Stimulus 2009: Five Programs that Congress Forgot
It’s hard to believe that within the confines of $819 billion of new spending, hundreds of pages of legislation, and 32 new government programs, Congress forgot to provide money for some very worthy causes. Clearly this was mere oversight. So Mr.ToughMoneyLove has decided to dedicate this entire post to refreshing the memories of our fearless leaders in Washington in hopes that it is not too late to include these:
2. Grants for calculator retrofits and upgrades. Mr. ToughMoneyLove is concerned that once the full effects of Stimulus 2009 ($1.17 trillion with interest), TARP 2008 and 2009, and a “spend like a drunk sailor” Congress kick in, our calculators won’t be able to keep up. Some of our taxpayers will try to keep track of the exploding federal deficit so that they can calculate their respective shares. Unfortunately, using outdated technology, they will find that their calculators cannot display all of the digits that will be necessary. Yes, I know that they could use scientific notation instead but then we would need yet another new government program to explain what that is to most Americans. So the smartest thing to do is just provide grants so that our installed base of calculators can be upgraded to display more 0’s. On second thought, Congress will probably not like this suggestion.
3. Subsidies for purchases of tents and camping equipment. It seems that Stimulus 2009 is sending $2.25 billion in new money to our National Parks, which is equal to its entire existing annual budget and is three times what was originally requested in the plan. It also seems that the chief lobbyist for the National Parks Association is the son of David Obey, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. That has to be mere coincidence, don’t you think? Anyway, given that all of this new cash should make our National Parks even better places to hang out, I’m thinking that we should send our swelling ranks of homeless foreclosure “victims” there to live. They will need tents and stuff so Congress so should address this need immediately. We could then name the tent cities after Obey and his son as a tribute.
4. Re-training programs for business educators. Stimulus 2009 includes $1 billion for Amtrak. Amtrak hasn’t made a profit in 40 years. Apparently, making a profit is not really that important anymore. Otherwise, why would the smart guys and gals in Congress keep sending Amtrak more money? I suppose it’s for the same reason that Congress sent billions to GM and Chrysler. I guess it’s time that we just re-vamp all of our business education programs to teach a “profit optional” business model. That will take some serious – and expensive- brain washing for educators who actually understand how businesses are supposed to operate.
5. Money to research and manufacture a vaccine for trichinosis. Stimulus 2009 includes $335 million for prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Exactly what do we not know about how to prevent STD’s? Are we going fund a corps of STD Marshals and send them into college dormitories and rent-by-the-hour motels? I think the real disease of concern is trichinosis. With all of the raw pork that Congress is shoving into this legislation, an epidemic is looming. Speaking of epidemics, if there is a treatment for “spending hangover”, we need to fund that too. Those of us who pay taxes will need it.
I hope that Congress will act quickly on funding these stimulus programs. Will you help by spreading the word?