Ever buy a house?  Part of the drill is to read the twenty pages or so of fine print associated with the deal.  There is the mortgage agreement, the title report, etc.  If you don’t read these documents, you are likely to end up like thousands of Americans who have lost their homes to foreclosure.  Usually, people complain that there is just too much detail and they don’t want to spend the time.  Big mistake.

Now Congress is about to buy the farm, IMO.  More correctly stated, they are about to spend about $790,000,000,000 of your tax dollars.  The plan to do this is now a 1071 page document, released late last night (around 11:00 p.m. Thursday, February 12, I believe).  There is a summary (that can be a bit deceiving*) available.  It is reported in today’s news that a vote is planned for 1:00 p.m. on the bill.  That means that members of Congress have about 14 hours (if they choose not to sleep) to read, understand, consider and then vote on this bill. My guess is that there will not be a single Member of Congress who will have read all of the bill prior to voting.  I guess they are just too busy with this “emergency” to read the details.

I have read more of the bill than most.  I find a great deal of it to be “politics-as-usual” in Washington, D.C.  There are pet projects for almost every Member of Congress who will vote for the plan.  To my way of thinking, less than half of the funds will be spent on items that are remotely connected with “Stimulus.”

I would sure like someone who has read the bill to give me a rationale as to why this bill must be passed and signed before anyone has read it.  I would also like to know (if it is such an emergency to pass this bill before anyone has read it), why is such a large percentage of the money not allocated for use for two or three years.  It may be brilliant or it may be trash but I am quite sure no Member of Congress will truly know which it is before he or she votes on it.  What a sad day this is and what a sad commentary on our Congress.  Politics as Usual, $790 Billion of it.  Vote now.  Worry about what you are doing later.

 

* I wanted to show an example but could not get the full bill on the internet until after the actual time of the vote.  I just got a copy via Huffington Post (not on the Appropriations Committee website) and it is a late mark-up version that still may not be the final.

** As an example of the fun it is to read all 200,000+ words of this document, here is an minute example:

(a) AUTHORITY TO MAKE PAYMENTS.-

19 (1) ELIGIBILITY.-

20 (A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to paragraph

21 (5) (B), the Secretary of the Treasury shall dis-

22 burse a $250 payment to each individual who,

23 for any month during the 3-month period end-

24 ing with the month which ends prior to the

25 month that includes the date of the enactment

1 of this Act, is entitled to a benefit payment de-

2 scribed in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) of subpara-

3 gTaph (B) or is eligible for a SSI cash benefit

4 described in subparagraph (C).

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