Internet Articles (2015)
The only "breathe of fresh air" measure in the legislation, already being attacked by the liberal press, was inserted in the House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by 13th term Congressman Peter Visclosky [D-IN]. The Senate version was proffered by Byron Dorgan [D-ND]. Dorgan's measure mandates that all construction projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 must use infrastructure materials, particularly steel, that were made in the United States. The "Buy American" provision came right out of the playbook of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. While FDR-student Obama privately eschews the Vischlosky-Dorgan amendment, publicly "Buy American" has a vote-getting patriotic ring to it. The Obama Administration will fight hard to sabotage that provision in the Senate bill and, if necessary, to surreptitiously drop it out of the bill in joint conference when the patriotic public is no longer watching what they believe is "enacted law."
On Jan. 30 Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs said the Resident would "...review that particular provision...[the (...) advisers understand that]...all of the concerns that have been heard, not only in this room, but in newspapers produced both up north and down south." When asked by the press corp, Gibbs refused to say what Obama will do if the provision is still in the legislation when the bill hits his desk. I suspect the Solicitor General of the United States will file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to remove it. After all, what could be worse in an American stimulus package than a measure that would require US government contractors to actually buy American products to stimulate the economy?
The "Buy American" provision is already being attacked by the European Commission and the Canadian government. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is calling the measure a violation of NAFTA. The EU insists that the Visclosky-Dorgan provision flies in the face of a G-20 agreement reached in November, 2008. Thirteenth term Visclosky and 3rd term Dorgan have too much influence with other House and Senate members to be casually dismissed by the far left even though some of the most vocal opponents of the Buy American provision are the nation's biggest blue chip industrialistsand campaign contributors. Less than two weeks into what Obama said would be the most open presidency in history and the shell game has already begun.
In a marathon backroom skullduggery negotiation session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV] and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel brokered a deal to gain the support of three liberal Republicans, Senators Arlen Specter [R-PA], Olympia Snowe [R-ME], and Susan Collins [R-ME] that guarantees the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Aiding Emanuel with the conversions of Specter , Snowe and Collins were Senators Joe Lieberman [I-CT] and Ben Campbell [D-NE]. Lieberman earned his right to his chairmanship in the Democratically-controlled Congress by pulling the two Republicans over to vote on the worst piece of legislation since Roosevelt's Emergency Banking Relief Act of 1933 which classified the people of the United States as enemies of its government. (Note (6/15/09): Shortly after the measure passed, Specter switched parties and became a Democrat. He found himself the most junior Democrat in the US Senate.)
Collins does not come up for reelection until 2016, so most of her Maine constituents will forget her duplicity before they vote on her seat again. Specter, on the other hand, comes up for reelection in 2010 and Snowe comes up for reelection in 2012. Republicans need to replace Specter with someone like Rick Santorum or Lt. Col. Tom Manion (who tried, in vain, to unseat well-funded congressional incumbent Patrick Murphy [D-PA] in 2006). As far as Snowe is concerned, Maine State Sen. Kevin Raye needs to challenge her in the primaries in 2012.
With only 58 Senators, the Democrats need 2 GOP votes to enact any money bill in the upper house. Also, Reid's snagging those two GOP votes means the Republicans cannot kill the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with a filibuster.
With a straight face, knowing she sold out the middle class taxpayers of the United States for generations to come, Collinsdoing psychological damage control by trying to convince conservative Maine voters who just returned her to the Senateused FDR's trite national emergency rhetoric to convince Maine voter that her decision to join the tax and spend far left was necessary to save America: "Our country faces a grave economic crisis," Collins said, "and the American people want us to work together..." (I have no idea where she got that slice of wisdom since this is the most divided nation since the Civil War) "...They don't want to see us dividing along partisan lines on the most serious crisis facing our country." In point, there is not now, nor was, a national emergency. There was a crisis that was fabricated by the Federal Reserve which forced the nation's banks to reduce the value of their mortgage assets due to the collapse of the housing market. The "mark to market" rule they implemented distorted their asset-to-debt ratio and, on paper, made it appear that solvent banks were insolvent, creating the financial crisis that required the bank bailout. The purpose of the bailbout legislation was ostensibly to buy up foreclosed subprime mortgages, get them out of the inventories of the nation's banks in order to jumpstart the economy. Only, the government failed to do what they pledged to do. Those banks are still holding the subprime bad debt, and lack the ability to make new loans.
If a corporate borrower applied to a bank for a capital investment loan to update its plant, and then used the money to buy out a troubled competitor, its a safe bet the chief financial officer of that corporation would be subject to criminal prosecution for bank fraud. When you apply for a loan from a bank for a specific purpose, you are obligated to use it for that purpose.
Apparently the nation's largest banks are exempt from the rules. The behemoth banks used some of the stimulus money to buy up competitors who were being threatened with closure by the Fed. The Fed, on the other hand, gave billions of your tax dollars to insolvent banks in the third world to bolster the sagging world economy the transnational industrialists and barons of business are trying to build at the expense of the United States of America.
Every current poll shows that the American people are skeptical that throwing more money into the economic bonfire rather than pouring water on it is pointless. No stimulus package will work simply because Congress is clueless how to spend the money wisely and effectively. The first stimulus package to bail out the banks which financed the subprime mortgages would have worked if the politicians did with the money what they promised the taxpayers they were going to do with it. Had they, the economic crisis would be over.
Had the financial bailout stimulus been used to purchase the foreclosed subprime mortgages from the banks holding the notes, there would be no economic crisis now. What caused the crisis, when housing values collapsed, was the banks were left holding assets worth far less than the debt still owed the banks holding the notes. Based on the fractional reserve system created by the Fed bankers, banks must maintain a specific percentage of their deposits either in cash or in highly liquid assets (that can quickly be converted to cash)on hand to meet the demands of depositors. When the housing market collapsed and home values nose-dived last year, banks holding not only subprime mortgages, but just about any mortgage, woke up one morning and discovered their debts suddenly exceeded their assets, throwing off their fractional asset-to-debt ratios and eliminating their ability of to loan money. The solution offered by the politicians hawking the first stimulus bill was that the Resolution Trust Corporation would use the $700 billion (which became $800 billion before the deal was done) to buy up the defaulted mortgages. Had that happened, the financial crisis would have ended immediately because the asset-to-debt ratios of the banks would have been restored and the economy would have immediately returned to normal. There would have been no need for a second stimulus bill and the pork-ladened American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
It appears that Obama's latest pork feast will be signed into law on Friday, Feb. 13. Obama picked the date. I wonder if he is trying to tell the taxpayers that his tax bill will be bad luck for the American people?
Here's why. Sen. David Vitter [R-LA] revealed to the public on Jan. 29 that the Obama people inserted a $5.2 billion "stimulus" in the stimulus package that will reward the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now [ACORN] for flipping the traditionally Red States that Obama needed to become the 44th President of the United States. Nationwide, ACORN, using deliberately-created loopholes the Motor Voter Law (enacted by the Democratically-controlled Congress in 1993 to help Bill Clinton win reelection in 1996) that were tailored specifically for this type of vote fraud). ACORN, using the vetting flaws in the law, created from 9.5 to 15.2 million "new" voters who were not legally eligible to cast those votes in the Election of 2008 because many of them were illegal aliens or they simply didn't exist because they were the result of multiple registrations by the same people. Since 1993, the far left has created over 20 million registered voters from resident aliens, the Daly Dead (which, under Clinton, spread from Chicago to every urban center in the nation), to minors under the legal voting age, felons who could not legally vote, and illegal aliens.
For those who claim the voters gave Barack Hussein Obama a "mandate" to govern, let me say this: ACORN, which illegally employed known felons as voter registration workers, gave Obama a mandate to rule, and Obama is dutifully rewarding them. The media correctly reported that there was an overwhelming numbers of new voters in 2008, resulting in an unprecedented turnout at the polls. The media claimed most of the new voters were young people18- to 24-year oldswho had never before voted.
In the Election of 2008, 125,225,901 votes were cast for the primary party candidates. Obama captured 66,882,230 votes in 2008 compared to the 59,028,109 votes taken by far left Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry in 2004. We're looking at a difference of 7,854,121 new Democratic votes (not necessarily new voters) that were tallied for Obama in 2008. The media attributes the "phenomenal increase" in voter turnout to ACORN's ability to motivate young people to come out and vote. Let's see if that's true. CNN voter tabulations for 2004 and 2008 indicate that 48% of the nation's 18 to 24 years turned out to vote in 2004. In 2008, that number rose to 52%, or a difference of 4%. An increase? Yes. A phenomenal increase? No. In 2004, 62,902,000 18 to 24-year old votes were cast for Kerry. That translates to 2,516,098 increased 18- to 24-year old votes for Obama. That leaves 6,022,461 other 25-plus year old Acorn votes tallied in the Election of 2008. In Philadelphia alone, 50,663 fraudulent ACORN registrations out of 57,435 rejected registrations were given to the US Attorney. In August, 2008, 12 States raises the red flag about rampant Motor Voter registration fraud from Project Vote, Acorn's voter mobilization unit. Nothing was done about the allegations.
The Democrats know that ACORN was singularly responsible for their regaining control of Congress in 2006 and securing a virtually veto-proof majority in 2008 (which technically means the Republicans can't stop them from doing whatever they want). Political pundits, looking at the known instances of vote fraud, estimate that only 3 to 5 million, or 30% to 35% of the registrations generated by ACORN and other civil rights community activists, were actually legitimate. ACORN's voter advocacy in 2007-08 was accomplished with about $5.8 millionwith a "M." Imagine how much damage to honest elections ACORN could generate with $5.2 billionwith a "B." It's understandable why Obama and the far left wants to endow ACORN. With a $5 billion "get-out-the-vote" nest egg for the far left voter advocacy group that has shown it can magically multiply the value of the ballots cast by the voters it registers through the Motor Voter Law, ACORN will be able to manipulate the texture of the vote in almost evenly Congressional district in the country, virtually guaranteeing that conservatives will never again be able to control Congress, and only with great difficulty, succeed in winning the White House.
Obama promised that he would redistribute the wealth of what he described as the greedy white middle class in his book, "Dreams From My Father." Obama Economic Advisor Robert Reich met with the House Ways & Means Committee on Jan. 7, 2009 to detail how the President-elect wanted the first phase of the redistribution to take place. Only a President-elect who was extremely confident that he would be reelected before he was even sworn in as President would send his top Economic Advisor-designate to a public Congressional hearing to shape the tone of stimulus legislation by openly advocating that Congress stipulate that the job-stimulus money in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contain language that would require the States and the local communities to funnel the job-stimulus money to black-owned companies which employ African-Americans and other unemployed minorities, womenand long-term unemployed people who are not qualified for the construction jobs that will be created under the Stimulus Package.
Two days after the 111th Congress was installed, Reich sat before Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel detailing Obama's views how this should play out. "Infrastructure spending," he told Rangel, "will stimulate the economy..." and that stimulus dollars should be spent on projects that will "...have a high social return that also can be done with the greatest speed possible. I am concerned, as I'm sure many of you are, that these jobs simply not go to high-skilled people who are already professionals, or to white male construction workers. I have nothing against white male construction workers, I'm just saying there are other people who have needs as well...Criteria can be set so that the money does go to others, the long-term unemployed, minorities, women and people who are not necessarily construction workers or high-skilled professionals."
Rangel agreed that "...We're going to have to establish formulas where governors are going to have to find some formula to find out how to get the money where the hemorrhages are. At the end of the day we know where the joblessness is, where the fears are, and we can get the federal formulas to target the relief to those communities. We don't have to worry about what the middle class is going to do. Things are so bad they have to put food on the table [and] get clothes for their kids...I think we can get rid of some of the fears by mandating the criteria and formulas." Rangel felt that the white middle class workers were so wrapped up in the fear of of losing their jobs, their homes and their affluent way of life that they won't be paying attention to the fine print in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Republican Congressmen are.
The Democrats are in pig heaven. They've never seen a pork bill they didn't fall in love with, and they've never passed up an opportunity to enlarge government. It's not often they get both in the same bill...well...no...with the Democrats having a 1933 FDR majority in both Houses, we can expect that every piece of legislation coming out of Congress at least until 2010 will enlarge both the national debt and the size and scope of government. If this nation does not prosecute ACORN for vote fraud, repeal the Motor Voter Law and invalidate all registrations created under the bad law, and force those registrants to refile and prove their eligibility to vote, you will find the elections in Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and communist China will be more honest than those in the United States.
One of the provisions in the Senate version of this bill (originally introduced as S.1315 Veterans' Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007) will give $198 million in lump sum payments to aging Filipino veterans who fought in World War IIto protect their homeland which was invaded by the Japanese, and not a territory of the United States. How many US veterans received military pensions after serving four years? None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Other than the handful of Filipinos who live here and would spend that allotment here, the bulk of those who would be recipients of this largess of the taxpayers of the United States, those dollars would be spent to enhance the economy of the Philippines. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Daniel Akaka [D-HI].