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GovernmentGrowthulus, not Porkulus, is the real danger

Originally published by Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report

Even if Congress strips out all the “porkulus” from the non-stimulus bill, remaining provisions would require the hiring of 600,000 new, permanent government employees over the next four years.

That would represent a 25-30% increase in the size of the federal civilian workforce that would probably never be reduced.

Maybe we need a new label for this trillion dollar monstrosity, lest we aid and abet its passage?

I suggest it be called “GovernmentGrowthulus”.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) explains (pictured):

The bill’s selling point is that three million jobs will be created or saved by this package. What’s alarming is that each job will cost $286,000 to create or save. Moreover, one in five will be a government job.

Moreover, the bill’s revenue-sharing provisions would permanently entrench tens of thousands of employees of irresponsible states? Sarah Palin (pictured), Alaska’s Republican Governor, makes the case:

I am arguing…against increased federal programs that will become a state’s unfunded mandate to continue funding for generations.”

Still excited about removing millions for STD prevention and contraception stimuli?

The greatest threat to future prosperity of America is not pork, nor even the deepening recession. The greatest threat to dimming the lights of the Shining City on a Hill is liberty-sapping government meddling. Redstate’s StephC explains at Hillbilly Politics:

The more meddling there is, the worse things get and has been getting for decades. When is government, mothers, mothers-in-law, and nosy neighbors going to butt out and let us be the adults we are, make our own adult decisions and live with the consequences? It used to be called Federalism or Conservatism. It needs a new name, or at the least a new descriptor: Unmeddling.

The most effective government is the one that meddles the least.

And I doubt I could support the bill even if President Obama caved on all our conservative, supply side tax and regulation cuts wish list and all pork were removed, that the bill should be supported if the permanent growth in government core remains.

It is great that the GOP is again effective at educating the public of the excesses of liberal Democrats and that they stood together to unanimously reject Pelosi’s House version of the bill. The more the public learns of the outrageous line items in the bill, the more they turn against it. It is great that President Obama has caved on the Depression-causing Smoot-Hawley protectionist equivalent.

It is great that Obama has expressed a genuine willingness to accept more tax cuts from Republicans that would actually have a desperately needed stimulative effect.

And, it is great, as Aaron Gardner of Redstate.com suggests, that the daily Democrat tax-cheat scandals reinforce our efforts against their policies.

But my use of the word “desperately” is qualified by a number of factors that make the more desperate task that of de-railing permanent government growth:

a) No stimulus bill can change the laws of nature, which means that America is in for a not short period in which they will have to save money to justify more spending given the loss of home equity;

b) Housing values must reach bottom; and

c) Obama appears to have rejected the kinds of tax cuts that have proven most effective in ending recessions, i.e. corporate, capital gains and top-income rates (making the Bush tax cuts permanent).

One GOP alternative plan does propose the best kinds of tax cuts, but not the bills being offered by Republican senators, apparently based upon Obama’s preemptive rejections. Moreover, mortgage price-fixing doesn’t sweeten the pot anymore that FDR’s and Nixon’s price controls.

I am troubled by the above because the worst outcome of this debate would be for the core GovernmentGrowthulus provisions to remain but that many GOP senators will vote for the bill after much pork is removed and some tax cuts are added. They would be giving cover to the democrats when the bill inevitably fails and would dilute what’s left of their newly reinvigorated conservative brand.

We must find a way to get the public as exorcised about permanent government jobs as we have about Syphilis prevention as job generator.

Maybe we need to launch a Public vs Private version of the Democrats’ class warfare game.

John Q. Public voted for Barack Obama because he promised to create jobs that pay them, not jobs they have to pay for in taxes. They want jobs for non-lawyers, not environmental study job-killing lawyers nor other non-lawyer meddling bureaucrats in Washington and their state capitols.

We may have less than two weeks to make this case to enough democrats in the Senate to force a major re-write of the bill. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) seems receptive (pictured).

We must not give up, because we know from history since the 1930s that once we create government programs we rarely eliminate them. We slouch ever closer towards a European-style high unemployment, permanent low growth Gomorrah.

I plead with GOP senators to resist the temptation to see only voting for a bill as “doing something.” Follow the House lead if you can’t remove the GovenmentGrowthulus and do this thing: Vote no!

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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