...moron. Or, more accurately, morons.
Cassy Fiano makes this very pertinent point:
Let’s recap the current economic state of our country. Our deficit has been quadrupled in one year. The unemployment rate is in double digit territory, the highest its been since 1982. We’ve lost 16,000 jobs a day since the stimulus package was passed. The public debt is around $11 trillion.
Teh Won has droned on endlessly how the government needs to concentrate on jobs, jobs...JOBS!!! So other than the "jobs" bill (Son of Porkulus) being floated out there (which is nothing more than another piece of pork crap), what is the House Democratic "leadership" doing to "help"? Buying 3000 acres. For a park. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix in particular. For $50 million. $50 million in new spending. Of money the federal government doesn't have. Read on below the fold.
The bill to buy the park, H.R. 3726, was introduced by U.S. Virgin Islands Delegate Donna Christensen. Wouldn't you know it, she's a Democrat. Surprise, surprise, surprise. Someone named Gasperi currently owns the land; for about four years, they've been wanting to sell it to the federal government instead of some private outfit because they want the land to be kept pristine, not developed for some other commercial use. As noted by the Fox News piece and Cassy, they could just keep it. Naturally, the Gasperi's found people, all Democrats, who met P.T. Barnum's criteria within 4 hours. Actually, it's 4 hours and one minute if you include Christensen (she doesn't have the power to cast a vote).
H.R. 3726 isn't an appropriations bill, so there is no money in this bill for a purchase. But an appropriation, whenever that comes, would be brand new spending with money the federal government doesn't have. The CBO scored this and contains some real gems. The National Park Service (NPS) has just completed a study of the land, which began in 2006; yet, the final report has yet to be issued and House Democrats still want to go ahead with the purchase. It will cost some $26 million over the next 5 years to purchase half of the land, and 10 years in total to acquire all of it. By then, the whole parcel will be estimated as being worth $45 million. It will cost another $1 million to put together a management plan; the NPS would also have to spend $1 million every year for maintenance. Add it up and you get $32 million to have the government purchase and maintain half the land over the first 5 years, plus another $5 million to manage the land over the second 5 years. As it is being reported that the total cost is $50 million over 10 years, I'm guessing that leaves roughly $13 million for purchasing the other half the land, along with interest on the money the government will have to borrow to cover the costs.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the newbie who, at the recent meeting between House Republicans and the President, pointedly told Obama that Teh Won has broken all kinds of campaign promises, interjected some very interesting information during the House floor debate for H.R. 3726 (page down to find Chaffetz's remarks):
Currently, the National Park Service has an estimated $9 billion in backlog, $9 billion that they need to help with the national parks to preserve and to upgrade what we already have in our current holdings.
And yet despite this backlog, House Democrats want to add another $1 million a year to the NPS workload.
The bill to buy this park still has to move on to the Senate, so this isn't a done deal. Plus, as I said earlier, this isn't an appropriations bill so the money to pay for this park has to come from somewhere else. Although, one should wonder if this bill doesn't sneak into the Senate version of Son of Porkulus, just like Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are doing with the "doctor fix".
Cassy again, which reiterates the roll call vote I linked to earlier:
The vote was almost exclusively along party lines, with every Republican and five Democrats voting against it, and 240 Democrats voting for it.
Living in Arkansas, I was wondering which of our 3 Democratic House members voted for this (the only Republican House member from Arkansas, John Boozman, who represents the district I live in, voted against this with the other Republicans). Snyder and Berry, who are retiring, voted for it, so they had nothing to lose. Mike Ross, who is supposed to be one of those really, really tough Blue Dog fiscally responsible Democrats...well, well...Rep. Ross voted for it to. This is what it means to be a fiscally responsible Democrat.
You know what is really sad, the Gasperis could sell their property to some lefty Hollywood dorks who would probably also want to keep the land from being developed and have a place for tourists to go and enjoy, that is if people want to spend the small fortune to fly to St. Croix. But with the federal government deciding to get involved, all of the American people will end up as owners of a 3000-acre parcel that the vast majority will never have the financial ability to see.
Like "professional wrestling" and "jumbo shrimp", "Democratic fiscal responsibility" is an oxymoron. It makes sense, considering the Democrats who voted for this are morons.
(Hat tip: Hot Air)