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Info on the Proposed Economic Stimulus Package


http://www.nostimulus.com/

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Any so-called stimulus program is a ruse. The government can increase its spending only by reducing private spending equivalently. Whether government finances its added spending by increasing taxes, by borrowing, or by inflating the currency, the added spending will be offset by reduced private spending. Furthermore, private spending is generally more efficient than the government spending that would replace it because people act more carefully when they spend their own money than when they spend other people’s money.
— Richard Wagner, Professor of Economics, George Mason University
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Under the bureaucratic jargon of “Comparative Effectiveness Review” the package heavily funds the first steps towards the government-mandated rationing of health care and tramples your right to medical privacy. (Our own AFP senior fellow, Dr. Larry Hunter, was the first to blow the whistle on this.

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/…nhealthy_.html

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Hidden in the stimulus, a very unhealthy provision
BY LARRY HUNTER
Friday, January 30th 2009, 4:00 AM
President Obama is pleading with the Senate to pass the massive economic stimulus package quickly. His sense of urgency is warranted – but not because America’s economic recovery depends on federal spending.
Rather, if taxpayers and lawmakers actually have the time to digest what’s in the bill, it stands no chance of passing. The measure claims to “to create jobs, restore economic growth, and strengthen America’s middle class,” but it’s really just a collection of giveaways and outlays for favored constituents and programs.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the package’s proposed spending on health care. Billions are earmarked for Medicaid and investments in centrally planned health information technology systems. But the most sinister of the bill’s line items is a relatively tiny $1.1 billion for government-chartered comparative-effectiveness research.
This new effort would investigate various medical treatments and attempt to determine which ones work best. Proponents claim that comparative-effectiveness research (CER) would empower doctors and patients to find out if newer, more expensive treatments are really worth the additional cost.
The federal government, which accounts for about a third of our nation’s healthcare spending, obviously has an interest in the outcome of comparative-effectiveness research. If older, cheaper treatments are found to be just as good as the cutting-edge ones, the feds stand to save a lot of money.
In other countries, like the United Kingdom, comparative-effectiveness agencies routinely deny patients new treatments, citing cost-effectiveness. As a result, thousands of Britons afflicted with diseases that are expensive to treat – like cancer – suffer needlessly, unable to get the pricey meds they need.
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What’s Wrong with the Stimulus Bill?
The so-called “Stimulus Package” is being sold to taxpayers as an investment in useful infrastructure like roads and bridges. But the facts prove otherwise.
Only 3.6% of the scheme’s $825 billion price tag would actually go to real, practical infrastructure projects–roads and bridges.
Most of the other 96.4% would go to special interest pet projects, and to cramming years’ worth of radical policy changes into the single largest spending and debt scheme in history.
Even the Congressional Budget Office, the official scorekeeper of the economic impact of legislation, has said that it would, on balance, hurt the economy.
Why are our nation’s leaders doing this? Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel was strikingly honest when he said “Never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before.” Exactly what fringe policies are big-government politicians attempting to ram through with this colossal bill?
Under the auspices of a “Comparative Effectiveness Review,” the package heavily funds the first steps towards the socialization and government-mandated rationing of health care. And this is just one of many government power grabs being shoehorned into the so-called “Stimulus Package.”
In fact, even by the most charitable estimates, the bill would force taxpayers to foot the bill for at least 600,000 new government bureaucrats. That’s six tenths of a million more people on the government payroll — adding little or no value to our economy and being paid with billions upon billions of your hard-earned tax dollars.
And just what sort of special interest giveaways and wasteful government spending are included in the so-called “Stimulus Package”? To name just a few…
– $4.19 billion in slush funds for ACORN, the left-wing advocacy group best known for allegations of voter fraud during the 2008 presidential campaign
– $600 million to buy brand new cars for government bureaucrats
– $335 million for adult sex workshops (one of the few line items which could conceivably deliver “stimulus” )
– $150 million for honeybee insurance
– $2.8 billion for the US Department of Agriculture in a misdirected program more likely be spent to build unnecessary broadband internet services in urban areas than in the rural areas that lack service.
These are just a few examples of the shameless feeding frenzy taking place in halls of Congress today with this so-called “Stimulus Package.”
This trillion-dollar debt and spending scheme will provide little or no stimulus, but will put each and every American household in at least $6,700 of new debt, to be paid by our children and grandchildren.
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Spending Stimulus Can’t Work
1. Every dollar the government spends comes from the private sector.
Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman famously said: “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Government spending is either financed through higher taxes, higher federal borrowing, or by printing money. Those are the only possibilities. They all create greater economic damage than any stimulus effect of new spending.
● Tax increases lower the incentive to work, save, and invest. There is a strong association between tax increases and reduced economic growth. In an economic crisis, tax hikes should be unthinkable. The Revenue Act of 1932 was one of the major reasons an economic crisis deepened into the Great Depression.
● Government borrowing also takes money out of the private economy—the money that bond purchasers hand over to the government in exchange for the bonds. That money could otherwise be used for business investment that would expand the economy’s productive capacity. If the funds are borrowed from abroad, our exports are lowered because U.S. dollars are being used to buy bonds instead of goods. Borrowed funds also have to be paid back, placing a burden on future taxpayers. Excessive borrowing also may increase interest rates, deepening the credit crisis.
● Inflation may be most damaging financing mechanism of all. If government spends money that it hasn’t taxed or borrowed, then it is literally creating money out of thin air. More dollars being created means that the dollars in our pockets and bank accounts are worth less than they were before. Inflation is a stealth tax that erodes the value of everything and destroys real economic growth.
2. History shows spending stimulus fails.
America experimented with large-scale expansions of government spending in the 1930s with the New Deal and again in the 1960s and 70s with the Great Society. These dramatic expansions of government spending coincided with economic failure. The long-boom that started under Reagan and continued until now with only a couple of brief, mild recessions coincided with a significant decline in federal spending as a percentage of the economy.
3. Infrastructure projects should be judged on their merits, but not as stimulus.
There is a role for government in providing certain public goods that the market cannot efficiently provide. If financing is available at favorable rates it may make sense to take a long-term view and begin projects that are legitimately justified on their merits. We should be under no misconception, however, that public works spending is stimulative, because borrowed dollars are taken out of the private sector.
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February 11, 2009 - Posted by | Bad Ideas/Moves, Quotes | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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