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Bailout Bill, part II

January 19, 2009

I left off on page 40, wading thru the taxpayer money handed to the Dept. of Agriculture. If I was a Government Department, I’d lobby for a name changed that moved me further down into the bill.

Anyway, to get us back in the swing of things, there’s another 3% for administrative costs on the  $2,825,000,000 for Rural Electrification. That means $84,750,000 for paperwork.

$100,000,000 (not much for this bill, 100 MILLION!) for a “special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children, aka WIC). I guess government cheese will come with a nice bottle of wine, now.  No, wait – this is for state IT systems that keep track of the government cheese. There’s also a note that “the maximum allotment”  can’t be reduced by the Secretary of Agriculture.

There’s also $150,000,000 to cover state administrative costs on the disbursement of $100,000,000. So it costs more to keep track of the money than it does to give it out.  It really feels like there’s something here. Let me know if you figure it out.

Up next, the Commerce Department!

Economic Development Assistance $250,000,000 this is an administrative amount, and at least they specified that this shall not exceed 2% of the main prize. Up to $50,000,000 of this may be transferred to regional economic development commissions.

$1,000,000,000 for Census programs.

$350,000,000 for National Telecomm and Info Administration. For Salaries and Expenses for the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program. This is for developing initiatives to identify and track availability and implementation of broadband services. In other words, making a plan to measure another plan. Oh – they’ll also do a “broadband inventory map”.

Wireless & Broadband Deployment Grants – $2,825,000,000.

Converter Boxes – $650,000,000. For coupons for folks who didn’t see the millions of commercials saying “HEY! YOU NEED A CONVERTER BOX! UNLESS YOU HAVE CABLE, OR SATELLITE!”

Nat. Institute of Standards and Tech, Scientific and Technical Research and Services (how much could they save in signage if they just shortened their name?) They get $100,000,000. For nothing in particular.

Industrial Technology Services – another $100,000,000, 70 for expenses of another program, and $30 million to Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Here’s their Web site (no thanks to the bill). Apparently they’re a consulting firm that promotes Six Sigma, and also helps find private and public money for manufacturers. They certainly did a good job for themselves. Offices in most states – and they seem to be hiring. Geez – only down to page 47. I’ll post more later- have to go check out the sales at Circuit City. Everything must go!

Update: picking back up on page 48.

$300,000,000 for construction of research facilities.

$400,000,000 to NOAA for “Operations, Research, and Facilities” for habitat restoration.

$600,000,000 for satellites, computer modelling, and other climate data and modelling. I wonder what the carbon footprint for printing this bill was…

Page 53 – they’re going into details about rural broadband and wireless development. Here’s an interesting term – “unjust enrichment.” Wouldn’t that apply to any recipients of bailout bill funding?  Too bad the Founders didn’t right down any thoughts on how broad or limited the role of government should be. Oh, wait, there’s this. Enumerated Powers, anyone?

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