I don’t remember seeing so many details about a bill being reported in the press. Then again, the stimulus bill is so damn big, I guess it’s not too hard to pick out all of the spending items and create a list or two. We tried it here, but just did not have the time to pick through everything.
One of the best high-level summaries about what is included in the current Senate version – which many do not think will pass in it’s current form – is from National Review Online writers Stephen Spruiell and Kevin Williamson. The piece is entitled 50 De-Stimulating Facts.
Short on time here in the Sydney airport, here’s the opening paragraphs. Read the entire article to see the list which is broken into categories including Various Left-Wingery, Poorly Designed Tax Relief, Stimulus for the Government, Income Transfers, Pure Pork, Renewable Waste and, Rewarding State Irresponsibility.
Senate Democrats acknowledged Wednesday that they do not have the votes to pass the stimulus bill in its current form. This is unexpected good news. The House passed the stimulus package with zero Republican votes (and even a few Democratic defections), but few expected Senate Republicans (of whom there are only 41) to present a unified front. A few moderate Democrats have reportedly joined them.
The idea that the government can spend the economy out of a recession is highly questionable, and even with Senate moderates pushing for changes, the current package is unlikely to see much improvement. Nevertheless, this presents an opportunity to remove some of the most egregious spending, to shrink some programs, and to add guidelines where the initial bill called for a blank check.