Porkulus II: Return of the Phony Jobs Boondoggle
Immutable law of Beltway political
physics: The only real jobs that a government stimulus
stimulates are government jobs. A year after President
Obama signed his first almost trillion-dollar economic
stimulus package into law, the federal workforce is at
an all-time high. The nation`s unemployment rate has
swelled to 9.7 percent, but Washington`s economy is
More than 2.1 million government
workers will be on the federal payroll by the end of
2010. The lobbying industry is booming. USA Today
reports that 14 federal agencies have hired 3,000
workers to oversee stimulus spending and have spent
nearly $190 million so far on salaries and overhead.
Just one-third of the stimulus
money has been spent so far, but the White House is now
hectoring the Senate to ram through yet another phony
jobs boondoggle in the name of bipartisanship. As GOP
Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas
reminded Americans during the Republicans` weekly
radio address, Obama and the Democrats promised a year
ago that the jobless rate would remain below 8 percent
with their stimulus legislation.
still asking, `Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs?`
But all they are getting from Washington is more
spending, more taxes, more debt and more bailouts."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
said Tuesday that the Porkulus II plan—reportedly with
an $85 billion price tag—was a
piece of legislation." But you`ll have to take
credibility-damaged word for it.
Despite anticipated votes on the
bill before Presidents Day weekend, no one outside the
Democratic leadership and K Street had seen an actual
bill as of Tuesday afternoon. Few will read the whole
thing before casting their hasty votes. And once again,
we`ll only be informed of the last-minute sweeteners,
Cash for Cloture handouts and backroom deals after the
ink of the president`s signature is dry.
Reportedly, public-sector unions
are pushing hard to include their precious
card-check plan, which would allow
Big Labor bosses to sabotage workers` rights to a
federally supervised private-ballot election.
Reportedly, Democrats plan to stuff
a reauthorization of the Patriot Act into the bill to
make it harder for Republicans to oppose it.
Reportedly, Stimulus Jr. will also
include a $20 billion bailout for the beleaguered
federal Highway Trust Fund, which has been raided for
years to pay for bike paths, beautification programs and
other pet projects, while its core targets—basic roads
and bridges—have deteriorated.
Reportedly, the Democrats will
throw in some small-business tax breaks and a temporary
payroll tax holiday gimmick, supported by some
Republicans, for companies that hire unemployed workers.
What we do know for sure: The $154
billion Spawn of Spendulus passed in the House on a
party-line vote in December is crammed to the gills with
special-interest spending. Half of the money would go to
government bureaucracies already overflowing with
Stimulus One money. Nearly $30 billion would go to
protect public-sector union employees in state
While tax relief would be temporary
(Democrats always make sure of that), the Reid bill will
follow the House version in continuing the endlessly
extension of jobless benefits that will cost billions of
dollars and encourage more and longer unemployment.
That`s on top of the $58 billion in jobless benefit
extension funds paid out by Porkulus I. Senate
Republicans voted against this permanent entitlement
lard-up measure that has nothing to do with job creation
two years ago. They should do so again.
In addition, President Obama wants
$23 billion added for a fraud-friendly "Cash for
Caulkers" weatherization program. Instead of
returning the money to reduce the debt as stipulated in
the law, Obama is also pushing to siphon $30 billion
from the ever-morphing TARP bank bailout program to fund
small-business lending initiatives.
"What I won`t
consider is doing nothing in the face of a lot of
hardship across the country,"
Obama said this week.
How about leaving well enough alone, dispensing the rest
of the original stimulus, retreating from
debt-deepening, tax-increasing, economy-stifling
initiatives from the government health care takeover to
cap-and-trade, and refusing to redistribute tax dollars
toward private job destruction and government job
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
is the author of
Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists,
Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our
for Peter Brimelow`s review. Click
for Michelle Malkin`s website. Michelle Malkin
is also author of
Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild
and the just-released Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies.