Within 3 weeks of being in power, Obama has begun a feeding frenzy of special interest groups that this country has ever seen. Over the last few decades we've seen government spending cruise at 17 to 21% of GDP. It is now going to top almost 40%! It hasn't been that high since WWII. What Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Schumer are doing are using federal money to demolish our free-market economy - under the auspices of fixing a "desperate crisis - and installing a socialist Big Brother government. While the Democrats whine about getting this done in a hurry, we know that they're trying to get it pushed through before anyone really looks at the numbers.
It is no less than Totalitarianism.
On a single day filled with staggering sums, the Obama administration, Federal Reserve and Senate attacked the deepening economic crisis Monday with actions that could throw as much as $3 trillion more in government and private funds into the fight against frozen credit markets and rising joblessness.
"It's gone deep. It's gotten worse," President Barack Obama said of the recession at a campaign-style appearance in Ft. Myers, Fla., where unemployment has reached double digits. "The situation we face could not be more serious."
If any more emphasis were needed, Wall Street investors sent stocks plunging, objecting that new rescue details from the government were too sparse despite the huge numbers. The Dow Jones industrials dropped 382 points.
The president spoke shortly after Senate passage of an $838 billion emergency economic stimulus bill cleared the way for talks with the House on a final compromise. Separately, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner outlined plans for spending much of the $350 billion in financial bailout money recently cleared by Congress, and the Federal Reserve announced it would commit up to $1 trillion to make loans more widely available to consumers.
And worse yet - they're using this phony 'crisis' to get traction on nationalizing health care.
The more we dig into the pile of spending and tax favors known as the "stimulus bill," the more amazing discoveries we make. Namely, Democrats have apparently decided that the way to gun the economy is to spend even more on health care.
This is notable because if there has been one truly bipartisan idea in Washington, it's that the U.S. as a whole spends too much on health care. President Obama has been talking up entitlement reform as a way to free up the money for his other social priorities. But it turns out that Congress is using the stimulus as cover for a massive expansion of federal entitlements.
Only the bill's $20 billion or so devoted to electronic health records can be reasonably called an investment. More typical is the $87 billion that will go to Medicaid, which -- silly us -- we underestimated by about $6 billion in our stimulus editorial yesterday. This pot of money will be used to blow out the federal matching rate by 4.9 percentage points across the board. Medicaid is nominally a joint state-federal program, but the feds pick up 57% of the Medicaid bill on average and are willing to go as high as 82% in some states. In other words, Democrats want to bail out the states that make unaffordable health-care promises and haven't tried to control costs. This latest rescue will give Governors more incentive to do so, given that the more they spend, the more Congress pays.
National taxpayers will also fund a new program allowing some laid-off workers receiving unemployment checks to enroll in Medicaid. For the first time ever on a large scale, the federal government will pay 100% of the costs they incur, and states are explicitly prohibited from means-testing this benefit. Supposedly the $11 billion plan will expire in 2010, but the word "temporary" does not exist in the entitlement world -- and Democrats will fight furiously to extend these benefits before they sunset.
Another damaging inspiration is the plan to throw $30.3 billion at Cobra insurance plans. The unemployed are currently allowed to keep their work health benefits for 18 or 36 months since 1986. While they search for a new job, they must pay 102% of the full insurance premium, including the employer's share. But Democrats now plan to subsidize these plans to the tune of 65%.
Are they making Cobra a new entitlement? Cobra was never intended as an option to assist the long-term unemployed -- considering that adverse selection means Cobra enrollees cost businesses about 145% as much as covered employees. Since Democrats want to boost participation by propping up Cobra use, that will result in less capital to invest in new jobs in the middle of a recession. It will also mean adding another disincentive (in addition to unemployment insurance) to get a new job. When you subsidize people not to work, you get more nonworkers.
Not for nothing did Democratic heath-care commissar Pete Stark tell the New York Times that "We accomplished more today than in the last eight years" after his committee approved the Medicaid and Cobra pieces of the stimulus. In one swoop Democrats will make employer-sponsored health care even more expensive and expand opportunities for an anxious public to join, or remain on, the welfare rolls. The pretext of "stimulus" is being leveraged to capture ever more of the private health-care market and transfer those costs onto government.
But don't forget that everyone agrees that health spending is already too high. So the stimulus also devotes $1.1 billion to create a new bureaucracy called the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. A billion dollars isn't nearly enough to conduct the rigorous clinical studies needed to provide more information on what medical treatments result in the best outcomes. But Democrats want to get this "health-care Fed" on the books now so it's around when they pass the next entitlement expansion -- for the entire middle class.
When government finances start to buckle under that subsidy, the comparative effectiveness outfit will start to ration care to control costs, much like the United Kingdom's National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). The draft report accompanying the House portion of the bill notes that procedures and drugs "that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed."
In sum, what we are really getting in this stimulus bill are several more steps in the gradual government takeover of the health-care market.
We've had a dozen or so recessions since WWII and this one is no different - just a little more agitated than those in recent history. Don't let Obama's lies get to you. He's just using it as a scare tactic to push through his Leftist Big Government agendas.
And what are they spending this $1 trillion on?
Just how outrageous is this shameful $819 billion stimulus?For starters — and this will shock you — both the House and the Senate programs have a loophole that even gives illegal aliens cash payouts.
Here's how The Associated Press explained it: “Undocumented immigrants who are not eligible for a Social Security number can file tax returns with an alternative number. A House-passed version of the economic recovery bill, and one making its way through the Senate, would allow anyone with such a number, called an individual taxpayer identification number (TIN), to qualify for the tax credits.”
In case you didn't know it, any illegal can get a TIN number from Social Security, no questions asked.
This means illegals who broke the law to get here will be eligible immediately for federal cash — up to $1,000!
It gets worse. Let me detail for you some facts from the “stimulus”:
* More than $4 billion is earmarked for "neighborhood stabilization activities" — money that will go to groups like ACORN, which worked closely with the Obama campaign, the same group accused of massive voter fraud.
* Almost half of the proposed spending will directly benefit the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democratic-controlled unions, according to writer Ben Stein.
* $600 million goes for news cars for top government bureaucrats.
* $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* $650 million for the switch from analog television to digital.
* $335 million to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
* $600 million for “climate change” research programs.
There is still a chance to roll this back. Please call as many of your elected representatives as you can and let them know that this bill is nothing more than Entitlement & welfare programs. Go here for more information on how to fight this legislation.