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No Pork, Part II

Obama is aware that a few people might be skeptical of the government’s ability to spend 500 or so billion dollars quickly and wisely. The Washington Post reports:

Obama said he will incorporate a trio of provisions in the nearly
$800 billion stimulus package under review by Congress — dubbed the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — to ensure that the money is
not wasted. The provisions include establishing a special panel to
monitor use of the money; a Web site that will allow taxpayers to
monitor use of the money; and a ban on lawmakers’ pet projects, known
as earmarks.

"We’re going to be investing an extraordinary amount of money to
jump-start our economy, save or create 3 million new jobs, mostly in
the private sector, and lay a solid foundation for future growth. But
we’re not going to be able to expect the American people to support
this critical effort unless we take extraordinary steps to ensure that
the investments are made wisely and managed well," Obama said after an
hour-long meeting with his economic team.

Watching how this money is going to be spent is going to be highly entertaining. But it’s good to know it won’t be wasted. Phew. There. I’m feeling better already.

Obama also wants the budget process reformed so we can stop running trillion dollar deficits sooner than later. Should be a piece of cake:

The mounting debt has raised an alarm on Capitol Hill, where some Republicans and moderate Democrats are pressing Obama to tackle the looming challenge of skyrocketing Medicare and Social Security spending, and to adopt tough new budget rules to prevent future deficits from ballooning.

Congressional aides said one possibility would be a return to the
stringent budget rules of the late-1980s, when overspending
automatically triggered across-the-board cuts to federal programs, a
process known as "sequestering."

Hoyer, a champion of fiscally conservative Democrats in the House,
acknowledged that sequestering is an option. But it’s "not something
lawmakers are eager to approve," he said, because it would take control
over federal spending out of the hands of Congress.

Hmmm. Feature or bug? Want to bet on that happening?


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