean energy we're enjoying as a result...

So, kudos to congress for passing a much-needed infrastructure bill, but Semper Vigilans, caveat emptor, sic tyrannosaurus rexus, et al...

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