Fun with the Stimulus Bill

I am not smart enough to write a complex piece of legislation, such as the Stimulus Bill is for most of its 400-someodd pages.  But I am smart enough to appreciate the ease with which you can spend 1.6 billion US taxpayer dollars once elected to the US Congress.  Check out this clause on page 25, the section allocating funds for the Energy Department:

 

SCIENCE 

For an additional amount for ‘‘Science’’, $1,600,000,000. 


That’s not a selective quote.  That’s the entire clause.  That’s the entire amount of direction the Energy Department received for spending that 1.6 billion dollars: just spend it on “science.”  If my name were Chu and I were the Energy Secretary, I would immediately procure myself a nice big tract of land outside the city upon which to build a Greenhouse and Observatory.  For science.  

——————————

That was so easy, let’s do it again:

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION 

SCIENCE 

For an additional amount for ‘‘Science’’, $400,000,000. 

AERONAUTICS 

For an additional amount for ‘‘Aeronautics’’, $150,000,000. 

EXPLORATION 

For an additional amount for ‘‘Exploration’’, $400,000,000

 

“Aeronautics” sounds to me like it could mean a new spoiler for the NASA Chief’s Nissan and “Exploration” sounds like grounds for a trip to Cabo for senior management.  

——————————

It’s important the Congress never pass up a valuable opportunity to educate itself and the readers of its bills.  Let’s take a look at some of the important conclusions that this time of profound economic hardship has fortuitously led them to:

SEC. 1002. PAYMENTS TO ELIGIBLE PERSONS WHO SERVED IN 

THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES IN THE FAR EAST DURING 

WORLD WAR II. (a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following 

findings: 

(1) The Philippine islands became a United States posses- 

sion in 1898 when they were ceded from Spain following the 

Spanish-American War.

So we’ve found that out, nice.  Anyway, if you’re a Filipino who fought the Japanese for us back when they were acting out, you’re eligible for up to 15,000 USDs… with which you are presumably expected to stimulate the US economy.  There’s 198,000,000 dollars allocated for this Filipino Fighter compensatory fund, so go out there and get the cash.  

—————————

Let’s give the Natives some money, hey?

That of the funds provided under this  heading, $550,000,000 shall be for investments in transportation at Indian reservations…

I just like that they still call the Natives of this here land Indians in this bill and no one seems to care much.  And why would you when you’re being given a half billion dollars to build roads and/or monorails?

—————————

Let’s get the Justice department in on the action, because lord knows, there is no bigger engine for economic growth in this country than the Department of Justice.

For an additional amount for ‘‘State and Local Law Enforce- 

ment Assistance’’, $225,000,000, for competitive grants to improve 

the functioning of the criminal justice system, to assist victims 

of crime (other than compensation), and youth mentoring grants. 

Hot lunch!  My GM stock is sure to rebound as soon as the functioning of the criminal justice system is improved with 225,000,000 million USDs in competitive grants.

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