People are getting irritated and saying President Obama needs to just quit trying to deal with the minority Republicans and just push through the stimulus bill.  I like to remind these folks that 48% of the people did not vote for Obama. I only raise that to indicate that there is a need for the President to address the concerns of the entire nation. According to Gallop, only 52% support it and the vast majority have concerns that it will have any impact on the economy.

I’m actually in favor of a stimulus bill.  I don’t like the idea of bailing out failing companies, but if we can help retool, retrain, better educate the workforce and help them through that transition, I’m ok with that. What I’m not in favor of is politicians using this as an opportunity to slip in pet projects and paybacks. I’m assuming you aren’t going to read through the stimulus plan.  I was only able to get through half of it before I started feeling ill.  Check out the details here:

There are several programs for construction projects, health care assistance, etc. that I guess might help the economy.  Below are items in the first 235 pages of the stimulus plan that I just didn’t understand why there were there?  Don’t these other federal departments have budgets?  Why are there stimulus $$$ to help the census, create nationwide wireless lawn enforcement network, have NASA build a climate monitoring satellite or any number of other things?  I’m not questioning whether any of these line items are important.  I want to know why they are in an emergency stimulus package?

[edit] Mitt Romney suggests in an article on CNN that moving up already planned Department spending is a valid way to stimulate the economy.  I guess that’s possible if those Departments dropped their future budgets to compensate for moving the funds “up”, but I’m skeptical that would take place.

Right now, there is money for:



  1. $1b ‘‘Periodic Censuses and Programs’’
  2. $650m ‘‘Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Program’’
  3. $200m ‘‘Tactical Law Enforcement Wireless Communications’’
  4. $300m ‘‘Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Program
  5. $1.5b OFFICE OF JUSTICE PROGRAMS STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ASSISTANCE For an additional amount for ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’’
  6. $100m ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’’, for competitive grants to provide assistance and equipment to local law enforcement along the Southern border and in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas to combat criminal narcotics activity stemming from the Southern border, of which $10,000,000 shall be transferred to ‘‘Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Salaries and Expenses’’ for the ATF Project Gunrunner. 
  7. $300m  ‘‘State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance’’, for assistance to Indian tribes
  9. $250m AERONAUTICS For an additional amount for ‘‘Aeronautics’’
  10. $500m EXPLORATION For an additional amount for ‘‘Exploration’’
  11. $3.3b “Operation and Maintenance, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army/Navy/Marine Corps/Air Force Reserves, Army/Air National Guard”
  12. $1.4b advanced to the Colorado River Dam Fund;  Reclamation Fund or the Bureau of Reclamation
  13. $246m ‘Office of the Under Secretary for Management’’, solely for planning, design, and construction costs, including site security, information technology infrastructure, furniture, fixtures, and related costs to consolidate the Department of Homeland Security headquarters
  14. $1.2b TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION AVIATION SECURITY For an additional amount for ‘‘Aviation Security’’, for procurement and installation of checked baggage explosives detection systems and checkpoint explosives detection equipment
  15. $14m  SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, ACQUISITION, AND OPERATIONS For an additional amount for ‘‘Research, Development, Acquisition, and Operations’’, for cyber security research
  16. $7.6m OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL SALARIES AND EXPENSES For an additional amount for ‘‘Office of Inspector General’’
  17. $20m DEPARTMENT-WIDE PROGRAMS CENTRAL HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FUND For an additional amount for ‘‘Central Hazardous Materials Fund’
  19. $200m LEAKING UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK TRUST FUND PROGRAM For an additional amount for ‘‘Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program’’, for cleanup activities
  20.  $300m shall be for Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants pursuant to title VII, subtitle G of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
  21. $650m WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT For an additional amount for ‘‘Wildland Fire Management’’, for hazardous fuels reduction and hazard mitigation activities in areas at high risk of catastrophic wildfire, of which $350,000,000 is available for work on State and private lands using all the authorities available to the Forest Service
  22. $150m SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION FACILITIES CAPITAL For an additional amount for ‘‘Facilities Capital’’
  23. $1.1b DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES ADMINISTRATION HEALTH RESOURCES AND SERVICES For an additional amount for ‘‘Health Resources and Services’’, of which $88,000,000 shall be for necessary expenses related to leasing and renovating a headquarters building for Public Health Service agencies and other components of the Department of Health and Human Services, including renovation and fit-out costs, and of which $1,000,000,000 shall be for grants for construction, renovation and equipment for health centers receiving operating grants under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act
  24. $412m CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION DISEASE CONTROL, RESEARCH, AND TRAINING For an additional amount for ‘‘Disease Control, Research, and Training’’ for acquisition of real property, equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities, including necessary repairs and improvements to leased laboratories
  25. $500m BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES For an additional amount for ‘‘Buildings and Facilities’’, to fund high-priority repair, construction and improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities on the Bethesda, Maryland campus and other agency locations
  26. $700m AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS) For an additional amount for ‘‘Healthcare Research and Quality’’ to carry out titles III and IX of the Public Health Service Act, part A of title XI of the Social Security Act, and section 1013 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, $700,000,000 for comparative clinical effectiveness research, which shall remain available through September 30, 2010: Provided, That of the amount appropriated in this paragraph, $400,000,000 shall be transferred to the Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health (‘‘Office of the Director’’) to conduct or support comparative clinical effectiveness research under section 301 and title IV of the Public Health Service Act
  27. $5b OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR FOR HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS) For an additional amount for ‘‘Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’’
  28. $870m  ‘‘Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund’’ to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic, for activities including the development and purchase of vaccine, antivirals, necessary medical supplies, diagnostics, and other surveillance tools
  29. $20m TITLE IX—LEGISLATIVE BRANCH GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLIITY OFFICE SALARIES AND EXPENSES For an additional amount for ‘‘Salaries and Expenses’’ of the Government Accountability Office
  30. $65m  NATIONAL CEMETERY ADMINISTRATION For an additional amount for ‘‘National Cemetery Administration’’, of which $59,476,000 shall be for capital infrastructure and memorial and monument repairs; and $5,485,000 shall be for energy efficiency initiatives.
  32. TITLE XI—STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT OF STATE ADMINISTRATION OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR PROGRAMS For an additional amount for ‘‘Diplomatic and Consular Programs’’ for urgent domestic facilities requirements, $180,500,000, to remain available until September 30, 2010, of which up to $45,000,000 shall be available for passport and visa facilities and systems, and up to $75,000,000 shall be available for a consolidated security training facility in the United States
  33. $524m CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND For an additional amount for ‘‘Capital Investment Fund’’, of which up to $120,000,000 shall be available for the design and construction of a backup information management facility in the United States to support continuity of critical mission operations and programs, and up to $98,527,000 shall be available to carry out the Department of State’s responsibilities under the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative
  34. $100m UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE PRESIDENT CAPITAL INVESTMENT FUND For an additional amount for ‘‘Capital Investment Fund’’, of which $34,000,000 shall be available for information technology modernization programs and of which up to$35,000,000 shall be available for implementation of the Global Acquisition System
  35. $200m FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING FOR FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT For an additional amount for necessary investments in Federal Aviation Administration infrastructure: Provided, That funding provided under this heading shall be used to make improvements to power systems, air route traffic control centers, air traffic control towers, terminal radar approach control facilities, and navigation and landing equipment