NBC broke down some of the bigger numbers in the bill, for example: $275 billion in tax relief , $90 billion for infrastructure, $79 billion for school funding, etc. Sounds good, right? But in the fine print, there's a lot of proposed spending that may raise a few eyebrows. In an interview with President Barack Obama, CBS' Katie Couric called him on some of the more unusual proposals:
- $6.2 billion for home weatherization
- $50 million for port modernization and water and wastewater infrastructure needs in Guam
-$100 million for children to learn green construction
Obama defended the weatherization spending by emphasizing the long-term effects:
"We're going to weatherize homes, that immediately puts people back to work and we're going to train people who are out of work, including young people , to do the weatherization. As a consequence of weatherization, our energy bills go down and we reduce our dependence on foreign oil. What would be a more effective stimulus package than that?"
Fair enough. But what about the $800 million for Amtrak? Or the $150 million for the Smithsonian Institute? And there's more: So much more, in fact, that the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has set up a website that allows users to comb through the more than 900-page-long bill. You decide: Economic stimulus or wasteful spending?
- $198 million for U.S. military benefits for Filipinos who fought for the U.S. during WWII
- $75 million for "smoking cessation activities"
- $87 million for the "design of a new polar icebreaker"
- $335 million for HIV/STD screening
- $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees
Whole story here...