Layoffs are everywhere, in every state, in every industry. From NASA to the Department of Defense, to the Gulf moratorium on drilling, Obama himself is personally responsible for tens of thousands of jobs lost. Going the tried and true method of allowing the marketplace to correct the economy wouldn’t give the savior Obama the limelight he craves. Enter the stimulus bill…and its country cousins.
Like any government intrusion, the failure is spectacular when it comes to it effect on the American family.
Oops! (AKA Unintended Consequences)
This is the very least offensive part of the stimulus debacle and yet it has had a profoundly negative affect on American families.
Remember the Cash For Clunker mess? The government required the cars turned in to be disabled. So perfectly serviceable cars were filled with silicate to kill the engines. Which in turn has hurt the used car and parts industry.
A strip mall in Normandy Park, WA has lost jobs because of a stimulus streetscaping project. $3.8 million is being spent, but in the meantime, the business have either cut staff or closed down altogether because no one can get to their stores. At least the sidewalks will look pretty in front of the boarded up businesses.
Regulations and Red Tape
The City of San Antonio was awarded $7.3 million for construction of fire stations but the projects have been drowning in red tape, with no idea of when they’ll be built. Before the government ‘helped’, the stations had their own funding and had hired a private contractor. Since the stimulus—with its complicated and expensive federal regulations, including environmental and historical considerations—have put the project on hold while jacking up the cost by over $2 million dollars.
It’s the same story for the weatherization program. Over half a million homes were supposed to be weatherized with stimulus funds. But the same issues of regulations and red tape have made it so only about nine thousand homes have been helped. Looks like all those warm fuzzies Obama was hoping to buy will instead feel like a chill wind this winter.
Bad To the Bone Planning
Who else is sick of the term ‘shovel ready’? Just about the only shoveling that’s been done is installing all those Recovery.gov signs (which are an illegal form of propaganda). The fact is, only 3.3% of the $8 billion dollars slated for shovel ready jobs has gone for highway and bridge projects.
In Nevada, stimulus dollars helped fund a Prison Biomass plant only until they figured out it was too expensive to operate. Despite that, the plant is still receiving stimulus dollars…as it loses money every day.
Then there’s the half million dollars spent for windows on a forestry exhibit in Washington State that was already closed down. I can see clearly now, the common sense is gone.
Any time the government doles out money, there’s fraud. The stimulus money is apparently a gift that keeps on giving to the private sector—provided employers lay off their employees. Instead of ‘stimulating’ employers to hire, they can kill two birds with one stone by reducing their workforce (biggest cost in any business) and receive stimulus funds because they ‘had’ to lay off employees. In this economy, they’ll hold onto the money instead of reinvesting it.
In one county, responsible for overseeing $4.7 million, a ‘revolving door scheme was implemented, backfilling vacancies by employers who fired employees, knowing they’d be rehired with stimulus funds.
And then there’s all the companies receiving stimulus funds who are already crooked. It’s estimated that half of the companies on the receiving end of the stimulus money have a history of breaking the law or were convicted of defrauding the government. You stay classy, crooked contractors!
A Path to Unionization?
Since the stimulus failed in every way except to allow the crooks to get rich, even more people are unemployed. Could this be by design? Disenfranchised workers are being called to organize in order to ‘support’ each other. It seems more likely a way to put an union infrastructure in place so when the idea of a formal union comes about (and it will), everything is already set up. This is also a convenient way to mobilize votes for the upcoming elections. And if that works out, we’ll get to experience Obama’s next push: Card Check.
Taxpayer Money Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
It’s easy to joke about the absurdity of stimulus funds gone awry, but every dollar was earned by the sweat of someone else’s brow. When you hear of a Kentucky furnace—unused for almost 140 years—getting close to a million dollars cumulative for restoration, you might go huh? All there is to show for the money is a roof and corner stabilization, and admittedly, most of the money was ‘lost’ due to ‘bad stewardship’.
But that’s nothing compared to the quarter million dollar study of the effect of cocaine on monkeys and the sex drive of Japanese quail. Then there’s a million dollar program encouraging people to quit smoking by giving them a free Smart phone, and the six million to restore global Islamist sites.
Aren’t you glad you get up every day to support Obama’s latest boondoggle?