Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Damn it, Democrats!

Pay your taxes!

Tim Geithner, now Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer (not to mention Bill Richardson a few months ago) - you guys are making this way more difficult than it should be.

All the talk about responsibility, accountability, and you want to take my tax money (that is actually paid in full and on time every year) and hand it out to corporations and agencies whose merits are unproven?

Now, just for fun, I'm going to go through the list that was recently released by the GOP as projects included in Obama's bailout that they deemed to be wasteful spending. I will italicize the projects that I would like to see kept in. You can read the original list, where I found it, at CNN.com.

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.

• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.

• $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship).

• $448 million for constructing the Department of Homeland Security headquarters.

• $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees.

• $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control to screen and prevent STD's.

• $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs.

• $125 million for the Washington sewer system.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities.

• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion.

• $75 million for "smoking cessation activities."

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges.

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI.

• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction.

• $500 million for flood reduction projects on the Mississippi River.

• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas.

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into "green" buildings.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations.

• $650 million for wildland fire management on forest service lands.

• $1.2 billion for "youth activities," including youth summer job programs.

• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property.

• $500 million for building and repairing National Institutes of Health facilities in Bethesda, Maryland.

• $160 million for "paid volunteers" at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

• $5.5 million for "energy efficiency initiatives" at the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration.

• $850 million for Amtrak.

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint.

• $75 million to construct a "security training" facility for State Department Security officers when they can be trained at existing facilities of other agencies.

• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems.

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

Overall, I agree that most of these projects are not necessary. Renovations, furniture?? If Washington wants CEOs and "ordinary Americans" to take a few hits for the team, they ought to be able to wait a few more years to get those ergonomically designed mesh-fancy-pretty-comfy desk chairs they're dying for.

Furthermore, I have been to the NIH facilities in Bethesda and they are GORGEOUS. If my tax dollars end up going to buy more snacks for the NIH vending machines, I might move to Canada after all.