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$2 Billion For Broadband Cut From Stimulus Bill

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the down-the-tubes dept.

Government 658

pdabbadabba points out a CNN report on changes to the planned economic stimulus bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [PDF]) that will remove the $2 billion allocated to broadband development. The changes also eliminated smaller amounts allocated to NASA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. $16 billion in school construction funding was removed, as well as another $3.5 billion for higher education construction. A variety of environmental projects were also cut or reduced (half of the $7 billion set aside for energy-efficient federal buildings, half of the $600 million for hybrid federal vehicles), and over $8 billion in health-related provisions are gone. The bill will likely go to vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

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no soup! (1)

oloron (1092167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772705)

is this an indication that all ISP's in the country are full of boardmembers making over 500k a year? no internetsoup for you!! seriously though, I envision america's internet infrastructure to be as badly in need of repair/upgrades as their roads/water/electrical infrastructures. why the pullout? is this just so you naughty people wont pirate Britney's new tracks so fast?

Re:no soup! (2, Informative)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773265)

I have a feeling a lot of politicians just think that it's not that important. They just don't get it that we can add tubes, and it's worth it.

Re:no soup! (1)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773385)

"They just don't get it that we can add tubes, and it's worth it."

Another closet tyrant think he/she/it knows how to spend my money better than I do.

Re:no soup! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773281)

No.

This is about creating jobs. Quickly. While it would be great if you could take unemployed factory workers and have them run fiber to everyone's house, it isn't very realistic. To 'break ground' quickly on this project would require the money going to people who already know how to and have the skills necessary to build this. Realistically, that is only the cableco/telco/and really big ispco that isn't a cableco or telco.

My congressman was not going to stand up in front of the world and ask for money that was going to be handed over to those companies.

It doesn;t mean there won't be a separate bill, it just means it won't be in the stimulus porkfest.

Great (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772707)

Frankly, the telco's were given million of dollars to expand broadband years ago and essentially pissed the money away. As for education spending, I've always said it should be cut and prioritized. The idea that money allocated to education actually goes to educate kids is a sick joke in this country. Higher education? Many universities sit on huge sums of money and still get government help so I'm not losing sleep over that one either. This is supposed to be a stimulus bill but it's been nothing but an attempt to get all the candy out of the bag and eat it at once. With less than 20% of any of it slated to go into effect in the first year the Obama "pass it or else" mantra is exposed as rhetoric.

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772775)

Frankly, the telco's were given million of dollars to expand broadband years ago and essentially pissed the money away.

Not millions, billions, some two hundred of them (albeit in tax breaks, not cash) and I'm still waiting to see the results from that before I want any more tax money going to those bloodsuckers.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772783)

Exactly right iav1231, exactly right.

Most of these guys squandered their money the last time they received a serving of pork, so why in the world would we do it again? At least half of this plan's spending doesn't do a thing to "stimulate" (even Obama said as much) and just represent political payoffs rather than "change".

These guys had a chance to really do something, and they've blown it.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772893)

Yes, indeed. Without some serious reforms, just throwing money and calling it "stimulus" is pointless. Some change we're getting...

Re:Great (1, Insightful)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772915)

As for education spending, I've always said it should be cut and prioritized. The idea that money allocated to education actually goes to educate kids is a sick joke in this country.

I think one of the worst things that republicans have done to this country is to make people feel educated on a subject after ingesting a few sound bites.

Re:Great (1, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773075)

I think one of the worst things that republicans have done to this country is to make people feel educated on a subject after ingesting a few sound bites.

The real problem is those "tax cuts for the rich"! We need to "make the rich pay their fair share"! What we need is "Change you can believe in". Admit it, soundbites are the currency of all politicians, not just Republicans. When you blame one party for things both parties do you cheapen your point. You are right though, it is a serious problem in America that political discourse, and hence the population's consumption of same, is dominated by these catchy and superficial soundbites.

Re:Great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773097)

Everybody repeat this to yourself a thousand times or until you get it.

The Federal government has NO business in education at ANY level. It's simply NOT one of the things allowed to them in the Constitution. Education is supposed to be solely a state and local concern.

Want to improve education? Return the responsibility and control to the states, kill the teachers' union, put corporal punishment back in the classrooms, and pay the good teachers more.

Re:Great (3, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773243)

Corporal punishment in the classroom? What good would that do? I say punish the parents for their kids' behaviour. That's the way it's supposed to be anyway. The parents have a responsibility for what their kids do. Don't hit the little bastards for stuff they've been taught is okay to do. Hit their fucking parents!

Yes (3, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773371)

And while we are at it, lets dump Brown vs. Board of Education [brownvboard.org] too while we are at it, eh? After all, if a state wants to start segregating schools you can just move to another state, right? Or if the state wants all their public schools to teach intelligent design, you should either hold your nose or move--under no circumstance should you appeal to those pesky activist judges in the the federal courts, right?

Want to improve education? Operate at the neighborhood level. The community can figure out the best way to educate their kids. But the devil is in the details and here in America, we value providing a fair chance to anybody regardless of socio-economic status. That means the federal government has an obligation to make sure a child in one state has as good of an education as in another. That means that regardless of what crazy sounding idea the neighborhood comes up with, a student there should graduate with the same knowledge as from some other place. One of the easiest roles the federal government can play in ensuring equity is leveling the playing field so all school districts get the same funding.

PS: good luck with killing the teachers union--you wouldn't win an election on that platform.

And corporal punishment? Seriously? I've been trolled, haven't I :-)

Re:Great (5, Informative)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773105)

I think one of the worst things that republicans have done to this country is to make people feel educated on a subject after ingesting a few sound bites.

Then read this in-depth article on education costs run amok in New Jersey. It's fascinating (and not boring) reading. Unfortunately it will pop your misconcpetions about how well-spent our education dollar is. Maybe after reading this, you can give us a soundbite or two about how spending $500,000 per graduating high school student is good for the taxpayer.

http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_2_new_jersey.html [city-journal.org]

Shame that the internet stuff was cut (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772957)

The perhaps most effective thing in the packet in long term would have been building faster and better broadband connections. It enables people to search for work more effectively, communicate and network better, work remotely, and self study.

Not that I care, I live outside US and have still some 2 terabytes of bandwidth to use this month :)

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772987)

With less than 20% of any of it slated to go into effect in the first year the Obama "pass it or else" mantra is exposed as rhetoric.

Strange though it may sound, it is actually quite a difficult thing to spend $800b. When a stimulus package like this goes into effect, while the budget may be quickly allocated to specific projects, the actual draw down can only occur through vouched expenditure, and this can only occur as work is done. With this in mind, actually spending $160b (20%) is still quite an achievement.

However, the fact that the projects are started and have a guaranteed completion should provide more stimulus than the actual cash spend.

I don't know whether the spending is going to the right places, or that it will have the desired stimulus effect, but it's not correct to suggest that this is some kind of ruse just because it appears that the funding is not front-loaded.

Re:Great (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773287)

Just start another war. You'll see how easily $800 billions can be spent...

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

guacamole (24270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773139)

"Many universities sit on huge sums of money and still get government help so I'm not losing sleep over that one either. "

Where did you get this idea? This is a complete utter B.S. Most large state research universities are struggling financially right now. Many have a hiring freeze already. Some had been seeing their state funded budgets erode forever. As for private schools with large endowments, most of those too are having serious financing issues right now. WUSTL, Harvard, etc. Many have instituted faculty and staff hiring freeze as well. What large sums of money are you talking about? Their endowments? They already lost 30 to 50% of value in just one year, and schools generally use the earnings generated by those endowments to beef up their budgets. It is plain stupid to spend the endowment itself because this will seriously compromise the future financial positions of many universities. Based on experiences of many people I know, the freshly minted PhDs in any field are facing the worst job market of the decade.

Other side of the education issue (1)

saxoholic (992773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773249)

The other side of that education issue, whether the money is going directly to the kids or not, is that the money is being used. If that money is cut from the budget, it's going to put a huge strain on state budgets to make up for it, and if the other states are like mine right now, there is a huge budget crunch. The last thing I want to see is teacher lay offs, adding to unemployment isn't going to help us get out of this recession.

Re:Great (1, Interesting)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773373)

As for education spending, I've always said it should be cut and prioritized. The idea that money allocated to education actually goes to educate kids is a sick joke in this country.

I've never understood this thinking. If schools are wastefully spending money allocated to them, you cut the funding, further hurting children?

There is no better return on investment than money spend educating children. None. You're talking about the future of this country, literally. If there is a problem then you fix the problem, you don't ignore it. Public schools are a favorite whipping boy for those with money/power, and of course the system isn't perfect, but the benefits it provides still far outweigh the negatives. The vast, vast majority of teachers in our public schools are responsible, intelligent people who have a love of teaching and want to positively affect the lives of children, just like the vast, vast majority of children in the public school system are good kids who want to learn and succeed.

We whine and bitch about the dumbing down of America, laugh at Idiocracy becoming real before our eyes, yet funding for schools are reduced or cut at nearly every opportunity, teachers are criminally underpaid and forced to purchase their own paper and other supplies, while simultaneously hearing how lazy and apathetic they are, school districts are ordered to arbitrarily improve test scored or risk losing what little funding they receive, while being given no new resources to purchase the equipment or hire the staff they need. We leave our children to these people for 6-8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, we trust them to educate our young, to feed and care for them, often to act as surrogate parents, all the while giving them the bare minimum required to perform this task, and griping or outright refusing any request for more.

If you have such a problem with the way public education is run, then get involved for fucks sake. Join the PTA, run for a position on your local school board. Find out what it's really like, chances are you'll end up being shocked that these schools do as good a job as they do with what little they have to work with. Pound for pound, you're not going to find a group of people who work harder, care more about their jobs, or complain less about their working conditions than teachers.

Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (2, Insightful)

KiahZero (610862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772711)

"Bipartisanship" isn't useful in this context, because one party is working from macroeconomic theory and reason, and the other party is working from the ideological mantra of "Spending Bad. Tax Cuts Good." To the Congressional Republicans, things like school construction won't result in jobs for construction workers: apparently magic pixies will simply drop the new schools out of the sky in exchange for our money.

President Obama needs to realize that it's the U.S. Congress, not the Snuggle-Senate, and beat some heads together to get good policy through. The $800b he proposed was too small to begin with, and all of these cuts make it more likely that we're not going to have enough stimulus to do anything useful.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772777)

Ron Paul /s/lashdot

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772795)

The Republicans are just as clueless as the Democrats in the current situation. The reason is because, just like the Great Depression, there really are no answers to deal with the current economic downturn. Only time and debt destruction can fix it...

In short.. They can spend $2T if they like, and it will do little to nothing to stop the current problems from advancing. When you are a nation that is 70% consumption and have a 400% GDP debt ratio, there is little you can do to 'simulate" the underlying fundamentals. Meaning, the problem was overstimulation to begin with..

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (3, Interesting)

illumin8 (148082) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773113)

In short.. They can spend $2T if they like, and it will do little to nothing to stop the current problems from advancing. When you are a nation that is 70% consumption and have a 400% GDP debt ratio, there is little you can do to 'simulate" the underlying fundamentals. Meaning, the problem was overstimulation to begin with..

The way I look at it, they have two ways to handle the economic crisis:

1. Do absolutely nothing and let the economy continue to deflate until we get back to pre-housing bubble status. The problem with this approach is that you'll have 25% unemployment, soup lines that are worse than the great depression, and the entire world will take 10-20 years to pull itself out of the mess, if people don't riot and burn the world down first.

2. Dump money into the economy and continue to prop up the housing bubble by buying failed mortgage debt, hoping for a soft landing. This approach is doomed to failure as well because you can't keep pumping money into a bubble hoping to sustain it forever. The bubble is going to either pop quickly or deflate slowly. This approach only kicks the football down the field another 5-10 years for the next generation of politicians to deal with it.

Guess which approach our government is picking? I guess I'd choose option 2 also but either way we're fucked.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773303)

I think Sarkozy and the Europeans are way more right on the spot with their "Rot Assets" Bank. Throw money from the window into the economy won't change any of the foundations of the economy and won't create any long term recovery. But, if we do like the Europeans and get this money to buy bad loans from the Banks and create a new Bank to manage those, we will give the Banks new breath to reinvest and give more credit for production and spending, bringing the economy back to life.

But we are not able to get to a simple solution like this, as we are a divided nation and keep fighting about petty issues around the Blue/Red border.

Europeans will get to the solution faster than us, so as our top engineering jobs are already migrating to Germany, I guess we will have to migrate as well...

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (4, Insightful)

Ferretman (224859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772819)

Republicans are in fact the only ones holding this pork-laden monstrosity at bay.

I wouldn't bother with a bill in the first place--I don't see stimulating the economy listed as a federal government responsibility in the Constitution--but if you're going to do this at least be honest about it.

With something like 60% of spending happening in 2010 and 2011 they are "stimulative", they're pork-barrel spending. The boy President thinks that any spending counts as stimulus--the only thing this bill will stimulate is more government and more debt.

Some version of this mess will eventually pass, but hopefully we'll strip some of the pork out of it. One thing's for sure--this is not "change we can believe in".

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772913)

I just read another comment from you.

Still sore about getting that Republican ass raped last election eh? You've witnessed the destruction of your party. I imagine that smarts a bit.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0, Troll)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773057)

Obama, is that you?

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (4, Informative)

Delwin (599872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773073)

I don't see stimulating the economy listed as a federal government responsibility in the Constitution

"Promote the general welfare"

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773377)

I don't see stimulating the economy listed as a federal government responsibility in the Constitution

"Promote the general welfare"

Unemployment is currently...7.6%? Are you trying to claim that those 7.6% (and just for the record, even during the best economy there is still typically an unemployment rate of about 4%) are so important we should spend a trillion dollars we don't have to make them happy? That's hardly promoting the general welfare.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773175)

Out founders believed that government was a necessary evil and sought to limit its power/potential for oppression and to keep its power more at a local level. Now we have a massive federal government that controls the purse strings of the nation, legislates based on party platitudes instead of an understanding of real issues, taxes people with a massively complex and arbitrary system, and spends faster than it can ever collect.

We've been taught for generations now to look only to the highest levels of government to solve any/all problems and now we have a runaway train that will eventually bring us all down.

The national debt is $10,727,580,498,337.69 and climbs $3.5 billion per day. If you think our politicians turned a blind eye to the housing bubble, how does their silence on this make you feel?

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772845)

holy shit. You actually believe that, don't you?

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (3, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772901)

holy shit. You actually believe that, don't you?

Yes, he does believe it and so do I. We've had 8 years of "tax cuts are how you stimulate the economy" and look where we are. But the Republicans continue to oppose the opposite tack as if it's not worth trying. Our schools are foundering. Our internet is slower than any other developed nation. Yet Republicans forced spending on both of those VERY NEEDY PROGRAMS to be cut from this bill. Both would be the epitome of economic stimulus but Republicans are obstructionists yet again. It's simply true. So yes, we believe it. Funny how that works.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772917)

wow, you're very generous with my money. You and the rest of your socialist brethren should get together and spend YOUR money. But then again, that's never been your game, has it? For the record, fuck the "republicans" too.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (5, Insightful)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773187)

Our schools are foundering. Our internet is slower than any other developed nation. Yet Republicans forced spending on both of those VERY NEEDY PROGRAMS to be cut from this bill.

Our schools are not foundering due to a lack of funding. They are foundering because a powerful public education cartel has driven school spending skyward, making the United States among the world's biggest education spenders, even as student achievement lags.

Oh, Democrats want children to be ignorant. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773293)

How come Cleveland has more spending on its public schools than most other G8 nations, but they are all shitholes. Maybe the students are stupid and unwilling to learn? Maybe they come from a culture that denegrates education before it even starts? I mean, how come Democrats always talk about more money for schools and for public institution but at the same time, continue to spend billions on an arts and media that does nothing but continually denegrate culture, learning, and refinement? I mean, people are only doing what you tell them, and you are telling them to do stupid stuff.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (3, Funny)

bryanp (160522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772859)

To the Congressional Republicans, things like school construction won't result in jobs for construction workers: apparently magic pixies will simply drop the new schools out of the sky in exchange for our money.

No, money for schools would come from the taxes paid to their local governments by construction workers who have jobs as a result of the stimulus package.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (2, Informative)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772861)

Well, I don't know about where you live, but where I do we've already had a mess of wasteful school construction. Cities and towns of modest means have built these "Taj Mahal" schools, sometimes approaching $200 Million.

I don't have a problem with giving construction workers jobs as a stimulus, but let's not be arrogantly wasteful about how we spend the money. It's not JUST about providing short term jobs, it's about putting people to work for the long-term good.

How about fixing our bridges and infrastructure?

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773039)

Schools can vary a lot from place to place. My rural district seems to be doing OK for construction money, but the urban schools nearby look to be in pretty poor shape.

I think the bridges and roads need to be the #1 priority, so many bridges aren't up to any kind of standard, I don't want to see a repeat of the Minneapolis bridge incident.

While the internet infrastructure in the US is pretty poor, I doubt Federal money alone would fix that, I recall they've been giving money to the cableco and telcos for this purpose but haven't seen any return from that. They need an accountability system for the money they give for internet. They also need to tidy up the red tape that it takes to do a job. They also need to help promote competition, the regulations are built such that the incumbents have all the advantages. Cutting the fees and red tape for wireless licenses to small ISPs would help.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773045)

How about fixing our bridges and infrastructure?

Clearly it's one or the other.

No no no (2, Interesting)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772887)

There is no difference between the parties these days when it comes to spending.

They both want to spend *more*. There is a slight difference in what they want it spent on, but only a little.

What do you think the 800 billion is going to do? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772949)

What is it's purpose?
 

Re:What do you think the 800 billion is going to d (1)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773033)

Payback.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (3, Insightful)

Kr1ll1n (579971) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772999)

Ummmmm.......No. To the original poster, there exists such a thing as "blue dog" democrats, that have figured it out as well. If you reduce taxation, more job creation and more spending happens. This is simple math. If you have $2,000 in your pocket at the end of 2 weeks versus having $1,500, what would your response be? If you are younger, odds are you would buy useless junk like more video games, or a bigger t.v., or whatever. If you are older, you might be putting aside that extra 500 for a bigger or better house. Maybe getting some of the repairs done on your existing house. For the love of all things holy, its common......fucking.......sense. The math that has been done by alot of well known and respected economists shows that the current amount, before cuts in the stimulus bill amounts to $75,000.00 to each and every unemployed person in the country. And you think it's not big enough? Get off of Slashdot if you can't even understand basic math. Oh, and construction jobs ARE short term, much like a contract project, where you work for a few months, then back in the unemployment line you go. Hell, if you actually look at some of what is being requested, you will see it's a joke. $800,000.00 for a 36-hole disc golf course, new neon lights in Nevada. New bus stops in Charleston. You can ALWAYS count on stimulating an economy of the US's size by reducing taxation. Why are all these forclosures happening? Well, if the homeowners can't pay the mortgage, what's gonna happen? Reduced taxation=more money=less foreclosures and less debt.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773241)

> You can ALWAYS count on stimulating an economy of the US's size by reducing taxation.

Yeah, so maybe not. Look up the velocity of money, which has fallen through the floor in the last few months. What that means is that people are essentially stuffing their mattresses, and any additional tax cuts will, in fact, not be stimulative. So you need to directly stimulate - and that means spend.

See this:

http://www.urbandigs.com/2008/12/you_want_to_see_what_deflation.html

Also take a good, long, hard look at deflation and what that means, especially in relation to potential tax cuts. Arguably, we are in a deflationary spiral right now.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773299)

How does $800,000,000,000 spread out over 300,000,000 people gain an order of magnitude in that operation?

800,000 / 300 = $2,666.67.

That's 28, I'm sorry, 280 times smaller then the number you posted.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773467)

When I originally read your post, it came across as so simple-minded that I figured you had to be trolling. But since you actually got an insightful moderation, I'll respond - less to you and more to whoever moderated your post insightful.

If you reduce taxation, more job creation and more spending happens. This is simple math. If you have $2,000 in your pocket at the end of 2 weeks versus having $1,500, what would your response be? If you are younger, odds are you would buy useless junk like more video games, or a bigger t.v., or whatever. If you are older, you might be putting aside that extra 500 for a bigger or better house. Maybe getting some of the repairs done on your existing house.

And what does the government do with taxes? It spends them. Either way, the money gets spent. If "spending", in general, stimulates the economy, then either government or individual spending "stimulates" the economy.

The more sophisticated question, which you seem to be unaware of, is whether government spending or individual spending is more "economically efficient".

Suppose factory can originally make apple pies (good and American) at $4 per pie but then the company takes it's profits and buys a machine that increases the efficiency of the pie making process such that the company can now make pies for $3 per pie: the economy has become more "efficient".

Suppose, instead, that the pie company gives its profits to the CEO who pays a bunch of strippers to dance naked for him. Either way, the money ends up back in the economy - the money either goes to the strippers or to the people who made the efficient pie making machine.

The key difference is that in the first case, apple pies are now $3 per pie whereas in the second case apple pies are still $4 per pie (but the CEO did get to see some nice ass).

So the basic question is whether individual spending or government spending is more economically "efficient". You can argue it either way. Probably (government) spending on education is more efficient than (individual) spending on a PlayStation. On the other hand, if a government is so corrupt that the government spends the money on having strippers perform for government officials then the (individual) spending on PlayStations is more efficient.

Ultimately, the fundamental source of economic efficiency is science and technology discovery and innovation. Anyway, hopefully this will help whoever moderated the parent "insightful" understand that the situation is more complicated than "lower taxes stimulate the economy".

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (3, Interesting)

GNT (319794) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773109)

You have it exactly backwards.

It's the Republicans (fascists though they are) that are right in macroeconomic theory and its the Democrats (socialists) that are in fact, operating in ideological mantra that spending is somehow going to work. It didn't work for Austria, didn't work for us in 1930's, didn't work in 1974 and won't work now.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (0)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773163)

But it *did* work for us in the 40's.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

fatray (160258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773211)

"Bipartisanship" isn't useful in this context, because one party is working from macroeconomic theory and reason, and the other party is working from the ideological mantra of "Spending Bad. Tax Cuts Good." To the Congressional Republicans, things like school construction won't result in jobs for construction workers: apparently magic pixies will simply drop the new schools out of the sky in exchange for our money.

OK, let's say your local school district gets a bunch of money for school construction and decides to build the KiahZero memorial elementary school. When do those construction jobs appear? Certainly there will be no construction jobs in 2009. If both the feds and your local school board get busy and don't spend a lot of time arguing about minutiae, maybe they can be in the ground by mid-to-late 2010, but sometime in 2011 is a lot more likely. So if stimulus 2 years from now is the goal, start building schools. One thing I'm ignoring is that some of the school money is to go the districts that actually have shrinking enrollments (like Milwaukee). There will be some districts that are almost ready to start construction and can use stimulus money right away--that spending will not be stimulative, however, because it is just replacing money that the local district was planning on spending anyway.

If, on the other hand, there is a permanent personal tax cut and I suddenly have another $100 in my monthly check, that money will go to work immediately. I have plenty of little jobs about the place that might call for hiring a construction worker or two, for a day or two.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (4, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773233)

"Bipartisanship" isn't useful in this context, because one party is working from macroeconomic theory and reason, and the other party is working from the ideological mantra of "Spending Bad. Tax Cuts Good." To the Congressional Republicans, things like school construction won't result in jobs for construction workers: apparently magic pixies will simply drop the new schools out of the sky in exchange for our money.

President Obama needs to realize that it's the U.S. Congress, not the Snuggle-Senate, and beat some heads together to get good policy through. The $800b he proposed was too small to begin with, and all of these cuts make it more likely that we're not going to have enough stimulus to do anything useful.

Oh my God you are so full of crap. No one is saying that building schools won't employ people. What is being said is, "what happens to those jobs when the schools built?" These are not permanent jobs.

Also, building schools is not what Republicans object to. It's the millions to birth control programs. How does giving out condoms provide jobs? How is money to Amtrak going to produce jobs? Sure, it helps out the people working for Amtrak, but every passenger on Amtrak is NON-passenger on Greyhound or Delta. How does extending unemployment benefits create jobs? How does allocating money so groups like ACORN can purchase houses and rent them out create jobs?

Now these may be great ideas, but they do NOT belong in the "stimulus" package if they do not stimulate. Seriously, how big of a moron do you have to be to NOT understand that?

In other words, don't let the facts cloud your preconceived judgment of "Republicans bad, Democrats good".

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773463)

Teaching real birth control helps prevent losing jobs, especially among the poor and lower middle class, to teenage pregnancy and the massive social burden of child care. Keeping your average teenage mother in school for a few more years, and teaching them that the way to move out of their mom's house is not to have a baby and collect welfare, is a step forward.

I'm not speaking of most teenagers, but there was a particular family I knew with 3 generations of women taught this: they were a frightening group, and badly in need of education I was in no position to provide for their next generation. And they were amazingly expensive to the community: housing, day care so the moms could work, medical costs aggravated by early pregnancies and underage mothers taking poor care of their infants, educational costs for kids with poor home supervision, etc., all added up.

No, Democrats are... (0, Flamebait)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773257)

The essence of the Democratic plan is first Marx and then later Keynes, both of whom have been tried and failed for the last 100 years, repeatedly. Democrats would have us believe that if we take a bunch a big pile of money and give it to worthless people, then somehow we will have an economic recovery. What a crock! Yeah, like giving money to a bunch of crackheads in the ghetto or old ladies in mobile homes is going to accomplish anything. It's simply not.

The simple fact of the matter is, if Democrats REALLY wanted to stimulate the economy and distribute money evenly, then why not simply write checks to everyone, like George Bush did. That's Keynes in his purist and simplest form. Instead, we got a few hundred billion for welfare - as if that doesn't have enough money already, and a few billion for building some windmills, and then a few billion of a few things that might actually be useful, but you know that the Dems will never finish any of their projects and will wreck them the same way they have managed to wreck all of the major cities in the USA.

The only way there will be economic recovery is when there are enough layoffs for companies to be profitable. That will jack up the stock market, and from there, there will be capital to re-invest in the economy, ultimately creating more jobs where they are needed. This is actually already happening. Layoffs are coming, the stock market is going up, gradually, and some companies are going to be profitable. Unfortunately, we all know that Democrats will bitch about companies being profitable, and will prolong the recession in the interests of accumulating power, just like those traitors did during the Great Depression.

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

CNeb96 (60366) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773345)

"Bipartisanship" isn't useful in this context, because one party is working from macroeconomic theory and reason, and the other party is working from the ideological mantra of "Spending Bad. Tax Cuts Good." To the Congressional Republicans, things like school construction won't result in jobs for construction workers: apparently magic pixies will simply drop the new schools out of the sky in exchange for our money.

President Obama needs to realize that it's the U.S. Congress, not the Snuggle-Senate, and beat some heads together to get good policy through. The $800b he proposed was too small to begin with, and all of these cuts make it more likely that we're not going to have enough stimulus to do anything useful.

It's funny how most of those items on that page were going to do very little to help the economy (the purpose of the bill), and you pick up on the one thing which may have been useful, school construction, don't address if its really the BEST way of using tax payer dollars to stimulate the economy, and point out that on ideological grounds schools we need new/better schools, yes ok, but why is this the best bill to do it in? That's the kind of thinking which got all of these ideologically based items in a stimulus bill in the first place. All the cuts in the article seems to suggest, at least to me, the exact opposite of what you concluding, it sounds as if compromise between parties is causing a stricter look at what is actually being funded to HELP the economy, and not make a crisis an excuse to give congress a blank check to fund every problem they care about. These magic pixies you mentioned are they going to pay off this check too?

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (2, Interesting)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773347)

First off, there are many examples in the past century of Keynesian economics NOT working (just look at Japan during the 90's). Next, the school construction was for one district in one state (I forget where) that already has new schools! Why would you waste that much money on building a school to replace one that was recently built?! Obama's "Stimulus" (and I use sarcastic quotation marks) bill only has about 10% (in it's original form) going towards anything remotely related to stimulating the economy or upgrading infrastructure. The vast majority of this bill is about throwing away money on pet projects of congressmen / senators so that the uneducated will say "Look, money is being spent by the government, things must be getting better!"

This "stimulus" package will do little to nothing to help the economy and will primarily serve to increase the national debt, increase inflation, and increase government control of our lives. Obama keeps using fear tactics ("If we don't pass this pork bill NOW we'll lose 5-6 million more jobs by 2012!!") to get people to support this crap, when things WILL adjust just fine on their own, it will just take some time. I'm sure someone will scream at me "but what if I lose my job?!", well you know what, I'm currently looking for a job, but I don't have the arrogance to suggest that we should take on a trillion dollars more debt and jump inflation just so that I MIGHT keep my job. The worst thing to do during a down economy is make decisions based on fear. Making smart decisions (living within your means and saving at least some money ever month) will keep you pretty safe (yes, you could lose your job, but if you save then even if you didn't get unemployment you'd still have money to make the house payments and such for awhile).

Another thing to keep in mind, EVERY time in the history of the US that the government has tried a stimulus bill to get out of a recession, by the time the bill was passed the economy was already working it's way up just fine without government intervention. I'm sure SOMEONE will bitch with "sources please", I have a degree in Economics and one of my textbooks in school had the source in it. I'm sure the smart people here can google it (I won't waste my time because the Obamanites will just ignore anything I say anyways).

Re:Republicans are Flat-Earth Economists (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773461)

This bill has fully bipartisan support in recognizing that is is not a stimulus bill put a pork and spend to give paybacks to all those people that Nancy and Barak own.
Spending money on condoms, grass and porn will not grow the economy and get us out of the recession. Building roads and construction will not help because for any of these new projects will require 1+ year to get approval and to write up all the environmental impact statements.
Finally if government spending was going to get us out of this then you are just ignoring all the spending that spending under President Bush. He was a liberal poster child for government spending and control and all the spending he got from a Democrat congress did not stop the problem. Also unlike what barak said Republicans are not against all the spending, they just realize that all the pork will do nothing, finally.

Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772719)

have a majority and don't have to cowtow to the Republicans? I mean, there is such as thing as compromise, but listening to everything the other party says despite the fact that the American people resoundingly rejected said party is just stupid. I know now why the Republican party insists that the Democrats have such a loser mentality. For god sakes, grow some fucking balls!

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772771)

They need to be able to blame somebody when this supposed "stimulus" fails miserably. And I'm hesitant to call it a stimulus because more than 80% of the cash will be sitting in bank accounts untouched for at least a year, obviously not doing much stimulating.

Actually (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772847)

It is designed to have a long lasting impact. They do not want to release all at one. They want it spread out over 2-3 years, to change the mental state of ppl.

Re:Actually (3, Informative)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773173)

Except if you bothered to pay attention even the congressional budget office said that the stimulus bill if passed will do more to hurt the economy in the long term over doing nothing.

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/04/cbo-obama-stimulus-harmful-over-long-haul/ [washingtontimes.com]

Wake up Sheeple. You are perfectly willing to sit and listen to what 'Dear Leader' says. You listen to the talking heads regurgitate what better suits the Obama agenda and eat it up like its chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. Just like the global warming crap. You take Al Gore's word that the sky is falling and we need to all drive Prius and eat vegan or we are going to be extinct by summer. You listen to them say there is a consensus on man made global warming when the truth is the only consensus is that the climate is changing, like it has done for the last 4.5 billion years.

Please, get a clue. Wake up. Take the Red Pill.

DO SOMETHING. Don't blindly follow the Pied Piper to our doom.

Even the neighbor down the street too! (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773205)

You know, the congressional budget office is just one group. And most people bitching are bitching about the items in the bill, now the general concept of a stimulus package.

The fact we are in a recession isn't up for debate. If you want to bitch, you should offer a solution. If you think there should be no solution, well, sorry buddy but that is just not right.

Re:Even the neighbor down the street too! (1)

Daswolfen (1277224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773301)

I do have a solution. Give every legal citizen tax payer (or those on SS, etc) a payment of $10,000 per single, $15,000 per joint tax filler, plus $1,500 per dependent. That money goes into the economy, people pay down their debts and buy the things they need. Not only does this spur the economy into recovery, it also satisfies Obama's promise of trickle up economics.

Unless the 'Spendulus' bill IS just for paying back favors for Obama, San Fran Nan, and Prince Harry.

Not a good idea (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773443)

That is basically turning the government into a credit card. People would go buy HDTV's that last 5 years. We would go pay off debt with new debt (or are you assuming this money is magic money that we never repay?). We would blow it on hookers and booze (those last 1 day). But we would *not* buy an energy grid that would enable us to invest heavily in distributed power tech like wind or solar--those would give us returns for hundreds of years. We would not go repair a road and keep it around for another 40 years. We would not go build a light rail to keep our children's children moving around our cities. Nope. Hookers, booze and HDTV's--none of that lasts more then 10 years. We just flushed a couple trillion down the drain... nice.

What you propose is refinancing your house to buy new spinnaz to bling out your Escalade. Your plan basically has us refinancing our damn country to buy more bling. Haven't we dont that already? Isn't that a good part of the reason we are in this damn mess now? You think doing more of it will help?

You dont refinance your damn house to buy a fucking boat or a new car! You refinance your damn house to build a kitchen or put another floor on it. You know, something that will increase the value of the house. If we are gonna refinance our country, lets spend the money in a way that improves the value of the country... not go spend it on hookers and booze.

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772799)

but wouldn't that lower the dems to the repubs level? However to some extent I can agree with you, that trying to get all the republicans to be happy should be a small priority, but just big enough to make sure some of their concerns can be addressed.

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (3, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772821)

I am sure they would love to ignore the Republicans... Unlike the House rules, however, the senate requires 60 votes to get anything substantial done. Meaning, they have something called filibuster rules that allow individual senators to slow/stop bills in its tracks...

Meaning, the democrats are not trying to be nice and work with the republicans... They are forced to deal with at least 3 Republicans to get the stimulus bill moving forward and they know this... Hence, the reason for the compromise..

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772873)

Or 1 republican and 2 indies. Of course, I would not trust Liberman.

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (2, Interesting)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773125)

So let them filibuster. Let them hold everything else up and yell loudly to the media that the republicans are against saving America!

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773035)

Do democrats even realize that they do in fact have a majority and don't have to cowtow to the Republicans?

Come six months time (when this stimulus package has yet (if it ever will) work) certain Republicans have already promised to say "I told you so!" and wage a holy-war of bullshit on the airwaves. Without at least the appearance of bipartisanship, the democrats have little defense against this (unreasonable*) attack.

*Sure it's unreasonable, but when has that ever derailed a good attack?

Re:Do democrats even realize that they do in fact (1)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773275)

Remember the Republicans also had the majority and they screwed it up. The Democrats unfortunately will screw it up even more.

I agree. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773315)

You just wait until we Republicans become protectionist, and make Democrats be the party that tells the blue collar that a bunch of assholes in China took their job. The natural set of American values are on our side, not yours, and it is only voter anxiety about the effects of trade that bring the blue collar to you. But, West Virginia is the canary in the coal mine for the Democrats. We will run vowing to kick all the Asian products out, dial back those European countries that did not help us in the war, and we'll see how you people fare trying to argue that French and Chinese people have a right to American jobs.

WTF? (1)

dorque_wrench (1394209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772723)

That was all the best stuff! And why does education (especially higher ed) always get the axe first?

Re:WTF? (1)

JPLR (1404551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773029)

It's true that we need doctors and engineers (I am an R&D engineer) but I am constantly astonished by the number of persons working in R&D or simply sitting behind a computer at large companies, banks or administrations. By first hand in my company I know that many computerized workplaces are pure joke where there are workflows but people still print orders and send them to colleagues by the internal snail mail. I also saw many times scientist writing scientific paper during a meeting on another subject. There are even shops that can write a paper for you if your ideas are not clear, you just have to send them an hugly canvas and they write a paper that will be accepted in most conferences on the topic. So I wonder if someone can kindly point out me academic papers showing that education higher improves the wealth of a nation. In fact I would be happy if someone could find a paper schowing that having a very high percentage of "knowledge workers" actually slow down the economy ;-)

stuff that couldn't be tied to a specific district (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772735)

It is easy to show voters the bridge, highway or transit money you got for your state or district. It is hard to show off rural broadband, or a new federal hybrid car as creating jobs for your locality. The school funding was lost because it likely was only going to fill coffers depleted by property tax drops. Hard to stand in front of something they were likely going to build anyway and claim credit.

Hopefully.. (-1, Troll)

homer_s (799572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772759)

Hopefully, this bill will pass and Obama will shut the f__ up about 'OMG we are all going to DIE!!'.

Paulson started this because Goldman was about to go down and Obama and other continue this bs.

Notice what didn't get completely cut (2, Interesting)

QCompson (675963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772769)

$100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)

$100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)

Need to keep pumping that taxpayer money into law enforcement so they can keep us safe from "obscene porn" http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/optf/ [usdoj.gov] and continue to win the drug war.

Re:Notice what didn't get completely cut (1)

danking (1201931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772807)

Need to keep pumping that taxpayer money into law enforcement so they can keep us safe from "obscene porn" http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/optf/ [usdoj.gov] and try to win the drug war.

There fixed that for ya.

What is still in the bill? (1)

xzvf (924443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772805)

An aircraft carrier cost about 10-15 billion to build and equip with planes. A new light rail line in my home town is projected to cost 2 billion. With a third of this being tax cuts (and tax credits/welfare) and some going to extend unemployment/medical care, where does the other 500 odd billion go? All this did was cut about 100 billion of pork the senators tried to tie onto the bill. What return will we get from a 500 billion dollar investment? Better services, better infrastructure? We haven't rebuilt the world trade center site yet, so infrastructure projects won't create jobs for years.

Re:What is still in the bill? (1)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772965)

Think of it as a time-release capsule. All the medicine doesn't hit the body at the same time.

For infrastructure projects, yes -- it'll take some time for the jackhammers to hit the concrete. But there are a lot of things that lead up to that, including architectural design, material processing and procurement, real estate procurement, and other spending related to planning.

It's also a psychological boost for many industries. What's going on right now, even at my company, is prophylactic layoffs. People are losing their jobs because companies think things are going to be worse this year. If companies know that spending is coming, more people might keep their jobs. The calculus here is more than just $X per new job -- with more than half a million people put out of work last month, a job saved in this economy is about as good as a job created.

There's another thing that bugs me about all this talk about infrastructure and "pork" in the stimulus. In the last 8 years, we've ended up more than $8 trillion in the hole. What do we have to show for it? At least it seems like the stimulus is aimed at getting us either direct "stuff" or on the road to long-term changes in things like energy production that we should have started in 2001.

But then the senate and house versions... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772809)

are merged later. Likely some of those will be added back.

Re:But then the senate and house versions... (1)

condour75 (452029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773305)

Actually I'm very curious about how this works. Any gov't geeks know exactly what hurdles require the 60 vote supermajority, and which don't? Like, can a bill squeak by with a few moderate republicans on board, then get changed to something that only needs a simple majority? Or will it have to pass that 60 vote test again?

Seems like effective bipartisanship (3, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772825)

Cutting higher ed and broadband gives the Republicans what they want: Keep the sheep stupid and uncommunicative.

So, will Monday night's speech ditch the theme of "bipartisanship"? Isn't getting him any votes anyway.

Pork (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26772827)

Well at least they got rid of the $246Million gift to hollywood [typepad.com] . (no thanks to you kennedy/kerry!)

Still a ways [opencongress.org] to go though.

Don't invest in education (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772885)

16 billion in school construction funding was removed, as well as another $3.5 billion for higher education construction.

By all means cut that waste out of the stimulus package. We can't have people going to school and learning things, nothing worthwhile could ever come from that. I've got an idea, let's take that money and give it to the military to spend on some crap hole half-way around the world. That's a much better investment.

Re:Don't invest in education (1)

jmulvey (233344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773025)

Where I live (Massachusetts) there has already been a wasteful construction boom in school construction. Cities and towns of modest means have spent hundreds of millions on school construction. It's government run amok. We don't need to federalize this problem.

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/03/22/newtons_taj_mahal/ [boston.com]
http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/03/31/state_plans_school_construction_probe/ [boston.com]

A normal politician, huh? (1)

Codex_of_Wisdom (1222836) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772903)

He promised more than he gave. No surprise there- just like every politician through history.

Change we can believe in. (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772959)

I believe we are seeing change all right...of the short variety.

For those who were sucked into the reality distortion field, this should serve as a dose of reality. Washington will change when hell freezes over.

Re:Change we can believe in. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773455)

I believe we are seeing change all right...of the short variety.

For those who were sucked into the reality distortion field, this should serve as a dose of reality. Washington will change when hell freezes over.

Well, it was Steve Jobs who invented the reality distortion field, and since Obama is all about creating jobs, I guess that makes sense.

Lots of pork still to cut (1)

SSCGWLB (956147) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772983)

Have you even read this thing? Its full of pork that does nothing for 'stimulus'.

650 Million for converter boxes?
350 Million to buy back watershed lands?
1 Billion to the census dept for ???
the list goes on and on. Very little of it will actually stimulate anything.

Just obama rewarding those who get him elected. Typical

I wondered about the census (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773179)

1 billion seems like a lot. That said, there is probably a justification for it. Who uses census data? I bet it isn't just the government, but private industry as well. Having good stats about your citizens might make it easier for private industry to forecast things. It might provide better population growth models for cities that use them (hint: if you've ever read the EIS for any kind of mass transit, they make heavy use of population growth to figure out ridership, tax revenue to pay back bonds, etc).

Some things seem kind of boring. Kind of like a water heater. It costs a bit of money and you might be tempted to get a cheap-ass one, but if you invest in a better one it will pay back over the long term. 1 billion to the census guys might be something like that.

IANCE (i am no census expert)

Lastly... converter boxes = people go out to cash in on said converter box at Best Buy / Frys and maybe buy some other shit while they are at it. Plus those fuckers owe us these coupons anyway--dont forget they sold that spectrum for a bazillion bux, so they better damn well fork over the cash for converter boxes.

Re:Lots of pork still to cut (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773313)

Obama was elected by converter boxes living in watershed lands that were passed over by the census?

Good. (2, Interesting)

DustyShadow (691635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26772985)

That stuff should not be in a STIMULUS bill. Each of those things should be in their own separate bills.

Has anyone stopped to consider. . . (1)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773027)

. . . that half of the US population doesn't even want [itexaminer.com] broadband?

trickle (1)

supermegadope (990952) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773037)

Same old same old, trickle down, give to the fat cats and watch them get fatter... oh and there might be a crumb or two left for you guys to fight over...

Patsy (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773081)

If you're sitting around a poker table, and you don't know who the patsy is, then it's you. Everyone wants this bill, because they think "the other guy" will get screwed more. Everyone cries foul play when THEIR pork gets cut.

Re:Patsy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26773319)

The closest a politician ever gets to cutting pork is makin' bacon. All they doing now is just negotiating the price and not just with their fellow politicians.

Good (1)

poity (465672) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773197)

The stimulus bill is for jump-starting the economy. We need to give it a good crank to restart the stalled engine, not use the starter motor to move the car.

Those projects should be in a bill whose focus is long term growth, which I would fully support once the economy is self-supporting again.

DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE GOVERNMENT (1)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773219)

The Democrats have near absolute power at this point.

Why are they still bothering with the Republicans?

Do you know who is paying for this? (1, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773279)

It's lots of fun to criticize those nasty Republicans for blocking this bill. We can all call them names and blame them entirely for the mess and feel really good about ourselves in the process. But I approach this from a different perspective. As one of the ever-shrinking group of people who pay the freight for these wonderful government programs I thought I would share a few numbers with this forum. When we talk about $800B, how much is that really? Well, take a gander at the following statistics:

- there are 138 million taxpayers in the US
- the top 10% of earners pay 71% of the taxes
- the income cutoff for the top 10% is $109K

So, doing some simple math I compute that those top 10% (roughly 14 million taxpayers) are responsible for $800,000,000,000 times 0.71, or about $40,000 each. Think about that. Someone who makes $109,000 per year is going to have to come up with another $40,000 in taxes. Also remember that many people file jointly, so that $109,000 is really more like a married couple, both of whom work, each making $54,000. Now how many slashdot posters are we talking about here? I would wager there are quite a large number of posters on this board in that top 10%. How many of you have $40,000 laying around that you are willing to give to the government to build schools in another state, or to give broadband to people in the boonies, or the myriad other "critical programs" that need your hard-earned money?

The numbers in this post are for the 2006 tax year and were obtained from http://www.ntu.org/main/page.php?PageID=6 [ntu.org]

The most useful cut first as usual (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773323)

I'm not a big fan of govt programs. They don't work and become mired in bureaucracy. More often still they become pork-barrel rewards to those contributors who are prepared to navigate they byzantine contracting maze to their monetary reward. The honest do not have patience nor overhead to support the navigation.

That said, I initially supported Paulson's 7 page bailout. He knows much more than is obtainable in the public domain, and if he's afraid enough to go on bended knee to Nancy, I'm afraid too. I was alarmed but not suprised when the House rejected it -- there's no way Paulson could tell them everything. It would cause panic. But then I saw the larding the Senate delivered. Paulson could tell those dudes and obviously didn't have a very compelling case. No-one would dare lard 9/11 or Pearl Harbor bills. So I conclude Paulson was mostly trying to spead the blame.

Cutting the most useful function is a frequent response of bureaucracies (political and corporate) when being ordered to cut. They think it will stop the calls to cut. And it doesn't have strong individual interests/defenders like pork. Just general diffuse interests. So it gets cut.

Unfortunately, broadband is in this category. Nevermind that it would help spread advantages that America does have, and increase participation. The next Einstein is out there, but it won't help if s/he stays buried in the anonymous masses.

REPUBLICANS !!! (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26773367)

as always, they managed to pull off a stunt for their leashholders. excuse me but there can be no less strong language here. it is exactly that. cut off funding for broadband public development so that everyone keeps sitting in at&t, comcast's lap.

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