Sunday, February 15, 2009

Still A Fiscal Conservative?

Ten years ago when Mark Warner ran for Governor he criss-crossed the state, with a bluegrass band at his side, and proudly claimed to be a 'fiscal conservative'. And it seemed that most Virginians accepted the claim and voted him into office. When he ran for the Senate last year again he claimed the mantle of fiscal conservatism, however, with his vote last week for the massive pork bill, commonly called the stimulus bill, you have to wonder if the label 'fiscal conservative' will still apply to Warner.

Let's face it - this bill will not stimulate the economy, instead it will stimulate a bigger Federal Government. And thanks to Warner and the Democrats we now have added 800,000,000,000 billion dollars in new debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.

Fox News combed through the bill and found some examples of projects which while they may have some merit it is doubtful that they will strengthen the economy. Let's take a look at some of the pork Mark Warner voted for:

-- $100 million for the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program
-- $200 million to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund Program
-- $300 million for "Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs"
-- $900 million for the IRS for the "Limitation on Administrative Expenses"
-- $1 million for the Railroad Retirement Board for administrative costs
-- $2 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Act
-- $50 million for Health and Human Services to carry out injury prevention programs
-- $1.1 billion for studies on the effectiveness of different medical treatments -- $200 million to upgrade labs and facilities for the Department of Agriculture "to improve workplace safety and mission-area efficiencies"
-- $10 million for urban canal inspection
-- $16 billion to pay for student financial aid
-- $1 billion to pay for the U.S. Census
-- $600 million to pay for a fuel-efficient federal auto fleet
-- $650 million for the Digital Converter Box Program to help the constantly delayed transition from analog television
-- $485 million to the Forest Service for "hazardous fuels reduction and hazard mitigation activities in areas at high risk of catastrophic wildfire"
-- Up to $1 billion for "summer activities" for youths as old as 24
-- $40 million for the occupational research agenda
-- $3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control wellness programs and vaccinations
-- $410 million for Indian health facilities
-- $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstrations

While some of these programs may have some merit, how they will stimulate the economy is anybody's guess.

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