by Rick Henderson
Editor-in-Chief, Carolina Journal
President Obama will be in the Triangle again Wednesday, touting his American Jobs Act, which, at a price tag of $477 billion, is supposed to stimulate the economy more than the $824 billion American Reinvestment and Recovery Act could not.
The White House has helpfully broken down the bill’s purported impact on every state (should the bill actually be introduced and eventually pass). North Carolina’s share is here (PDF).
We’ll have more to say about this in the days to come. But at first blush, Obama wants to spend more than $1.7 billion in North Carolina to pay police, firefighters, and teachers, and refurbish K-12 schools, community colleges, and private homes.
While yes, several of these programs and projects were funded by the first stimulus law, I challenge anyone to show me where any of these are considered functions of the federal government in U.S. Constitution. I dare you.
Moreover, the money to pay first responders and educators is a one-time, one-year infusion of cash. All of these public employees anticipate working for more than one year. As a matter of tradition, North Carolina does not use one-time spending to pay for recurring expenses (including employee compensation).
We contacted the White House press office, attempting to gain the methodology the president used to come up with these figures. We weren’t successful.
The more you dig into the details of Stimulus II, the more it seems Rush Limbaugh is right: Obama has no intention of this becoming law. Instead, he wants to use it as a political weapon against his opponents.
Welcome to the perpetual campaign.