The following press release has been received from 16th District Congressman Don Manzullo:
As the U.S. House prepares to vote on an $825 billion so-called Stimulus Bill later this week, Congressman Don Manzullo put together a list of major concerns he has with the bill proposed by House Democrat leaders. Manzullo supports initiatives that focus on putting Americans back to work and giving Americans back more of their hard-earned money that they can re-invest in the economy.
The bill as proposed by House Democrat leaders, however, is very different from the legislation President Obama has been discussing and does little to stimulate the economy and put Americans back to work. Here’s Manzullo’s analysis of the House bill as presented:
Americans need jobs right now, and this bill proposed by House Democrat leaders does little to put Americans back to work. It is very different than the bill President Obama has been discussing.
- Despite claims it is a job-creating infrastructure bill, just 4 percent ($30 billion) of the $825 billion bill is allocated for road construction. This amounts to less than one half of the average annual federal road spending allocation.
- The 16th Congressional District will see little of the road funding because it primarily will be given to the states to use at their discretion with no opportunity to earmark funding for specific projects. The State of Illinois has traditionally ignored the road infrastructure needs of northern Illinois outside of Chicago and will continue to do so.
2. The little job-creating infrastructure spending that exists in the bill takes too long to stimulate the economy.
- According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 7 percent of the overall infrastructure spending would be delivered to the economy by the end of the federal fiscal year on October 1.
- Just one in seven dollars of the massive $18.5 billion on energy efficiency and renewable energy projects would be spent within the next 18 months.
- Plans to bring broadband Internet service to rural and underserved areas will take years to implement, and only 25 percent of the clean drinking water projects can be completed by October 2010.
3. The vast majority of spending in this bill has nothing to do with stimulating the economy but rather increasing government social programs.
- The debate over whether to increase these government programs should come during the normal budgeting process – it should not be disguised as emergency stimulus spending.
- The non-job creating spending in this bill includes:
a) $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts.
b) $400 million to study climate change.
c) $200 million to revitalize the National Mall, including planting new sod.
d) $1.1 billion to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a permanent board to ration health care services, a precursor to universal health care.
e) Hundreds of millions of dollars for contraceptives and family planning services through Medicaid.
f) $650 million dollars for additional digital TV converter box coupons.
g) $166 billion in direct aid to help states pay their bills.
h) $13 billion for reading programs.
i) $15.6 billion to increase the maximum annual Pell grant (for college students) by $500 from $4,360 to $4,860.
j) $3 billion to public health departments for additional immunizations.
k) $1 billion in additional funding to pay heating bills of low-income Americans.
l) $1 billion for the 2010 census.
m) $100 million for National Science Foundation scholarships.
n) $200 million for nutrition programs.
o) $200 million to provide incentives to teachers to raise test scores.
p) $2 billion in additional funds for low-income child care.
q) $900 million in additional funds to prepare for the pandemic flu.
4. The record spending in this bill will skyrocket the national debt and stick our children and grandchildren with the bill. We are wasting hundreds of billions of dollars each year on interest on the debt.
- The national debt was $9.2 trillion in 2008, is estimated at $10.3 trillion in 2009 after the bailouts, and is estimated at $10.8 trillion if the stimulus bill is enacted.
- At $9.2 trillion in 2008, Americans paid $420 billion that year just on interest on the debt. That’s nearly one fourth of the entire federal budget for that year. If the stimulus bill is enacted, that interest payment will approach $500 billion in 2009.
5. I support alternative stimulus provisions that focus more on job creation and giving Americans back more of their hard-earned money that they can re-invest in the economy.
- Just last week, I introduced legislation (HR 550) to stimulate the economy and create jobs by giving Americans a $5,000 tax credit to purchase a new vehicle. The automobile industry and its suppliers account for 13 million American jobs, 20 percent of all U.S. retail sales, and billions of dollars in state and local sales taxes. The drop in U.S. vehicle sales from 16.2 million in 2007 to 10.5 million in 2008 removed $175 billion directly from our economy and has been one of the leading causes of America’s economic downturn and huge job losses. If we can incentivize people to buy cars again, we can go a long way to restoring our economy.
- I also cosponsored legislation (HR 101) that would provide a tax credit up to $7,500 to encourage Americans to buy homes again, putting millions of Americans back to work in the housing and real estate industry.
- We should also give Americans back more of their hard-earned money so they can re-invest it back in the economy. By lowering the two lowest tax rates from 10 to 5 percent and 15 to 10 percent, we could save a married couple up to $3,200 a year in taxes.
- We should also reduce the heavy tax burden on America’s business community – especially the job-creating small businesses – so they can better afford to put Americans back to work.
Posted first at McHenry County Blog.