It all started up, (for me), when I heard about the second stimulus check Congress was proposing during the Pandemic. “Let’s get money in the hands of millions of Americans to spend so they can help the economy.” It “kind of” made sense economically the first time when the money came around in April-June at $1200 per person plus extra unemployment pay for folks desperate to pay their bills. I just didn’t do the math. Last time 128,300,000 Americans received $1200 a piece (all this is approximate). If you multiply two numbers together you get around 156 Billion Dollars. It didn’t compute in my head that this was 156 Billion of 2.2 Trillion Dollars given away. (Basically stimulus checks amounted to the POINT TWO of “2.2 Trillion” leaving 2 Trillion Dollars more given out). Speaking only for myself, I think I was too busy trying to find toilet paper than worrying about where the other 2 Trillion Dollars went! Even this time it didn’t compute until President Trump refused to sign the 990 Billion Dollar Bill brought before him because he said, “I’m not signing this unless Americans are given $2000 a piece instead of $600 a piece.” The different news organizations started mentioning different talking tracks on who was getting what. Marceil mentioned something about Pakistan and a special interest group of people getting so much money etc. etc.. I started doing the math. Then I started to follow the money. If the proposal is $600 a piece times the same 130,000,000 people the cost to the government is 78 Billion. Under President Trumps proposal at $2000 a piece brings the price tag in around 260 Billion. There is a bunch of jockeying between the political parties over it, but what is troubling to me is NOT 78 Billion verses 260 Billion–BUT THE REST OF THE MONEY TO EQUAL 990 BILLION!
So I read the thing. EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. They say it is 5563 pages. It is but not the way you and I write a page. It is 5563 pages using that legislative line numbered page–about 125 words a page. Normal writing is 250 to 300 words a page. This second stimulus bill is around 2200-2300 pages if read like a normal book. It is called: “THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 133 CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 2021.”
The “talking heads” from the news channels call it the bill “no one has read.” Anyone who says that from here on is not reporting accurately. I read the thing. I even kept some notes. It is difficult to follow because some parts of it has amounts of money. Other parts of it have ideology with no money attachment. Some parts have money and ideology, but no part has any reference to true accountability. The thing that stands out the most is millions and millions of taxpayer dollars are flying into bank accounts all around the world with no real accountability as to where or how the money is spent. For instance the bill allows for $286,000,000 to go to “Family Planning” with the note that it can’t be used to fund abortions, but no other directives.
The only thing we seem to care about is “how much am I going to get?” The bigger question is–“how much is flying out the door when I get what it is I am going to get?” It was/is YOUR MONEY in the first place. The Federal Tax Rate is one tax issue. You pay Federal Taxes, State Taxes, County Taxes, City Taxes, Excise Taxes, Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, and if you have internet you have three or four other fees and taxes. If you fly you pay five or six other taxes. Close to 30%–40% of every dollar that goes through your hands goes to some kind of tax–and that is if you make less than $60,000 per year. When the Congress of the United States pays out 990 billion dollars with you getting $600 AFTER paying them 30% to 40% of your income, YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED. You might even want to think it over, and even demand some accountability.
The notes I took while reading the 5563 pages looked scattered around after I re-read them. I felt bad about myself until I started looking back over the bill and realized it isn’t me that should feel bad about my notes–the ones who should feel bad ARE THE ONES WHO WROTE IT!
I don’t want to “cherry pick” the most outrageous stuff like: the Secretary of the Treasury gets $258,000 in expenses with another $350,000 at his/her disposal that doesn’t look like they even need a receipt to give account. Almost $600,000 the Secretary of the Treasury can spend with no accountability. Almost every department get millions, and tens of millions of dollars to market stuff that is free to people in the first place–like the IRS. It looks to me like the IRS gets $126,963,000 to market itself. Here are some amounts from the Department of Defense (these are amounts that go to the various armed services departments). I left the name off each one just to speed up your reading: 376 Million; 65 Million; 500 Million; 33 Million; 11 Million; 16 Million; 1.5 Billion; 285 Million; 300 Million; 5 Million; 195 Million; 18 Billion; 66 Billion; 17 Billion; 1 Billion; 30 Million; 796 Million.
500 Million to Israel–HOWEVER–we are giving 500 Million to Jordan to procure their borders. (Which they will use to threaten Israel–my opinion).
275 Million to Ukraine for their military to defend against Russia and 453 Million to aid Ukraine. 132.5 Million to aid the Republic of Georgia. 325 Million to Congo. 135 Million to Burma. 3 Billion to Afghanistan.
1.6 Billion to Nuclear Energy; 380 Million for the Mississippi River; 2.5 Billion to the IRS; 341 Million for the FCC; 42 Million for the FDIC; 351 Million for the FTC; 2 Billion to the SEC.
4.4 Million as a little allowance for former Presidents to draw from.
10 Million to study Hydrocarbons.
8 Billion to the Secretary of Transportation.
1.6 Billion for Cyber Security.
8 Million for Presidential transition.
13 Million to run the White House. 2.5 Million for maintenance on the White House.
14 Million for the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars.
26 Million for security of the JFK Center of Arts.
There are many, many more items. (Dozens)
I don’t want to be that person who is poking and pointing and causing trouble. I want to be a problem solver, not a opinionated dramatic idiot. Here is what we need to do:
- WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT SOMETHING OTHER THAN JUST ME. “It” needs to be more than just about “how much am I going to get.” “How much” is a distraction. The real issue is: what is it REALLY going to cost me?
- WE NEED TO ASK QUESTIONS OF OUR CONGRESS. Letters, emails, social media–whatever you can do, do it.
- WE NEED TO DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY ON HOW OUR MONEY IS BEING SPENT. Just because our Treasury Department can print more money, doesn’t mean they should. The Government of a nation exists to manage the population NOT TO CONTROL the population. We need systems in place to help us mange ourselves.
- WE NEED TO DEMAND THAT EVERY PERSON; STATE; NATION; we help has to spend the money we give them to purchase American made and American supported products. (Much of the money we give to other nations are being spent to purchase materials from non-allies of America). THIS PRACTICE HAS TO STOP. The Inspector General of the United States has a big job, but an important one. Whatever happens, the best way to help our economy is by using every tax dollar collected to be used for American products and American services. Doing this would help our American economy out in a much broader, grander way than a stimulus check going into my bank account.
Consider going an extra mile in this. Kindly lobby your friends. Don’t shoot off your mouth in partisanship, but relate to people. Join one another in this sojourn of life. We need to help one another. We need to depend on each other, not on a government. The government exists to serve us, not us serve it. Consider writing/emailing your Representative or/and Senator. Keep it simple–SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
Dear Friend, Thank you for serving the people of our District (State). I am writing in grave concern for the future of our nation. The Pandemic has brought to the forefront many things of concern. One of them is the way our tax dollars are spent. I am concerned about how line items in the Millions and Billions of dollars are approved to be spent under the disguise of helping Americans. I would appreciate your effort in holding Departments accountable for the money they are spending. I am an American taxpayer and it is my money. Please review the accountability systems that are in place so that every American Dollar that is spent can be spent to HELP AMERICA–(American jobs; American economy; our American way of life). Please insist on a deep audit of the use of the money spent. Thank you again for your service to America.