You’d think I had to pay this week’s $26 billion all by myself I’m so upset about it-but, no, gentle reader, we’re ALL going to be paying for the current Congress’s spendthrift ways and for many years to come.
Purportedly, the Congress is cutting food stamps to pay for the latest spree. Two observations on this: One, they will reinstate the money for food stamps before you know it. Two, if they can cut food stamps at the drop of a hat, does it mean that people who are not genuinely needy, who would not face real hunger without food stamps, are getting them? Just asking….
My colleague Carrie Lukas has already noted the Wall Street Journal’s excellent piece this morning headlined “The Stimulus Pushers.” But I am going to mention it too, since a woman obsessed (me) can’t be stopped:
The White House has promoted the bill as emergency assistance for strained state budgets. But this unique brand of therapy drives states to spend more, not less. The “assistance” is so expensive that several governors were begging for relief even before Mr. Obama signed it into law.
Standing with teachers yesterday in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said, “We can’t stand by and do nothing while pink slips are given to the men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe.” Maintaining the salaries and generous benefit plans for members of teachers unions is indeed a top Democratic priority. That’s why $10 billion of the bill’s funding is allocated to education, and the money comes with strings that will multiply the benefits for this core Obama constituency.
Specifically, the bill stipulates that federal funds must supplement, not replace, state spending on education. Also, in each state, next year’s spending on elementary and secondary education as a percentage of total state revenues must be equal to or greater than the previous year’s level.
The governor of my own state (I get teased for being a proud Mississippian who hasn’t lived there since adolescence, but it’s still my state) is one of those begging to be left alone:
Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi did the math and figured out his state will be worse off. Mr. Barbour says the bill will force his state “to rewrite its current year [fiscal 2011] budget. Preliminary estimates of the Mississippi Department of Finance and Administration show that we will now have to spend between $50-100 million of state funds-funds that must be taken away from public safety, human services, mental health and other state priorities and given to education-in order for an additional $98 million of federal funds to be granted to education. There is no justification for the federal government hijacking state budgets, but that is exactly what Congress has done.”