Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Drama of the Coming Week: Cuts vs Cats

The best show since the Superbowl is sure to unfold in the coming week as President Obama barnstorms the country to sell the Stimulus Bill to a skeptical and beleaguered nation.

No doubt opponents of the bill will be highlighting "cats and dogs" in the bill to dramatize what they think is "waste," making what the president said is "the enemy of the essential," and seeking their own political benefit -- acts tantamount to treason given the urgency and enormity of the economic crisis we face. See last week's report of January job losses (in a post below) for a taste of what's accelerating. Every wasted moment equals thousands of more jobs lost.

At any rate, proponents will be holding up the cuts this week contained in the co-called senate "compromise" version of the bill announced on Friday. Courtesy of Senator Leahy's office, we get our first shot across the bow of cuts that are sure not to sit well with the public so long as we're going to spend hundreds of billions of debt money anyway:

Billion dollar cuts from the bill

$40 billion State Fiscal Stabilization

$16 billion School Construction

$7.5 billion of State Incentive Grants

$5.8 billion Health Prevention Activity

$4.5 billion GSA

$3.5 billion Higher Ed Construction (Eliminated)

$3.5 billion Federal Bldgs Greening

$2.25 Neighborhood Stabilization (Eliminate)

$2 billion broadband

$2 billion HIT Grants

$1.25 billion project based rental

$1 billion Head Start/Early Start

$1.2 billion in Retrofitting Project 8 Housing

$1 billion Energy Loan Guarantees

Multi-Million dollar cuts from the bill

$100 million FSA modernization

$50 million CSERES Research

$65 million Watershed Rehab

$30 million SD Salaries

$100 Distance Learning

$98 million School Nutrition

$50 million aquaculture

$100 million NIST

$100 million NOAA

$100 million Law Enforcement Wireless

$50 million Detention Trustee

$25 million Marshalls Construction

$100 million FBI Construction

$300 million Federal Prisons

$300 million BYRNE Formula

$140 million BYRNE Competitive

$10 million State and Local Law Enforcement

$50 million NASA

$50 million Aeronautics

$50 million Exploration

$50 million Cross Agency Support

$200 million NSF

$100 million Science

$300 million Fed Hybrid Vehicles

$50 million from DHS

$200 million TSA

$122 million for Coast Guard Cutters, modifies use

$25 million Fish and Wildlife

$55 million Historic Preservation

$20 million working capital fund

$200 million Superfund

$165 million Forest Svc Capital Improvement

$90 million State & Private Wildlife Fire Management

$75 million Smithsonian

$600 million Title I (NCLB)

I dunno... but it seems to me that given 600,000 job losses just last month, at an average of $50,000 each, means that American workers lost $30,000,000,000 ($30 billion) of annual personal income LAST MONTH.

I'm not sure, with this particular emergency stimulus bill and historic economic crisis continuing to spiral out of our grasp, that a billion here and a billion there for such things as local government, aerospace, education, and law enforcement really is worth all the dithering and grandstanding.