For Release: February 3, 2009
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11
or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476
or [email protected]
Black Organization's Leader Slams So-Called Stimulus Earmarks
Washington, D.C. - Responding to GAO estimates that the full cost of the so-called "stimulus" legislation under consideration now on Capitol Hill could reach $1.2 trillion over 10 years, Chairman Mychal Massie of the Project 21 black leadership network is condemning this collection of earmarks, saying it is less about economic growth and more about growing government at the expense of future generations.
"The pretense that passage of this bill will in some way stimulate the economy is an attempt to obfuscate and deceive on a scale not witnessed since Satan suggested Eve try an apple," said Massie. "There seems to be very little in this abominable bill to stimulate our economy. It looks like more of the same congressional pillage and payback that voters have rejected in the past. How is spending $75 million on stop-smoking programs going to jump-start our economy? How is giving Hollywood $246 million in tax breaks for buying film going to create jobs for laid-off autoworkers? How will spending $200 million to lease alternative energy vehicles keep open small businesses in my area, much less protect us all from terrorists? Senators have yet to explain these things as they rush to a vote."
According to the office of Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), egregious spending provisions include a combined $1 billion for construction and renovation of buildings for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Service and National Institutes of Health, $150 million for Smithsonian Institution museum facilities and $400 million more to the CDC for sexually-transmitted disease screening and prevention programs.
Taxpayer money also is earmarked for "youth" job programs for "youths" aged 21-24 and federal home "winterization" assistance for households 200 percent above the poverty level.
"It is refreshing that President Obama has chosen to speak out in favor of people being self-reliant, but the Senate's so-called stimulus bill flies in the face of his encouraging words," added Massie. "These earmarks - planned or not - will only make people more reliant on the government while putting us all further in debt. We must keep in mind that proponents of this legislation are many of the same people who have long aided and abetted the culture of financial corruption and malfeasance that put us in this crisis. Now, they propose to correct it by mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren."
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21's website at www.project21.org/P21Index.html.