Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland: Stimulus II – It’s holiday spending, minus the presents

With House Democrats trying to load their sleigh with billions of dollars in goodies before wrapping up for the year today, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland opposed the holiday spending binge that raised the nation’s debt ceiling and tacked on another $150 billion in spending – the “Son of Stimulus.”

“On Thursday, Vice President Biden is coming to Georgia to talk about how the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February is creating and saving all these jobs in Georgia – where the unemployment rate remains above 10 percent,” Westmoreland said. “Well, if the first stimulus is such a raging success, why are we spending another $150 billion?”

The “Son of Stimulus” pours billions of dollars into the very same programs included in the original stimulus. In some cases, such as infrastructure, very little of the money from the first stimulus has even been spent. In other cases, where the money from the first stimulus has been spent, it has failed to create jobs or has been wasted.

Westmoreland, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, cites spending on highways as an example.

“The first stimulus doled out $27.5 billion to highways, and the Son of Stimulus provides another $27.5 billion – even though the government has only spent 18 percent of the original outlay,” Westmoreland said. “The list goes on and on: Amtrak, housing, unemployment benefits, airports, parks, AmeriCorps. All these are getting billions more in spending in a jobs plan that won’t create any jobs.

“Adding insult to injury, Democrats pretend they’re spending ‘free money’ because they’re using unused or repaid money from the TARP program. This flies in the face of the TARP law passed last year which clearly stated that any unused TARP funds go toward paying down the deficit. Instead, we’re sending more money we don’t have out the door and, on the exact same day, raising our nation’s debt limit by another $290 billion, which shockingly will only last for two months.”

Westmoreland notes that in three years of Democratic control in the House, the national debt has increased by 39 percent.
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