Monday, December 12, 2011

Stimulus Failure

Welcome to the Collaborative Revolution!

The government does not and cannot "create jobs"  Many friends and colleagues were excited about the stimulus program and argued the influx of government monies would stimulate the construction industry.  I argued it would not and the money would be wasted.  The short video linked below highluights a few of the sitmulus failures that occured in Silver Springs, Maryland.  The tragedy is the flaws associated with disbursement of stimulus funds in Silver Springs manifested themselves every where stimulus funds were disbursed.

Again, the governement does not create jobs.  The govvernment needs to get out of the way. 

Jobs are created when demand for products or services, offered at competitive market prices consumers want to pay, exceeds the capacity of providers of such products or services and those providers are forced to hire new workers to produce and or deliver products or services demanded by willing consumers.

The Leviathian that is the federal government, and the large corporate parasites attached to it, expand to consume/waste available resources.  The stimulus, all all the other wasteful government spending on trillion dollar +  budgets, has been wasted.

Economic success occurs when we have a bigger pie not when we distribute smaller slices of a smaller pie.  Government policies that free job creators to make more, better and bigger pies means more success for all.

IPD, BIM and lean business processes provide mechanisms whereby BUILT industry professionals can plan, design, construct, operate and maintain facilities of higher quality at lower prices more quickly than ever.  The natrual consequence of increased efficiency and productivity is the ability to build more facilities and supporting infrastructure more quickly.  In other words, IPD, BIM and lean processes arm users with the ability to create bigger pies more often at better prices.

In boom times the amount of money to be made is constrained, in large part, by limited resources, both physical and human.   Entities that want to make more money when the economy comes back, and it will come back, should learn more about IPD, BIM and lean business processes now so that those innovative tools can be used to leverage finite resources more effectively during the next boom.  Don't sit on the sidelines, stand with your nose in the federal trough or wait for others to drop scraps from a government funding trough.  Prepare to compete.

Below is a sampling of a few things the stimulus bill funded:

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Dept. of Energy defunded last year because the project was inefficient.

Deemed ‘prohibitively expensive’ by the Washington Post and opposed by scientists at MIT
• A $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film(like Michael Moore).
Hollywood should really pay its own way, don't you think?
• $650 million for the digital television (DTV) converter box coupon program
Boxes for those t.v’.s with “rabbit ears” that receive “free t.v.”

• $88 million for the Coast Guard to design a new polar icebreaker (arctic ship)

Should this be paid for in a defense budget?  And is this one of those ships that will run on $16 per gallon bio diesel?
• $448 million for constructing the Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters

What did I say about the government expanding to consuming available resources?  We need to be eliminating government agencies NOT creating new ones!

• $248 million for furniture at the new Dept. of Homeland Security headquarters
Why spend MORE than 1/2 as much on furniture as the building costs?  Arrrgggh.

• $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees

The VAST majority of the 15,000 or so Chevy Volts sold by Government Motors were purchased by either the federal governement or GE - a branch / quasi private arem of the federal governement like Fannie & Freddie/
• $400 million for the CDC to screen and prevent STD’s
Can we get a break down on that?   Geez.  Does it really cost $400 million to say, " Hey, stupdi, use a condom."  If you don't want an STD don’t have bareback sex.

• $1.4 billion for a rural waste disposal programs

That's a lot o money for burn barrels and dumping in caliche pits.

• $150 million for Smithsonian museum facilities

How many jobs did THAT create?
• $1 billion for the 2010 Census, which has a projected cost overrun of $3 billion

The "projected cost overrun" was a lowball estimate.  This is an example of your federal government at work for you.... on YOUR DIME!
• $75 million for “smoking cessation activities”

WTF?  Again, where are the jobs?

• $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges

A laudable project.  What were the cost overurns on THAT program?

• $75 million for salaries of employees at the FBI

WTF?  Did the FBI leave that line item out of the budget this year?
• $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reduction
Sad sad situations on the reservations.  But is this REALLY what the stimulus was intended to fund?
• $10 million to inspect canals in urban areas

OK.  Can we get an audited report?  Did we capture the data authoritatively?  Is it in digital form? Can it be re-used?

• $6 billion to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings

IPD, BIM and lean processes would work better and cost less.

• $500 million for state and local fire stations

Can you say UNION PAYBACK?

• $650 million for wildland fire management on Forest Service lands

Again, who forgot to submit their annual budget to congress?  Oh, that's right the demcoractic controlled Senates hasn't passed a budget in over 2 YEARS!!!
• $1.2 billion for “youth activities,” including youth summer job programs

What does the audit trail say about how this money was spent?  I smell graft and corruption.
• $88 million for renovating the headquarters of the Public Health Service

Another line item left out of another budget.

• $412 million for CDC buildings and property


• $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service

Can you say ACORN and SEIU?
• $5.5 million for “energy efficiency initiatives” at the VA “National Cemetery Administration”

Shouldn't "energy efficiency initiatives" REDUCE COSTS?

• $850 million for Amtrak

Isn't Amtrack supposed make its own money?  Like the US Post Office?  lol

• $100 million for reducing the hazard of lead-based paint

Can we see the audit trail?  Jobs created?

• $75M to construct a new “security training” facility for State Dept Security officers

Were they NOT being trainied in the old one?  But dad, DHS got a new building AND new furniture!
• $110 million to the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems

Another line item left out of the last FARM SUBSIDY BILL.  Geez

• $200 million in funding for the lease of alternative energy vehicles for use on military installations.

Another false market for the Chevy Volt?  This is what happens when the federal government and a union own a failed American car company; Governement Motors.
• State Medicaid Bailout: $87.7 billion Through 3 different mechanisms, the bill would provide additional federal funds to state Medicaid programs over the next 3 years.

Was this evenly distributed among the 50 states - or the 57 Obama visited while campaigning - or did the lions share of this graft go to Illinois, New York and California?  Were responsible states with balanced budgets screwed?

Social engineering efforts incuded in this “Stimulus” Bill:
• Eliminates fees on loans from the Small Business Administration, thus pushing private capital toward unproductive businesses and away from productive businesses

• Increases the definition of “youth” for certain summer job programs from age 21 to age 24.

• $160 million to the Job Corps program at the Dept. of Labor, but not for job programs – rather, to construct, alter or repair buildings.

• Requires a government study on the impact of minimum wage laws on the Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. (Where Nancy Pelosi's husbands Tuna company is EXEMPTED)
• $79 billion State Fiscal Stabilization (slush) Fund to bailout the States by providing billions of dollars for “education” costs of any kind.  (Another ACORN / UNION payoff)
• $47.843 billion is appropriated for a variety of energy programs that are primarily focused on renewable energy development and energy conservation/efficiency. Not one dollar is appropriated to make fossil fuels more affordable in the near future. More than $6 billion of these funds go to environmental clean ups.

(Solyndra, Bright Source, Lightsquared and several other examples of Crony Socialism were funded out of this pot.  The adminstration says these programs "created" 3,500 jobs.  How many did it COST?)

• Increases eligibility for “weatherization” assistance to households 200 percent above the poverty level.

• The “Making Work Pay” credit of $500 to every individual making less than $75,000 (or $1000 to couples making $150,000 or less) would pay people whether they are productive or not – akin to welfare.
• The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – food stamps) would temporarily suspend the 3-month limit for non-working adults to receive SNAP benefits, thus giving incentives not to find a job.

• Installs government as the creator of broadband deployment regardless of whether the specific local/regional market can sustain it.

• Funds new “green jobs” job-training program without eliminating inefficient job-training programs or consolidating duplicative job-training programs.
• $890 million to the Social Security Administration without any provisions to reduce improper payments, or any plan to increase solvency of the trust fund.
• Nothing requires the products that are purchased with these funds be here in America. Lithium ion batteries, for instance, are primarily made in Asia.

Please tell me we will not repeat this miserable failure again.

James L. Salmon, Esq.
Collaborative Construction
300 Pike Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Office 513-721-5672
Fax 513-562-4388
Cell 512-630-4446
Collaborative Construction Website
Sustainable Land Development International

1 comment:

Water Damage Tustin CA said...

It's just so frustrating to read things like this. Ford is probably my favorite example- they TURNED DOWN the "stimulus" and then turned out a fantastic line of new cars and are surviving without grandpa stimulus. Great PR and move on their part. Pontiac and Saturn are gone forever. Guess it wasn't the best thing to do on their parts.