Tags: heritage | obama | stimulus

Heritage: Dems' Stimulus Bill Has Hidden Left Agenda

Friday, 23 Jan 2009 01:35 PM

By Dave Eberhart

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The House stimulus package moving through committee illustrates how the left is using the economic stimulus bill as cover to achieve their long held desire to permanently increase the size of the federal government, charges a new report by The Heritage Foundation.

“It’s time to wake up. This stimulus bill is nothing but the permanent implementation of the pet projects of the House and Senate. There is nothing temporary about any of the spending increases in this bill. They are all designed to make the American people more dependent on the federal government. And there is nothing stimulating about that,” charge the report’s authors.

The Foundation’s analysts argue that the proof is in the pudding.

  • On top of the basic $79 billion education bailout, for instance, the House bill also includes expanded spending for a variety of programs - bringing the total education stimulus taxpayer bill to $142 billion.

    There is $1 billion for Technology Education, $1.5 billion for Pell Grants, $6 billion for higher education institutions, $2.1 billion for Head Start, $2.5 billion for the National Science Foundation, and $2 billion in Child Care Development Block Grants.

    “Are any of these spending increases even intended to be temporary?” rhetorically ask the Heritage analysts. “Can you possibly imagine Democrats in Congress standing up to cut Head Start and Pell Grant funding in two years?”

    The $142 billion education spending increase is nearly double the total outlays for the Department of Education in 2007.

  • The House bill expands Medicaid eligibility to cover unemployed workers whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Line.

    “This provision will also supposedly expire in two years, but does anyone really believe that once states have put these new populations on the Medicaid roles that the political will exists at the state or federal level to kick them off?” query the report authors.

  • The House bill includes $87 billion bailout for state Medicaid spending. Supposedly, this federal shot in the arm will expire in two years “but there is simply no reason to believe states will be prepared to meet their Medicaid obligations any more in 2011 than they are today,” state the analysts.

  • Section 5004 of the Medicaid expansion portion of the stimulus bill incorporates language that undercuts parental authority and expands control of taxpayer dollars by family planning clinics, and exactly who is eligible to receive these benefits, charge the authors.

    “Contrary to current laws, the income of parents or even a spouse would not be counted in determining eligibility, so a child in a family at any income level may be eligible for free family planning services. And thanks to the ‘presumptive eligibility period’ in the legislation, no parent ever needs to be notified that their child applied for Medicaid. Finally, applicants would not have to prove their citizenship before their ‘presumptive eligibility’ is determined.”

  • The House bill also creates a $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to help states pay for public services, 61 percent of which must be spent on education. “[This money] comes with new federal restrictions designed to please leftist constituency groups,” say the authors. “For example, the legislation forbids bailout funds require that ‘no recipient of funds under this title shall use funds to provide financial assistance to students to attend private elementary or secondary schools.’”

    If one was to forgive and forget the excess baggage in the bill because of the greater good of creating those elusive new jobs, you may want to reconsider, advise the experts.

    Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced this week 4 million jobs will be created or saved. Yet Joint Tax Committee staffer Thomas Barthold admitted on the hearing record, also this week, that they had no estimates that any jobs or economic growth would be created by this legislation.

    Meanwhile even some Democrats have been left scratching their heads. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Tenn., conceded “he is concerned about returning fiscal responsibility to Washington,” adding, the stimulus bill “can’t be the pet projects of the House and Senate.”

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