There has been quite a bit of complaining that the current stimulus bill that was just passed by the House and is going to Senate is filled with pork and special spending projects. This is a silly complaint – of course it is!
The bill is a spending bill. It should be loaded to the gills with pork. That is what spending bills do – they spend money. In fact, it should have so much pork in it that a reasonably religious person of Jewish descent should run for the hills!
Of course, it shouldn’t have silly things in it like contraceptives. That does nothing for the economy despite the silliness of Ms. Pelosi. But it should be filled with pet projects from every mayor and county commissioner in the land. If the mayor of a 20-30,000 citizen city CAN’T get a million or two out of this bill – they should be run out of town! In case there are any mayors or governors out there that can’t figure out what to ask for that they can spend money on RIGHT NOW then I made a list of projects that they should consider.
The overall goals for the pork should be to get people working, spending money, and kickstart the economy. We know that housing is hurting. Housing has a couple of different contributors to the economy but mostly it is the sale of the raw materials and the employment of the laborers. Let’s get them all going again. Also, since we want to make ourselves as efficient as possible, lets try to do things that will help the environment a bit as well. Finally, in the cases where we have to buy some products, lets try to keep them mostly made in the good old USA.
This bill should be absolutely packed with new bridges, roads, baseball parks, swimming pools and public gymnasiums. Some of these new bridges and roads may not be able to be “shovel ready” so let’s expand the list a bit. Many of these things that I list will take labor to install (which is a good thing), labor to manufacture and ship (more good) and raise everyone’s spirits a bit as well.
- The schools should be talking about new wings, and new fields (as well as bonuses for their worthy teachers).
- Every school desk that is older than 10 years old should be replaced (and the old one should be put on some of those empty cargo containers and sent to Africa)
- Replace every chalkboard that is over 10 years old in every school in the land.
- Buy a dictionary for every student (while you are at it – throw in the works of Mark Twain, Jack London, Edgar Rice Borroughs, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare and HG Wells)
- We should be painting every curb and park bench in every town in the land.
- We should have armies of unemployed people walking the highways and byways and rivers collecting trash and cleaning up stuff (zero unemployment right there).
- We should replace every single bathroom fixture in every public school and government building that is older than 10 years old (that should keep some plumbers busy).
- Every government parking lot should be cleaned and relined.
- Every public basketball court, tennis court and soccer field should be repainted and new fixtures installed.
- Every school classroom that has not been painted in the last 10 years should be repainted.
- We should buy 10 reams of paper for every student in the land and deliver it to the school that they are attending (throw in some pencils too) (keep some factories busy).
- Give every teacher of a public school a laptop (keep some factories busy).
- Wire every school in the land for the Internet (keep some electricians busy).
- Put one computer for every 5 students into every school in the country (more factories churning away).
- Provide every student over the age of 10 with a high end calculator (and still more factories).
- We should plant wildflowers in every mile of every median of every interstate in the country (when all the unemployed from 6 get done cleaning up, they can go back and plant flowers – more zero unemployment).
- Every public pool should be drained and painted (we might run out of painters with all of my ideas).
- Every park bench over 10 years old should be rebuilt.
- Every park should get a double amount of picnic benches made out of wood.
- Every park should get an outdoor shelter (don’t forget that we need the carpenters to be busy).
- Any park that has a swing set or recreational set older than 10 years should replace it with a new one.
- Every window that is older than 15 years of every government building should be replaced.
- Every government park or parking lot or basketball court that has a chain link fence around it older than 10 years should be replaced (more factories).
- We should give 50 yards of 3 inch insulation to every family with an income under 50K so that they can cut their heat bills (and undoubtedly pay a worthy carpenter to install it).
- We should give new high efficient windows to every home that is over 20 years old and is owned and lived in by a family with an income under 50K provided the installation is done by a qualified installer.
- We should paint and re-shingle every home that is over 20 years old and is owned and lived in by a family with an income under 50K provided the work is done by a qualified installer.
- We should put a high efficient water heater and furnace in every home that is over 30 years old and is owned and lived in by a family with an income under 50K provided the work is done by a qualified installer.
- We should plant 15 new trees on the grounds of every school, federal, state, city and county building (good for the unemployed to do this and also good for the environment).
- Every public bus, fire truck, police car and school bus should get new tires, new hoses, and new brakes (keep the mechanics and the factories working).
- Every public bus should be converted to natural gas.
- The government should offer to match 50 cents on the dollar for the downpayment of any car that is 55% made in the USA (lets get GM, Chrysler, and Ford out of the red).
- Every farmer should be given the opportunity to have a 50 cents on the dollar match for the downpayment of any one piece of farm equipment (Cummins, Deere, and Caterpillar need to get going too).
- Any fluorescent bulb in any government building or school that is not a high frequency bulb should be replaced.
- Every city over 50,000 should install wi-fi throughout their city and then allow companies to bid on running the service (stimulate new business as well as employ some electricians).
- Free admission to any zoo or museum for the months of June through August (lets fill these with kids so that they learn and at the same time pump the money into these facilities).
- $100,000 grant that matches dollar to dollar to any city over the size of 5,000 for fireworks on July 4, 2009 (everyone will feel better for this and that will help turn things around).
- Employ every orchestra and symphony in the land to give free concerts in the park every Saturday night (let’s get people out and feeling happy again)
- A free turkey or ham on Thanksgiving to any family with an income under 50K.
There should be no way we should need to spend money on things like contraceptives. The list is too easy to generate on things that would improve infrastructure, make the world a bit nicer, use materials that are produced in the US and employ manual laborers to install.
I am sure that I missed things but literally this list took only 5 minutes of thought to create and I probably spent a couple hundred billion dollars and employed between 50,000 and 100,000 people for at least 1 year. This doesn’t include any big projects like roads and bridges that are already able to be funded but were trying to find the funds. It also doesn’t factor in any multiplier effect that will occur by the spending of this money.
If you agree that this list is on the right track – send it to you Senator and your Congressman. While you are at it, send the list to your Mayor and Governor.