“We are going in exactly the wrong direction. We ought to be standing on the
principles that made this country great. There ought to be a review of every
program in the Federal Government that is not effective, that is not efficient,
that is wasteful or fraudulent, and we ought to get rid of it right now. We
ought to say ‘Gone’, to be able to pay for a real stimulus plan that might, in
fact, have some impact.
I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everybody that next week we are going to
hear from the Obama administration wanting another $500 billion. Outside of
this, they are going to want another $500 billion to handle the banking system.
Still not fixing the real disease – the pneumonia - we are going to treat the
fever or treat the cough, but we are not going to treat the real disease. Until
we treat the real disease, this is pure waste. It is worse than pure waste. It
is morally reprehensible, because it steals the future of the next two
I am going to wind up here and finish, but I wanted to spend some time to make
sure the American people know what is in this bill. I think once they know what
is in this bill, they are going to reject it out of hand. Let me read for my
colleagues some of the things that are in this bill. The biggest earmark in
history is in this bill. There is $2 billion in this bill to build a coal plant
with zero emissions. That would be great, maybe, if we had the technology, but
the greatest brains in the world sitting at MIT say we don’t have the technology
yet to do that. Why would we build a $2 billion powerplant we don’t have the
technology for that we know will come back and ask for another $2 billion and
another $2 billion and another $2 billion when we could build a demonstration
project that might cost $150 million or $200 million? There is nothing wrong
with having coal-fired plants that don’t produce pollution; I am not against
that. Even the Washington Post said the technology isn’t there. It is a
boondoggle. Why would we do that?
We eliminated tonight a $246 million payback for the large movie studios in
We are going to spend $88 million to study whether we ought to buy a new ice
breaker for the Coast Guard. You know what. The Coast Guard needs a new ice
breaker. Why do we need to spend $88 million? They have two ice breakers now
that they could retrofit and fix and come up with equivalent to what they needed
to and not spend the $1 billion they are going to come back and ask for, for
another ice breaker, so why would we spend $88 million doing that?
We are going to spend $448 million to build the Department of Homeland Security
a new building. We have $1.3 trillion worth of empty buildings right now, and
because it has been blocked in Congress we can’t sell them, we can’t raze them,
we can’t do anything, but we are going to spend money on a new building here in
Washington . We are going to spend another $248 million for new furniture for
that building; a quarter of a billion dollars for new furniture. What about the
furniture the Department of Homeland Security has now? These are tough times.
Should we be buying new furniture? How about using what we have? That is what a
family would do. They would use what they have. They wouldn’t go out and spend
$248 million on furniture.
How about buying $600 million worth of hybrid vehicles? Do you know what I would
say? Right now times are tough; I would rather Americans have new cars than
Federal employees have new cars. What is wrong with the cars we have? Dumping
$600 million worth of used vehicles on the used vehicle market right now is one
of the worst things we could do. Instead, we are going to spend $600 million
buying new cars for Federal employees.
There is $400 million in here to prevent STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). I
have a lot of experience on that. I have delivered 4,000 babies. We don’t need
to spend $400 million on STDs. What we need to do is properly educate about the
infection rates and the effectiveness of methods of prevention. That doesn’t
take a penny more. You can write that on one piece of paper and teach every kid
in this country, but we don’t need to spend $400 million on it. It is not a
How about $1.4 billion for rural waste disposal programs? That might even be
somewhat stimulative. New sewers. That might create jobs.
How about $150 million for a Smithsonian museum? Tell me how that helps get us
out of a recession. Tell me how that is a priority. Would the average American
think that is a priority that we ought to be mortgaging our kids’ future to
spend another $150 million at the Smithsonian?
How about $1 billion for the 2010 census? So everybody knows, the census is so
poorly managed that the census this year is going to cost twice - in 2010 is
going to cost twice what it cost 10 years ago, and we wasted $800 million on a
contract because it was no-bid that didn’t perform. Nobody got fired, no
competitive bidding, and we blew $800 million.
We have $75 million for smoking cessation activities, which probably is a great
idea, but we just passed a bill - the SCHIP bill – that we need to get 21
million more Americans smoking to be able to pay for that bill. That doesn’t
How about $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges? Since
when is a community college in my State a recipient of Federal largesse? Is that
our responsibility? I mean, did we talk with Dell and Hewlett-Packard and say,
‘How do we make you all do better?’ Is there not a market force that could make
that better? Will we actually buy on a true competitive bid? No, because there
is nothing that requires competitive bidding in anything in this bill. It is one
of the things President Obama said he was going to mandate at the Federal
Government, but there is no competitive bidding in this bill at all.
We have $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas. Well, that will put 10 or
15 people to work. Is that a priority for us right now?
There is $6 billion to turn Federal buildings into green buildings. That is a
priority, versus somebody getting a job outside of Washington, a job that
actually produces something, that actually increases wealth?
How about $500 million for State and local fire stations? Where do you find in
the Constitution us paying for local fire stations within our realm of
prerogatives? None of it is competitively bid-not a grant program.
Next is $1.2 billion for youth activities. Who does that employ? What does that
How about $88 million for renovating the public health service building? You
know, if we could sell half of the $1.3 trillion worth of properties we have, we
could take care of every Federal building requirement and backlog we have.
Then there’s $412 million for CDC buildings and property. We spent billions on a
new center and headquarters for CDC. Is that a priority? Building another
Government building? If we are going to spend $412 million on building
buildings, let’s build one that will produce something, one that will give us
How about $850 million for that most ‘efficient’ Amtrak that hasn’t made any
money since 1976 and continues to have $2 billion or $3 billion a year in
Here is one of my favorites: $75 million to construct a new ‘security training’
facility for State Department security officers, and we have four other
facilities already available to train them. But it is not theirs. They want
theirs. By the way, it is going to be in West Virginia . I wonder how that got
there. So we are going to build a new training facility that duplicates four
others that we already have that could easily do what we need to do. But because
we have a stimulus package, we are going to add in oink pork.
How about $200 million in funding for a lease - not buying, but a lease of
alternative energy vehicles on military installations? We are going to bail out
the States on Medicaid. Total all of the health programs in this, and we are
going to transfer $150 billion out of the private sector and we are going to
move it to the Federal Government. You talk about backdooring national health
care. Henry Waxman has to be smiling big today. He wants a single-payer
Government-run health care system. We are going to move another $150 billion to
the Federal Government from the private sector.
We are going to eliminate fees on loans from the Small Business Administration.
You know what that does? That pushes productive capital to unproductive
projects. It is exactly the wrong thing to do.
Then there is $160 million to the Job Corps Program - but not for jobs and not
to put more people in the Job Corps but to construct or repair buildings.
We are going to spend $524 million for information technology upgrades that the
Appropriations Committee claims will create 388 jobs. If you do the math on
that, that is $1.5 million a job. Don’t you love the efficiency of Washington
We are going to create $79 billion in additional money for the States, a ‘slush
fund’, to bail out States and provide millions of dollars for education costs.
How many of you think that will ever go away? Once the State education programs
get $79 billion over 2 years, do you think that will ever go away? The cry and
hue of taking our money away - even though it was a stimulus and supposed to be
limited, it will never go away. So we will continue putting that forward until
our kids have grandkids of their own.
There is about $47 billion for a variety of energy programs that are primarily
focused on renewable energy. I am fine with spending that. But we ought to get
something for it. There ought to be metrics. There are no metrics. It is pie in
the sky, saying we will throw some money at it. Let me conclude by saying we are
at a seminal moment in our country. We will either start living within the
confines of realism and responsibility or we will blow it and we will create the
downfall of the greatest Nation that ever lived. This bill is the start of that
downfall. To abandon a market-oriented society and transfer it to a
Soviet-style, government-centered, bureaucratic-run and mandated program, that
is the thing that will put the stake in the heart of freedom in this country.
I hope the American people know what is in this bill. I am doing everything I
can to make sure they know. But more important, I hope somebody is listening who
will treat the ‘pneumonia’ we are faced with today, which is the housing and
mortgage markets. It doesn’t matter how much money we spend in this bill. It is
doomed to failure unless we fix that problem first. Failing that, we will go
down in history as the Congress that undermined the future and vitality of this
country. Let it not be so.”
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