Showing posts with label Stimulus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stimulus. Show all posts

Nov 1, 2011

Earmarks and Pork Barrels

Earmarks are defined as "Provisions associated with legislation that specify certain congressional spending priorities or in revenue bills that apply to a very limited number of individuals or entities."

Pork Barrel usually refers to "Spending that is intended to benefit constituents of a politician in return for their political support, either in the form of campaign contributions or votes." It supposedly originated in a pre-Civil War practice of giving slaves a barrel of salt pork as a reward and requiring them to compete among themselves to get their share of the handout.

Both terms are derogatory and used interchangeably. Either are requested by only one chamber of Congress; not specifically authorized; not competitively awarded; and serve only a local or special interest. Below are a few examples.

$1,800,000 was earmarked for a climate model evaluation program.  This is on top of the $2 Billion in stimulus money for the climate science program, and another half a billion in stimulus money that the White House directed to global warming. I am getting warm just thinking about it.

Aug 19, 2011


The government has a mobile app for your iPhone that shows details of how the stimulus money is and is not being spent. It also has many other details on the web site for your reading pleasure. Did you know that over a hundred billion dollars from the Stimulus has still not been spent?

Jun 18, 2010


Have you wondered how the stimulus dollars are being spent? Here is a site that has the up-to-date news.     Pick your city or state to find out where the money is going. Do not go there if you are easily upset at the billions being spent on nonsense projects.

Mar 4, 2010

Tax Day Coming

More Americans than ever will be subject to scrutiny from the Internal Revenue Service this year as the government pumps billions of dollars into tax collection.

More than 1.4 million Americans were audited last year. Even more audits are expected as the Obama administration plans to spend $8.2 billion in tax enforcement initiatives in 2011, a nearly 10% increase over last year. That is one stimulus that may pay off for the government. . .

Oct 28, 2009

Stimulating Stimulus Study

As part of the stimulus this past Spring, Kaiser Permanente received 25 million dollars and is embarking on a two year genetic analysis of 100,000 older Californians. Genetic data from a diverse group of California patients will be gleaned from samples of saliva.

Doesn't look like any new jobs were created, but researchers will be able to study the data and seek insights into the interplay between genes, the environment, and disease, along with access to detailed electronic health records, patient surveys, and records of environmental conditions where the patients live and work.

The object is to produce a very large amount of genetic and phenotypic (what organisms look like) data that investigators and scientists can begin asking questions of. Researchers will look for genetic influences that determine why some people suffering from cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes deteriorate more rapidly than others, and find which genetic factors reduce the effectiveness of various drugs or make them hazardous. How stimulating. I thought the stimulus money was to be spent to stimulate jobs?


The term, pork is sometimes used to describe legislative appropriations meant to favor specific projects, to gain favor, or repay political debts for legislators. Now we have something new - stimulated pork.

The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service spent $24.3 million of stimulus funds for pork. It bought $16.9 million of canned pork, $2.6 million of ham, and $4.8 million of sliced ham. The Agriculture Department is sending the meat to food banks as part of a $150 million effort to feed hungry Americans.

Sep 17, 2009

Stimulated Internet

The $787 billion stimulus bill set aside up to $350 million to create a national broadband map that could guide policies aimed at expanding high-speed Internet access. According to AP, it is also to figure out where broadband Internet access is available and how fast it is. The NTIA also wants extensive data on that behind-the-scenes Internet infrastructure. Officially, the goal for the map is to help shape broadband policy and determine where best to invest the $7.2 billion in stimulus money earmarked for broadband programs.

In addition to the NTIA's mapping project, there's a parallel push at the FCC to gather more detailed data on broadband subscribers. Both efforts are designed to aid the Administration in setting telecom policy, said Colin Crowell, a senior counselor to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Of course the mapping will not be done by the February 2010 release date of a national broadband plan being developed by the Federal Communications Commission, which is also mandated by the stimulus bill.

North Carolina's state broadband authority e-NC already maintains a map of broadband availability in the state, detailed enough to list individual addresses, according to executive director Jane Smith Patterson.

Rory Altman, director at telecommunications consulting firm Altman Vilandrie & Co., which has helped clients map broadband availability, said $350 million was a "ridiculous" amount of money to spend on a national broadband map. The firm could create a national broadband map for $3.5 million, and "would gladly do it for $35 million," Altman said.

Dave Burstein, editor of the DSL Prime broadband industry newsletter, believes a reasonable cost for the map would be less than $30 million.

Internet service providers have already committed to handing over data about where they have broadband coverage, so the main job will be to collect and translate that information into a map.

When the Pew Internet and American Life Project surveyed people who didn't have broadband in 2007 and 2008, it found that most of them aren't interested in it, find the Internet too hard to use, or don't have computers.