Thursday, February 5, 2009

Separating fact and fiction: Is the stimulus full of pork or not?

1) Millions are wasted giving it to Filipino WW2 veterans

U.S Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican Whip, said the following:
"I mean, there are so many different things that you can make fun of in this bill," Kyl said. "Let me just mention one — millions of dollars to World War II Filipino veterans in the Philippines. Now, that may be a good thing to spend money on, but not in a stimulus bill. It doesn't stimulate anything."
So, is a provision to pay money to Filipino Veterans in there? YES, however NO MONEY actually comes from the stimulus. The money was set aside from another budget.The 900 Billion is not going towards the Filipinos. Just the authorization to send them the money is in there. Odd that it's in there, but this happens all the time.


2) Money is included for anti-smoking programs.

Actually, like many items in the package (more efficient cars and buildings, for example), this is an investment to save money in the future.  The concept is that helping people learn how to quit smoking is a hell of a lot cheaper than paying $110 BILLION for lung cancer therapies.  So, yeah, not putting jobs to work, but in the long run saving money for an already battered healthcare system.

It was in there, but was removed to appease the GOP, though it is still often cited as being in the plan.  



3) Does the stimulus package really include $300,000 for a sculpture garden?

NO.  Republican Eric Cantor is a lying sack of you know what.  He made this 
up simply to give the media something to pick up on and sway opinion.  There IS money for the National Endowment for the Arts.  Despite what people think, artists do work, and need jobs too.  Ever see a museum?  They are the old looking buildings that aren't churches.


4) The plan has millions for fish, off-roaders
True, but it's mischaracterized as wasteful spending.  These are both works projects that would create jobs.
"Preserving our national parks and preserving our wildlife don't seem to be unreasonable goals," said Rob Blumenthal, a Democratic spokesman for the Senate Committee on Appropriations. "These are ready-to-go jobs that will employ American workers."


5) Stimulus package is to give money to ACORN

The dreaded ACORN!  While the debate on ACORN is a whole different story (it is an organization seized upon by the GOP during the election as supposedly committing voter fraud), THERE IS NO MENTION OF ACORN as a recipient of funds.  It appears to be yet another catch phrase the GOP is using to scare low-informed voters.

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