Column mischaracterized stimulus debate
February 17, 2009
To the Editor:
In her opinion article published Monday, Feb. 9, Felicia Muftic wrote that the Republicans were objecting to 1 percent of the total stimulus package. Well, she might want to head back to school because there is substantially more than $8 billion that is being debated across the nation.
While nearly everyone supports that something needs to be done, with the dollars being proposed, we need to squeeze as much stimulus out of each dollar Washington spends as possible.
The opinion expressed by Ms. Muftic is pure partisan and attempts to gloss over real issues that are going to have a tremendous effect on this country.
Ms. Muftic brazenly claims that only 1 percent of the stimulus package is being objected to but perhaps she might want to read more than Democratic Party talking points… Last week no less than the Wall Street Journal published an article by Daniel Henninger from which the following was identified: Title VI, Financial Services and General Government, says that “not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be used for construction, repair, and alteration of Federal buildings.” The Bureau of Land Management gets $325,000,000 to spend fixing federal land, including “trail repair” and “remediation of abandoned mines or well sites,” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are getting $462,000,000 for “equipment, construction, and renovation of facilities, including necessary repairs and improvements to leased laboratories.” The National Institute of Standards gets $357,000,000 for the “construction of research facilities.” The Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gets $427,000,000 for that.
The country is in an economic meltdown and the federal government is redecorating. The FBI gets $75,000,000 for “salaries and expenses.” Inside the $6,200,000,000 Weatherization Assistance Program one finds “expenses” of $500,000,000. How many bureaucrats does it take to “expense” a half-billion dollars? The Senate-amended version lists “an additional amount to be deposited in the Federal Buildings Fund, $9,048,000,000.” Of this, “not less than $6,000,000,000 shall be available for measures necessary to convert GSA facilities to High-Performance Green Buildings.” High performance? Such as the amendment to Section 2(3)(F) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, which will permit payments to guys employed to repair “recreational vessels.”
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Recently, President Obama signed an executive order requiring all major construction jobs will use union labor, mandating the use to 6-8 percent of the workforce. Compare this to American Solutions which has proposed the following Payroll Tax Stimulus. With a temporary new tax credit to offset 50 percent of the payroll tax, every small business would have more money, and all Americans would take home more of what they earn. Real Middle-Income Tax Relief. Reduce the marginal tax rate of 25 percent down to 15 percent, in effect establishing a flat-rate tax of 15 percent for close to 9 out of 10 American workers. Reduce the Business Tax Rate. Match Ireland’s rate of 12.5 percent to keep more jobs in America. Homeowner’s Assistance. Provide tax credit incentives to responsible home buyers so they can keep their homes.
Americans should work for their families, not for Washington. Invest in energy and transportation infrastructure. This includes a new, expanded electric power grid and a 21st century air traffic control system that will reduce delays in air travel and save passengers, employees and airlines billions of dollars per year.