Obama to “Call Out” Wasteful Spending

Economic Stimulus Bill to Protect Vulnerable Polar Bears!

Economic Stimulus Bill plans to protect “vulnerable” Polar Bears!

President Obama promised today that he will “call them out” when asked what would happen if stimulus spending was spent wastefully.  “Them” of course referring to State and Local officials and agencies.

Ahhh… That’s good.  I for one feel much more comfortable knowing that the president wagging his finger and saying, “shame on you” is the only consequence for elected officials blowing billions of taxpayer dollars.  I can kick my feet up and relax knowing that he’ll call their mothers and get them into trouble.

Here’s a thought.  Why not take the time to establish protocals and rules to regulate how the money is used so that it isn’t used improperly?  What?  No?  There’s no time for that?  Oh ok… well let’s just rush right through things then.  Good deal.  It’s only 787 billion dollars.  Who cares if we don’t get it right?

On the topic of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or whatever the heck they’re calling it these days), the Federal Government has launched a spiffy new website called Recovery.gov, which (according to it’s creators) lays out exactly where the stimulus money will be spent.

The “Accountability and Transparency” promise on the frontpage states, “This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how it’s being spent. Learn what steps we’re taking to ensure you can track our progress every step of the way.”

Directly across the page from this promise, we see a breakdown of where the money will be spent.

 Category Amount ($ Billions)
*Tax Relief $288
*State and Local Fiscal Relief $144
Infrastructure and science $111
Protecting the Vulnerable $81
Health Care $59
Education and Training $53
Energy $43
Other $8

Great!  Full exposure!  How refreshing!  Wow, they’re planning on spending $288 Billion on taxes relief!  … Oh wait a second.  What’s that asterisk for?  Oh here it is…  In fine print barely visable at the bottom of a completely different page.

* Tax Relief – includes $15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy.

So the actual breakdown will look more like this…

Category Amount ($ Billions)
Actual Tax Relief $165
State and Local Fiscal Relief $144
Infrastructure and science $126
Protecting the Vulnerable $142
Health Care $59
Education and Training $78
Energy $65
Other $8

So much for our “right to knowing where our money is spent.”  Why not just say exactly where the money is going (like I did above), instead of lying about it, putting an asterisk next to it, and then fessing up to it in fine print on some other page?

… Continuing on the topic of “transparency,” what the heck does “protecting the vulnerable” mean anyways?  How is that transparent?  All I can tell is that $142 billion (nearly as much as tax relief after the numbers are adjusted accordingly) is going to the “vulnerable.”  Are we talking about victims of civil war in Africa here?  Or maybe women who just got out of a bad relationship perhaps?  What about polar bears?  They’re pretty vulnerable these days due to the changing climates… and they definitely need protecting… Just listen to the W.W.F. 

I mean come on.  I appreciate the intent of this website (I suppose), but don’t claim to be transparent and then try and pull this sort of shit.

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