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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why Obama Wants to Spend More

President Obama wants to spend more money. That’s why he wanted the debt ceiling raised; that’s why he wants to raise taxes; that’s why the Fed is keeping interest rates artificially depressed and printing dollars. When you see the great use he’s put our money to already, it’s not hard to see why he thinks that spending more will rocket our economy out of the pits and into the stratosphere.

We are two years into President Obama’s stimulus package, and it’s difficult to ignore the spectacular results. People all over the country are getting back to work. For example, President Obama’s National Endowment for the Arts granted $50,000 to Atlanta, Georgia’s Center for Puppetry Arts. “Since 1978, the Center has introduced millions of visitors to the wonder and art of puppetry,” the Center’s website claims. “We believe puppetry is awe-inspiring and magical.” The Obama administration agreed, and in the process, they created 1.90 jobs. Perhaps one retained puppeteer was missing a digit. (In actuality, five jobs were “retained,” and none were created, according to the aptly-named recovery.gov website.)

The American Museum of Ceramic Art, which received $50,000 to create 1.37 jobs, was also part of this economic surge. If the Obama administration had given this amount to the Center for Puppetry Arts, making a total of $100,000 it could have created 3.80 total jobs rather than 3.27.) Puppetry is more cost-effective than ceramics – you don’t have to pay the puppets.

It has only cost us $50,304,622 so far for awards through the NEA. This is certainly an example of recovery one job at a time.

But Obama hasn’t spent it all in one place. He’s spent $10,890,060,866 on important agricultural programs. Aquaculture producers in Alabama, for example, received over $9 million to compensate them for their losses due to increased feed costs for catfish. Those of us who love peculiar seafood dishes will be satisfied. Those of us who keep kosher will not. But at least we can keep full with Algood peanut butter – that company has pulled in $5 million in awards from the feds. The Department of Agriculture went even further with its stimulus dollars, ensuring that states like New York would be reimbursed for subsidizing student lunches. How’s that for a racket? Subsidize farmers for making peanut butter, then subsidize schools to buy that costly peanut butter for their students. Everybody wins!

The real estate market is already in a hole. But President Obama is determined not to stop digging. Under the auspices of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the stimulus package has provided $325,877,114 to build low-income housing in California. The goal: building 3,550 units of affordable housing. By 2012, nearly two million homes in California will have been foreclosed upon. One in five foreclosures in the country takes place in California. President Obama’s solution: build more houses. How many jobs were created by this initiative? According to the administration, 1,164.78. (That last guy must have been missing two digits.) Taxpayers absorbed a cost of $279,775.68 for each of those jobs.

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