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  • Shovel Ready or Plain Pork? Have Your Say

    While the Obama Administration waffles on openness and transparency (see here and here), private citizens are stepping in to fill the void.

    The Heritage Foundation and other groups launched ReadtheStimulus.org to give citizens a chance to work their way through the massive spending proposal, flag suspicious language, and make suggestions. In other words, it’s a way for average citizens to do the work that too many of their elected officials are unwilling to do: actually reading and analyzing pending legislation.

    If the media buzz has been any indication, ReadtheStimulus.org has been a tremendous success.

    Today we welcome to the Web another site dedicated to opening up the stimulus to public scrutiny: StimulusWatch.org. This slick Web 2.0 site, put together by Jerry Brito and a band of volunteers, catalogues the thousands of “shovel-ready” projects that were proposed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors–projects that are expected to make up a large percentage of stimulus spending. It gives citizens the opportunity to comment on projects in their area. E.g., is it really ready to go? Is it critical? Or is it just pork?

    StimulusWatch.org is the perfect complement to ReadtheStimulus.org, and both sites represent a real advance in citizen participation in government and an opportunity to bring some accountability to what would otherwise be a pork-fest.

    So go check it out and contribute what you know about proposed projects in your city and state.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Shovel Ready or Plain Pork? Have Your Say

    1. Jim . manchester n.h says:

      I get a little worried at the catchphrase "shovel ready". Even though I've done my share of ditch digging I never thought of it as a way to get myself out of a hole only deeper into it.

    2. Carolyn, Imperial, C says:

      Has anyone ever noticed BO always states that this plan will create or save jobs? Which is it? It should do both if it was worth a hoot!! Sounds like he is trying to put lipstick on a pork bill and call it a stimulus package.

    3. Donald Clough Ga. says:

      It is now the time for the American people who voted against Obama to call all Washington congress menbers and let them know how the rest of America feels about socialism

    4. Frank Phila. Pa. says:

      Not pork, social engineering, code words for socialism.

    5. Elizabeth E. Hooks, says:

      Elizabeth–Democratic "business as usual"-throw our tax money at the problem. I have actually read much of this so-called stimulus bill and it's pure pork. This is the first plan to redistribute wealth by the new administration.

    6. Gary Charniga Sheldo says:

      Ronald Utt would fit what my Dad used to say about Experts. People educated beyond their intelligence. While he makes a good argument for tax cuts, it is also full of holes, as one would expect from an expert. Look at the real world through different eyes. Economists say "Productivity is up". Fact: Production per woprker is higher because of machine aids. There are actually less people doing things that count. So, the experts change the definition of what counts. Bill Clinton reduced the size of Government. Fact: Bill reduced the size of the military and necessary support services. So, when we need them, what is left is a shell. Looks good on the surface, but once you get past the paper tiger, nothing left to bite with. Housing is fueling the enconomic expansion. Fact: Greed is so rampant that the staggering inflation of housing and property values is really going without challenge. Let me put it this way. Mr. Utt, what you describe is like comparing a growing pile of dirt against a balloon. It takes real work to make the dirt pile bigger, while only a little air pressure is needed to keep the balloon expanding. Tax cut measures will be just as worthless as the balloon full of air. Real economic growth is like the dirt pile, it takes a lot of shovels full of dirt to make it bigger. Since the U.S. business world has seen fit to farm out the real work and turned this into a services economy more than a production economy, tax cuts will spur very little. Strom Thurman had it right, there is too much consuming going on. Please note, I'm mostly against the so called stimulus program, it won't work either. Putting laid off people to work on infrastrucure jobs is a joke. How many Starbucks barrista's can run a backhoe, or circuit city salesman lay bricks or do plumbing? We need to let the hot air out of the balloon first.

    7. John Theobald, Marie says:

      I say "shovel ready" … as in the cows got loose in the yard and left a large number of "pies" lying around.

      "The conclusion then, is, that neither the representatives of a nation, nor the whole nation itself assembled, can validly engage debts beyond what they may pay in their own time." –Thomas Jefferson

    8. Michael R. Bond, Elw says:

      What I have read and heard so far, the bill that passed the House and is now going to the Senate is very little economic help and just a way to reward the Dems. in the last election.

      To truely help America, the Federal Govt. needs to not get involved in the Business affairs and the private affairs of its citizens. It needs to reduce TAXES on Business, individules, and get rid of red tape. It has no business of telling mfgs. how to build cars, tell citizens what type of cars to drive,etc.

      And to try to tells us we need to pass this bill quickly is a shame. Why rush it , most of it will not take effect untill 2010, (about election time). How about the timing for the Dems. in the next election cycle!!!

    9. Mary Bermel, Stockbr says:

      This "stimulus bill" is nothing more than repayment to those who elected Obama and his croines to office.

    10. Chris, Boston MA says:

      Those in Congress that built this bill are using the economic crisis as a boogeyman to scare the public into supporting an "economic stimulus" that is anything but. They then use that public fear to paint Congressional Republicans and courageous fiscally conservative Democrats as out-of-touch elitists who don't care about "working families". The real way to help working families is to immediately, meaningfully and permanently reduce the tax burden. The only problem is that anytime you mention tax cuts, the discussion immediately turns to "tax cuts for the rich". Any tax cut package should be a comprehensive effort: reductions in the marginal income tax rate across the board to relieve the burden on individuals and families; corporate tax cuts to stimulate job growth and investment; let us also examine federal fuel taxes that impact all sectors of our economy: rich and poor, individuals and business. It is not until the Congress puts the common good ahead of political maneuvering and cronyism that they will realize that the best way to help the economy is by taking less money out of it, not simply redirecting the fruits of a bloated and suffocating tax code.

    11. Tim Snowflake AZ says:

      I think we ought to be pitchfork ready for 2010.
      I would suggest you inform your representative’s that you are pitchfork ready. DO NOT use this approach with BO you will surely get a visit from men in black suits and your neighbors will meet them first.

    12. Dort Albuquerque NM says:

      Amen to Gary’s comment. Congressmen are not good at determining what is NOT pork. All they are good at is spending money. Yes, it takes money to make money but the first thing that needs to happen is to instill confidence in business and the stock market so that businesses will stay open. Just today, a very popular local nursery announced it is closing its doors because people are not buying plants, shrubs, and trees. People have lost confidence in a prosperous future.

    13. Sandra, San Antonio says:

      The pork does nothing to stimulate the economy by creating jobs. If you look at what the pork finances, you will see it for what it is worth; a payback to loyal Obama supporters. And, that's not all, check out the fiscal year 2009 appropriation bills. They include the same type of pork projects. We could balance the budget if congress would eliminate all pork.

    14. Doug, Livermore Ca. says:

      See where all this money is going makes me ill. How does $5.2 billion .. BILLION to Acorn stimulate the economy???

      This should be illegal.

    15. Dorothy Morgan, Okla says:

      Whatever we decide, please no more paying off the bank robbers; that will go down in history as the dumbest mistake we ever made. Boy, do we ever wish we had that money back!!! History will not be kind to us.. "Speak gently and carry a big stick."

    16. Mike Carlson, Lebano says:

      What is a half truth? A lie. So I join what many are saying… that most of our elected officials are lying. So they don't want to hear the truth about borrowing money. The fact is, that when I keep borrowing to do anything and I go beyond my means, I go bankrupt. Is this a mystery or does it take a PHD not to understand the basics of money management?

    17. chuck, pine bluffs wyoming says:

      This is NOT a stimulas package, it’s pure socialism.

      It would be better if 100,000.00 were paid to each
      joint tax return filed ; 50,000.oo per head of house hold ; and 25,000.00 per single. That way the people could stimulate the market by paying debts or bills or even buying a new GM car.
      Banks would have money, mortgage companies, and
      credit card companies, etc… too.

      But, most of all, it would be cheaper than the current 835 BILLION that’s there now.

    18. Mike Carlson, Lebanon, Or says:

      What is a half truth? A lie. So what everybody must saying that most of our elected officals are lying

    19. Tim, Coos Bay, OR says:

      Considering the earmarks (contrary to Barney Frank decrying the use of that term), such as the gift to faithful recruiter ACORN, it is ruefully obvious to anyone with an open eye and a heartbeat that this is exactly what others have called it: Payback. Obama is keeping his distance from the battle in the trenches, preferring Pelosi, Reid and Frank do the dirty work of selling this travesty. It is intended to engender even more loyalty among the liberal left, who will continue the task of recruiting an even bigger voting block comprised of those who like to be referred to as “disenfranchised”. All in all, the bill for this handout will be ours in the end. You may quote me.

    20. Bob Hale, Rockwall, says:

      Each person who opposes this "stimulus" should call/write/email their entire list of elected officials with this promise: If this passes with your approval, you will NOT return to office after the next election.

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