I hope it’s a stimulating Junket

About a year ago our president signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which encompassed 787 billion dollars in spending and tax cuts meant to stimulate the economy. Much of the money our government so generously doled out is supposed to put people to work. As Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that working for ya”. Let’s see now… a year later our country still has an unemployment rate in the 10% range, and if you take into account the underemployed, the rate is likely double that.

The government creating jobs for the sake of creating jobs is just a bad idea. It leads to foolish and wasteful spending, which is something the government excels at.  One case in point, Dekalb County here in Georgia is spending $400,000 in funds to send 200 school employees to Hollywood, California this weekend for educational training. Of course, why would I expect one government agency to spend money from another government agency in a wise fashion?

Imagine what else we could have done as a nation with 787 billion dollars. Actually, I can’t even fathom that much money. You get numb after awhile hearing those kinds of numbers. A few hundred billion here, a trillion there. Just today, the House voted to raise the country’s debt limit by 1.9 trillion dollars. It now stands at 14.3 trillion (almost $50,000 for every man, woman and child in this country). But, hey, that means we can borrow even more money that we’ll never be able to pay back.

It would be nice if Dekalb County actually gets a $400,000 return on this investment in some way, such as a measurable improvement in the quality of education for the kids, but somehow I don’t think that will be the case.  If this is like other conferences, most of the people there will be staring at a Powerpoint presentation loaded with semi-useful material that they only marginally care about, thinking about where they’re going to eat tonight, or when they’ll get a chance to head over to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

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6 Responses to “I hope it’s a stimulating Junket”

  • Comment from Victoria

    I had no idea you had a blog!! I love it. You raised some great points about a $400K conference for teachers!!

    • Comment from Rick Yuzzi

      Thanks. I just started it. It gives me a chance to rant a bit. Of course, I need to remember to find some positive things to say. 🙂

  • Comment from Due Respect

    Dear friend,

    I hope you don’t mind me disagreeing, but I don’t get it.

    When Bush and the Republican-led congress immediately killed PAYGO after Bush took office, I only heard silence about what that would mean. When Bush and the Republican-led congress implemented two major back-to-back tax cuts that weren’t paid for, I only heard silence about the resulting deficits. When Bush and the Republican-led congress passed a new entitlement, Medicare Part D, costing over half a trillion dollars without paying for it…silence. When Bush and the Republican-led congress took us into Iraq without any attempt to pay for the war…silence. When Bush the Republican-led congress increased agricultural subsidies significantly (welfare for millionaires)…silence. When Bush and the Republican-led congress immediately turned surpluses into deficits, never to recover revenues (inflation adjusted) to the level that they were at under Clinton…silence. When the national debt more than doubled under Bush…silence.

    Now, the same people who elected the guys who unnecessarily ran deficits for eight years straight are complaining about Obama and the deficits that he deliberately ran via the stimulus, about a third of that 787 billion was made up of tax cuts, to reduce the impact of the drop-off in consumer and business spending that many expected would lead to a depression with up to 25 percent unemployment.

    Bush/Republican deficits…silence. Obama/Democratic deficits…all hell breaks lose. I honestly don’t get it.

    • Comment from Rick Yuzzi

      I don’t mind if you disagree at all. We probably agree in a lot of areas, though. Most significantly, I think going into Iraq was a colossal mistake. We’ll be paying for that in more ways than one for a long time. I also support legislation for a balanced budget. And, to get there, we can’t be spending tax money to bail out companies, or throwing around money like a drunken sailor in stimulus funds or earmarks (this goes for both parties).

      However, I do support tax cuts within reason, though. It is the government giving the people some of their money back, and it tends to stimulate economic growth. If there is a choice between an unfunded tax cut and an unfunded spending program, I would much prefer a tax cut. Our government is way too big and wasteful already, and those in power inherently want it to get bigger.