Last week, the House of Representatives passed the “Pelosi Pork Package,” a massive spending bill disguised as a stimulus plan. I joined every one of my Republican colleagues and 11 of my Democrat colleagues and voted against this obscene bill, standing up for the American taxpayer and our future generations.
The total cost of this spending bill is a whopping $820 billion. However, this country already has a $10.6 trillion deficit, so we must borrow this money. The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that we will have to pay an additional $347 billion in interest, racking up the total cost of this bill to over $1.1 trillion. With this one vote, if it is passed by the Senate, Speaker Pelosi and her leadership team will have increased the national deficit by almost 10 percent.
I am not opposed to an actual stimulus bill; in fact I voted for the first stimulus package. But the spirit of a stimulus bill is to stimulate the economy as quickly as possible through one-time activities. Instead, Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team used Americans’ desire for economic assistance and President Obama’s popularity to pass a bill filled with long-termed spending projects that would have little to no immediate impact on the economy.
Some of the projects that will supposedly stimulate the economy in the Speaker’s bill: $600 million to purchase new cars for government workers, $25 million to rehabilitate off-roading trails for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), $34 million to remodel the Department of Commerce headquarters, and $400 million for climate change research. All told, the plan establishes at least 32 new government programs at a cost of over $136 billion. That means more than a third of this plan’s spending provisions are dedicated to creating new government programs. I am not quite sure how the Speaker feels this will stimulate the economy, but I do know this is not sound economic policy.
Government does not create wealth. It simply takes money from one person’s pocket and puts it in another’s. Speaker Pelosi would do well to remember that in the future, before she burdens our children and grandchildren with trillions more dollars of debt.
Frank Lucas represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.