Liddick: ‘Stimulus’ a wild pork-fest |

Liddick: ‘Stimulus’ a wild pork-fest

Summit County, CO Colorado

Morgan Liddick

So now we know what the Clintons did wrong in their effort to provide everyone with government health care. They openly discussed the problem and their proposed solution.

President Obama knows better. To institute universal, government-supplied health care, one doesn’t have discussions. There are no pesky committees, secret or not; no hearings, no dueling plans, no openness or bipartisanship. One simply talks the public into a sense of panic, relying on the media to spread fear and a sense that something, anything must be done to stop the imminent collapse of civilization. Then, one relies on one’s liberal allies in Congress to lard up a “rescue” bill with direct payments to individuals for medical care to the tune of $127 billon.

En voila. Or as President Bush might have said, “mission accomplished.”

What? You didn’t notice that almost a quarter of the $550 billion on the spending side of President Obama’s near-trillion-dollar “stimulus” package was earmarked for health care? That there was no means test, so the million-dollar-a-year bond broker with three houses in Vail who loses his job is just as eligible for medicine at your expense as the $11-an-hour checker who gets bounced from Wal-Mart? Oh yeah ” and the broker’s family gets the freebie too. Thus Medicaid ” intended to provide medical care for people of limited means ” becomes the vehicle for the sort of permanent, universal health care that liberal Democrats have lusted after for almost two decades. Didn’t pick up on that? Never mind. You weren’t meant to. So much for “transparency.”

True, these extra truckloads of money dumped into the avalanche of debt already hurtling downhill toward our grandchildren are termed “temporary,” just as the entire spendathon is styled an “emergency measure.” That should fool only those walking around with “cheat me” engraved on their foreheads. When was the last time you heard of anyone voluntarily giving up the opportunity to force other people to pay their bills? But that’s not the worst of it.

Of the $819 billion dollars the House Democrats voted to borrow from our grandchildren to “rescue” the economy, how much is being targeted to job creation ” the sort of quick infusion of money to “shovel ready” projects we’ve all heard about? Forty billion, about 5 percent of the total. And the perfidy doesn’t end there.

Even the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office calculates that no more than 30 percent of that 5 percent will be spent this year. Only two-thirds will be spent in the next two years. The chief purpose of this pork-fest is not to create jobs, repair infrastructure or any such thing; what’s really being stimulated here is government.

Take education. About four times as much money is budgeted for it ($167 billion) as for infrastructure. Of that, $79 billion will replace state money. This very well may be a windfall beyond the wildest dreams of teachers’ unions, but … to the victors go the spoils, yes? Then there is the $16 billion slated to boost Pell Grants, which go to low-income students. That money is budgeted to run out in two years. Is there anyone foolish enough to think that when it does, our legislators will be oblivious to the cries of those poor students who just don’t have the resources to complete their education? We’ll be on the hook for that sum forever.

Another $43 billion in the bill consists in outright transfers to individuals: extensions of unemployment, food stamps, welfare payments, home heating oil subsidies ” and $1 billion to “community action organizations.” ACORN gets about $10 million. Perhaps they will use the money to create jobs through experimenting with more subtle and labor-intensive methods of committing voter fraud.

There’s much more to dislike in this porker. $400 million for “habitant restoration?” $335 million to combat STDs? A billon dollars for the 2010 census? $400 million for “global warming research?” $650 million for digital converter box coupons?” $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts? A $600 million cars-for-the-Feds program? “Fish barriers.” Honeybee insurance. The list seems endless.

Did someone mention “accountability?” Yes, he did ” we all heard it. But more than $54 billion of this spending spree will go to federal agencies that either the OMB or the GAO has criticized as unable to pass a basic audit. So the first step is to find a rathole…

Make no mistake. The lipstick on this pork won’t change the fact that it is put forward by people willing to cripple the future with debt in order to bring about the sort of Utopia from which Americans have always recoiled, when given the choice. This time, they didn’t have one; that was politically smart.

Smart, but destructive. This will hurt, and for a long time.

Summit County resident Morgan Liddick pens a Tuesday column. E-mail him at Also, comment on this column at

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