February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009 | Factsheet on Federal Spending

A Hand Out, Not Hand Up Stimulus: Bringing Back the Liberal Welfare State

Rewriting the Social Contract

  • The Great Society on Steroids: "[The stimulus bill] is also a tool for rewriting the social contract with the poor, the uninsured and the unemployed, in ways [liberals] have long yearned to do." --The New York Times, Jan. 27, 2009
  • The Great Society of Health Care: "We accomplished more today than in the last eight years." --House Ways and Means Sub-Committee Chairman Pete Stark (D-CA) commenting on the health care portion of the bill on Jan. 29, 2009

Welfare

  • President Clinton's Accomplishment: "Today, we are taking an historic chance to make welfare what it was meant to be, a second chance, not a way of life." --President Bill Clinton, upon signing welfare reform into law on Aug. 22, 1996
  • How America took the road to dependencyWhat This Did: The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding structure encouraged states to decrease caseloads and help dependents to self-sufficiency through work.
  • Not So Fast: The "stimulus" restores perverse incentives of the pre-welfare reform AFDC-style funding, increasing funding for increasing welfare caseloads.
  • Welfare is Back: The total 10-year extra welfare cost is likely to be $787 billion in new welfare spending.

Health Care

  • Government Controlled Health Care, Finally: The "stimulus" bill contains profoundly controversial and far-reaching health care provisions that would set the country on a path toward more fiscal irresponsibility, unfunded entitlement liabilities and less control by families over their personal health care decisions.
  • Dr. Congress: Combining the comparative effective research with health IT provisions opens the door to direct government interference in the doctor-patient relationship, undermining personal control over health care decisions.
  • Former CEOs on Medicaid? The bill creates new categories of eligibility for Medicaid for persons who are unemployed. Since there is no other income or asset test, former executives whose companies the federal government is bailing out and even the former governor of Illinois could qualify. Workers with lower income will be taxed to pay for the cost of providing health insurance to individuals who could have far more assets but who are temporarily unemployed.

Big Government

  • Departments of Energy and Education: The "stimulus" more than doubles the size of both the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. They will need to construct new buildings just to house the taxpayers' money.
  • Public Housing: The "stimulus" would revive the defunct public housing programs abandoned in the 1970s by providing billions of dollars for rehabilitation and possibly new construction of public housing projects.
  • Faith Based Exception: The "stimulus" deliberately censors religious speech and worship on school campuses with prohibitions on use of "stimulus" funds.

Twice the Jobs at Half the Price

Check out Heritage ideas for providing twice the jobs at half the price at: http://www.heritage.org/news/economic-stimulus.cfm.

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Related Issues: Federal Spending