The Role of Government


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  • The Role of Government

    1. 1. Stimulus Verdict: A $3.27 Trillion PorkerSaturday, February 14, 2009 9:40 AMBy: David A. PattenThe gargantuan stimulus bill Congress has rubber-stamped with virtually no Republican support contains tens of billions of the veryspending projects that made the legislation a lightning rod for criticism.The bill now spans more than 1,000 pages. While Democrats removed some provisions that fiscal conservatives objected to, mostof the pork remains. Among them:PORK or NOT?• $1.3 billion to bailout AMTRAK, the perennial money-loser railroad.• $1 billion for educational programs, including courses on sexually transmitted diseases.• $30 million for restoration of wetlands to be spent in the San Francisco Bay Area – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s district. Themoney will go in part to protect the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.• $200 million for a low-pollution, coal-fired power plant in President Barack Obama’s home state of Illinois.• $45 million for ATV four-wheeler trails, and government office renovations, according to RNC Chairman Michael Steele.• $200 million to provide computers to community colleges.•Over $650 million in coupons to help consumers buy digital TV converter-box coupons.•A reported $300 million for hybrid vehicles and electric-powered cars. According to the Washington Times, this item will includebuying golf carts for federal workers.•$50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts?????Also, opponents have slammed the bill for being “anti-religious,” because it expressly prohibits the use of stimulus funds for faith-based schools, schools of divinity, facilities used for “sectarian worship,” or places of religious worship.© 2009 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
    2. 2. 2000 ($17.7 billion in earmark spending)$1.75 million for animal waste research at the University of Missouri and Purdue University$1 million for a dinosaur exhibit at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History$22.5 million to the East/West Center, North/South Center (no longer funded) and the Asia Foundation2001 ($18.5 billion in earmark spending)1.5 million to refurbish the Vulcan Statue in Birmingham, Alabama (increased to $2 million in 2002)$1.4 million for the Thad Cochran National Warmwater Aquaculture Center and the Cochran Fellowship Program - appropriated by Sen.Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)$25 million for the International Fund for Ireland2002 ($20.1 billion in earmark spending)$50,000 for a tattoo removal program in San Luis Obispo, CaliforniaAnother $2 million grant to refurbish that Vulcan Statue in Birmingham, Alabama2003 ($22.5 billion in earmark spending)$202,500 for the National Peanut Festival Fairgrounds in Dothan, Alabama$250,000 for a National Preschool Anger Management Project ("What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?")$9.5 million for "wood research"2004 ($22.9 billion in earmark spending)$2.25 million for Shakespeare-related projects$2.2 million for projects to benefit North Pole, Alaska -- and its 1,570 residents$200,000 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame$50 million for an indoor rainforest in Coralville, Iowa2005 ($27.3 billion in earmark spending)$25,000 for the Clark County, Nevada School District for curriculum development to study mariachi music$75,000 for the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame and $70,000 for the Paper Industry Hall of Fame (tax exempt)$100,000 for the Tiger Woods Foundation$100,000 for the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center Museum (home of Groundhog Day)
    3. 3. 2006 ($29 billion in earmark spending)$1 million for a Waterfree Urinal Conservation Initiative$13.5 million for the International Fund for Ireland, including funds for the World Toilet Summit$500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum in Sparta, North Carolina (Im an expensive little teapot…")$550,000 for the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington2007 (Pork takes an all too short holiday)During 2007, pork barrel spending dropped to $13.2 billion, a significant decrease from the $29 billion spent in 2006. In 2007, nine of the11 annual spending bills were subject to a moratorium on earmark spending that was enforced by House and Senate AppropriationsCommittee. In 2008, however, a similar moratorium proposal failed and earmark spending jumped to $17.2 billion.2008 ($17.2 billion in earmark spending)$211,509 for olive fruit fly research in Paris, France$148,950 for the Montana Sheep Institute$98,000 to develop a walking tour of Boydton, Virginia$196,000 to renovate the historic downtown Las Vegas Post Office2009 ($19.6 billion in earmark spending)$1.9 million for a water taxi service to Pleasure Beach, Connecticut - population 0$1.8 million in swine odor and manure management research in Ames Iowa
    4. 4. 1. Should the government be able to require health insurance for all of its citizens?2. Should the US government be more involved in the lives of its citizens? Explain how and why.3. What programs and organizations should the government be involved in creating and administering? What should they leave to private companies?4. What should they spend taxpayer money on? What should they not spend taxpayer money on?Cost of WarUS Federal Budget
    5. 5. So what? Should we be concerned about the wealth gap?
    6. 6. Should the government use taxes to redistribute wealth more evenly? Why or why not?