Friday, January 23, 2009

What's in the American Recovery and Reinvestment bill

This is from the House version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

(1) To preserve and create jobs and promote economic recovery.
(2) To assist those most impacted by the recession.
(3) To provide investments needed to increase economic efficiency by spurring technological advances in science and health.
(4) To invest in transportation, environmental protection, and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.
(5) To stabilize State and local government budgets, in order to minimize and avoid reductions in essential services and counterproductive state and local tax increases.

The money allocated must be used by specific time frames - some as early as 30 days following passage of the act, but some as much as two years following passage. Up to .5% of the allocation can be used by the federal government to oversee the administration of the funds/projects. Also, in addition to the money for programs under the act, $208.5 million is designated for the Office of the Inspector General to provide oversight and auditing of the various programs funded. There is an additional $25 million amount to fund "Government Accountability Office—Salaries and Expenses" for oversight activities relating to the Act.

There is a prohibition on the use of the funds. They cannot be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

There are transparency requirements which mandate that all information relating to the funds be published on a website, including any reviews by the Inspector General about the usage of the funds, the bimonthly reviews by the Comptroller General. Details about the website begin on page 20 of the linked Act.

In addition to these requirements, the Act creates a 7-member Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board. Of course, a board needs a staff, and the authority to hire and set the compensation for such staff is included. Details on the board can be found starting on page 16. And no board is complete without an advisory panel, so a 5-member "Independent Advisory Panel" is also created to make recommendation to prevent waste, fraud or abuse in the spending. They get travel expenses and per diem compensation. Finally, the board gets $14 million to perform the requirements set forth for it in the Act.

The Act incorporates whistleblower protections for anyone reporting inappropriate actions relating to spending by states and local governments with money from the bill.

The rest of the bill is all specific spending for various government departments. I'll be breaking that down in further posts, but in the mean time, you might want to read this Bloomberg article which says that much of the spending in the plan won't be until next year.


Hot Dog Man said...

This is just stupid! Big government spending did NOT work in the 30's when Roosevelt did it and it will NOT work by increasing the amount in the new century under BHO. Does no one in the Congress read history books? The huge spending by FDR actually made the depression go on longer than it would have if left alone. Hello? is anybody understanding this? Bueller?...Bueller?...???

Timothy W Higgins said...


I guess that it's nice to know that the government will be transparent in the wholesale and mostly useless expansion of ... government.

I am sure that my great-grandchildren, still attempting to pay for all of this many years from now, will be grateful.

Cynical Counsel said...

The current bill includes 600 million:

"$600 million to address shortages and prepare our country for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers"

Any questions on the left's intentions, supported by the President, should be answered.


Soon we all will be treated with the care and respect no afforded those who use the VA for their healthcare.


HaskinsJohn said...

I'm not sure what bothers me more; the $600,000,000 that Glenn Beck talked about to "prepare our country for universal health care" or the same amount going to "the acquisition of motor vehicles, including plug-in and alternative fuel vehicles" (page 76 of the 647 page pdf). That's the most depressing pdf you'll scan all week, guaranteed!

Cynical Counsel said...

What sort of training does the American medical profession need to spend 600 million on?

We already have the best trained medical professionals, they don't need refresher courses on how to start and IV.

We already serve millions (allegedly) of uninsured or those on social program health care, Medicare and Medicaid.

So what training is needed. 600 million dollars on how to "manage" the massive bureaucracy President Obama and the left hope to create, that's what training.

Bend over - the Govt. finger waive is on its way.


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