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Conaway Chronicle: Economic Stimulus

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Washington, February 18, 2009 | comments
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, on a strict party-line vote, and yesterday, President Obama signed this bill into law, making it the single most expensive legislation our country has ever seen.
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Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, on a strict party-line vote, and yesterday, President Obama signed this bill into law, making it the single most expensive legislation our country has ever seen.

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that our economy needs stimulation in this time of economic loss and despair, and that the federal government should play a role. This package, however, is not the answer that our country is looking for. This $789 billion borrow-and-spend bill is 17% tax cuts, and 83% spending, and is in no way considered stimulative. It even includes legislative provisions such as the Comparative Effectiveness Research Panel, which is the first step toward government-controlled healthcare, and is clearly not stimulative. Provisions such as this will not create jobs, and will end up doing more harm to our economy than good.

President Obama called for no earmarks to be included in the stimulus package; however Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid felt that the rules did not apply to them, as they both included projects for their districts in the bill including a rail system between Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and money to save the harvest mice in San Francisco. The millions of dollars that will be spent on these projects could have been better used in the form of tax cuts to hard-working Americans.

Republicans in Congress offered an alternative bill structured on tax cuts to small businesses and individuals that would allow people to keep and reinvest their money and begin the arduous task of turning the economy around. Nevertheless, Republicans were left out of the process, even after a unanimous vote to allow no less than 48 hours for Members of Congress and the American public to review of the final legislation before voting on it. Democrats in Congress, however, brought this legislation to the floor a mere 14 hours after it had been filed. President Obama has continued to reiterate his goal of bipartisanship in Congress; however this goal is unrealistic when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid continue to break their promise of transparency and openness in Congress.

It is a sad day for our future generations, as we have saddled them with additional debt of which they will have to pay the interest. This legislation does little to stimulate the economy; in fact, the only thing that will grow as a result of this stimulus package is the size of the federal government.

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