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Psephos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:41 PM
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Senate Dem: End 'bottomless pit' stimulus projects
Source: AP

WASHINGTON A senior Democratic senator on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in economic stimulus projects, saying Homeland Security officials were treating the recovery plan like a "bottomless pit" of taxpayer money.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said he was not persuaded by assurances from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that stimulus money was handed out appropriately for renovations at border checkpoints.

The Associated Press reported last month that Homeland Security officials did not follow their internal priority lists when choosing which border checkpoints would get money. The result is that tiny crossings in Montana and Dorgan's home state are set to get money ahead of busier, higher-priority border stations.

Homeland Security officials say they acted appropriately. Dorgan was unconvinced, even though his state stands to receive more than $128 million for checkpoint improvements. "There's no common sense at all to a requirement that says you've got to put up a $15 million facility for a small port of entry that's host to about five vehicles an hour," Dorgan said in a telephone interview. "That seems to suggest that there's a bottomless pit of taxpayers' money out there to be spent."

Dorgan sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, which helps control the purse strings for the federal government. His criticism is a blow to the Obama administration, which has promised to crack down on waste and provide unprecedented transparency to stimulus.


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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:38 PM
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1. That B.C. bud must be far more lucrative than the contracts. Who'd a thought?
He's probably getting a raft of shit from seniors who travel to Canada to get their drugs, too.
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Iowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:42 PM
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2. It's like watching the keystone cops...
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 09:47 PM by Iowa
A "bottomless pit" of money going to Homeland Security, wars about nothing with no end in sight, and a give-away to the insurance industry masquerading as health care "reform". $128 million for checkpoint improvements in North Dakota alone. What a fiasco. And we're stuck with these feckless clowns for another 3 years.

If only we could build do-overs into our election system, re-do the primaries, and send Dennis Kucinich to the WH.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:06 PM
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3. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
bluenote Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:15 PM
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4. End "bottomless pit" Homeland Security theater, in general
Does anyone sleep better at night knowing that the DHS is on guard?

Thanks a lot, Bush, for creating the Frankenstein's Monster of bureaucracies by sewing together a bunch of parts that already had the odor of decay to start with.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:25 PM
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5. "The Principle of Waste"

The most obvious consequence of the Cold War is America's present-day military establishment with its three million fighting men, its more than one million civilian employees, its twenty-two thousand prime arms contractors and its more than two million dependent defense workers. If the oligarchs' determination to prosecute an aggressive foreign policy predates by half a century America's contemporary military machine, the political advantages of the military machine have greatly strengthened their determination. It has enabled the party oligarchs to solve what for them is a grave political problem-how to waste scores of billions of dollars a year.

The problem arises from a fundamental condition created by monopoly capitalism. That system, as Baran and Sweezy and others have demonstrated, cannot generate demand for its products and outlets for investment large enough to absorb the surplus wealth it generates. Since surplus wealth which can be neither invested nor consumed will not be produced, "the normal state of the monopoly capitalist economy is stagnation." Without the government's help, "monopoly capitalism," according to Baran and Sweezy, "would sink deeper and deeper into a bog of chronic depression." If the country is to avoid a depression and another collapse of the monopoly system, the government must stimulate demand by means of enormous annual public expenditures.

That the government must pour billions of dollars into the economy each year does not, to conventional political understanding, seem like much of a problem. It would seem to be an unparalleled opportunity for improving the general lot of the citizenry. Virtually every city, town and hamlet in America is in dire need of public revenues. 'What could be more immediately beneficial to all Americans than the allocation of a much-needed $30 billion a year out of Federal revenues to restore, improve and revive local communities? Almost everybody suffers to some degree from polluted air, polluted waterways and a despoiled and deteriorating environment. To accomplish real and sweeping environmental improvement (not just keeping things from getting worse) would cost scores of billions of dollars. What could be simpler than spending every cent required, since the money must be spent anyway? Poverty in America could be virtually eradicated with the stroke of a legislative pen and would, in addition, open vast new markets for the merchandise of the monopoly industries. Again, since the money must be spent, what could be more reasonable than eliminating poverty once and for all?

Yet the oligarchs' efforts in these and other areas have been notoriously grudging. Only the most intense public pressure gets anything done at all.
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