I have just spent 2 hours reading through the recovery and reinvestment act.
1. BOTH liberal and conservative talk show hosts are really stretching their criticisms of this bill. Right now I have to ask for line and verse on their accusations as I cannot find anything that has special earmarks to individual groups (other than those listed in #2-which I challenge anyone to deride in public). There is a huge amount of assumption on their parts and all I can say is 'shame on you guys'. The media/entertainment industry-in all it many gloried forms-has gotten way out of control.
The next bill passed should be a media control act requiring them to cite 3 references for all of their information. English teachers require it, so why doesn't our professional cadre of communicators do it. Oh right-it is easier to make things up. Less work and bigger profit margin that way.
2. The railroad has one HELL of a union. They are the only commerce group directly receiving money. (indians, vets, disabled kids, agriculture, abused wives, disadvantaged communities, people who got screwed on loans, and old people are the only other groups specifically mentioned.)
3. I hope the educational money trickles down to my wife. Lets sing along shall we "All I want for stimulus is a job for us, a job for us." (sing to the tune of 'all I want for christmas') Why does Reaganomics only work for the commercial sector? Government spending is just another form of trickle down.
4. It severely reduces most taxes and provides some rockin' tax credits if you belong to any of the above groups in #2. (not very liberal of you mr. president. tsk tsk.)
5. Environmental impact money? Not really, it just brings the expenses back up to 2005 budget levels. Agriculture is really helped through trade and development monies. Lots more for farms than environmental money spent.
Side note here-I was more concerned with studies of minimum wage in American Samoa-how does that help the US recover? And why are we still holding onto those territories-they need to shit or get off the pot from the state standpoint. As long as they have "protectorate" status they will never become states. There is no incentive-our military protects them, they have access to our economy, must meet our freedoms, yet retain some sovereignty and sense of community-win/win for them, loose/loose for us. I bet Puerto Rico and Guam would become states in a heartbeat if we told them they had only more vote allowed and if they voted 'no' then they better start writing articles of federation, finding a UN representative and paying for their own military.
6. CEO limitations-yep a big 'ole section at the end. I am mixed on this. My gut says "hell yeah stick it to the bastards", while the capitalist in me says, "profit now, fail later." Karma in the stock market is a royal bitch so let them do it to themselves in the long run.
7. Socialist Health Care? Couldn't find a section on more monies other than added to meet 2005 budget figures, it just extended alot of the old health care act, especially on COBRA and vet requirements. The money spent to increase health care capability is for Health Information Technologies. Ostensibly for doctors to be able to easily get your entire health history. The conspiracy theorist in me is actually a little afraid of this one.
8. 90% of the act is adding to existing budgets to bring them back up to the proposed figures for 2007-9 before the economy went sour and Bush had to cut back spending. (which he did, his last budget was 8% lower than his 2005-2007 budget.
9. Military gets their fair share (again not very clinton of you mr. president, all that effort by Mr Clinton to get rid of our military.)
10. And finally my prediction is coming true. The Broadband portion specifically states many times "in an effort to provide every american with access to communications". The next addition to the Bill of Rights will be a 'right to information'. You will see-in...oh, say in 8 years subsidized access to cable and internet for low in-come americans based upon an amendment to the constitution. The money spent on Broadband technology infrastructure is effectively to provide hi-speed communications through out the US. I have to wonder, what is wrong with wireless? And DSL (using existing phone lines) is already pretty fast-do we really need to restring millions of miles of lines just because TV/internet companies want us to go Hi-def?
Again I say to the media/entertainment industry, stop trying to influence us and do your job. TV and internet is not a god (who would have figured marilyn manson would have it right). Celebrities are not gods. Only Ben Stein is actually smarter than most of us (because he doesn't listen to other celebrities or the news). Brad Pitt is not, nor is Sean Penn, nor Madonna, nor Oprah or any of them. Think of Celebrities this way....if they have to spend 20,000 on clothes to gain your respect, then they must be pretty sad, ugly little people when the rest of us only have to be polite to each other and work hard.
So in short-money for stimulus to Health Care Info Tech, Broadband, Bad Loans, Military and State projects (transportation and education.) "earmarks" money (or the closest one can come to describing project specific money) is done through competitive grant processes-all sections have these. BIG tax breaks in the form of credits for those living on the edge. Environment (not in the way rush, leveen, and ilk would have you believe). CEO limitations. Health care time-table extensions. The Mexican Fence will be built. And railroad employees win big. Curator is like conductor right?