Many of us here in the U.S. myay be starting to purchase beans to eat at the store in response to our economic woes that seem to be getting worse.  I like some beans and, hey, they’re cheap.  The “gummit” as Molly Ivens always referred to it, is voting on an 800 Billion dollar stimulus package this morning that is supposed to begin some much-needed healing process to our economy.  A recent ARTICLE posted by CNN addresses some of the “pork”, which means unnecessary spending that is included in this bill.  Take a look at the article and let me know what you think.  Remember, however, some of these supposed pork pieces may actually be connected to stimulus so think long and hard about how they might be used.

33 responses to “Pork-n-beans?”

  1. Jay says:

    So, where is the money coming from?
    Why are we spending it on those things?
    I agree that resources need to be put into environmental research and keeping our world alive (which keeps us alive) BUT do we need a “$246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.”??
    I dont even know what half of the items on the list are! But I wish it was explained to me exactly where our countries’ money is going and why it is going there. I didn’t get to vote on this. did you?

  2. Heather Kowalski says:

    WOW…some of these things may be understandable, but to spend that much money on them is just ridiculous. Some of the ones that I think we can do without are the Hollywood one spending $246 million, getting a digital television converter box coupon program for $650 million, and getting hybrid vehicles for federal employees. These things are just ridiculous, they aren’t necessary so why waste that much money on them. This article really got me thinking about what OUR tax dollars are actually paying for. It’s ridiculous!

  3. First of all where the heck did all this money come from?? People are wondering why America is so far in debt, well this just starts to prove why. The government is borrowing so much money to pay for this stupid stuff that isn’t helping us at all. $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers, are you kidding me?? Why should they get a tax break, producing a movie isn’t helping America improve its economy or environment
    it’s just more money being thrown out the window. Then the $650 million dollars spent in the DTV converter coupons being sent out all across the US, but yet they are delaying the switch to DTV because not everyone is ready or couldn’t get a coupon so they want to make more!! There were plenty of them to go around, people filled for them, got them, and let them sit around until they expired and now they would like another one..that’s ridiculous. I think the most ridiculous thing in that article was the spending of $248 million dollars for furniture at the new Homeland Security Headquarters. What kind of furniture do you need that costs $248 million dollars to buy?? Over all I think this whole thing is crazy, and a waste of Americans hard earned tax dollars and that it needs to be changed before America falls even farther into debt.

  4. Sara Lind says:

    Well, off the top of the bat, I do not see how much good a tax break for a director is doing for the community as a whole. For the most part, I think people have been less amped to go out to see a movie – when is the last time you have seen a really good movie? They are expensive and one does not have the comfort of their own home. Also, why do we need to have television to be converted to digital?? Are the “bunny ears” that obsolete? Shouldn’t this be a matter of choice to the consumer? Would the nation be saving money this way? The idea of construction is good because it produces much needed jobs. However, during a time of a crisis do we really need to spend $248 million on furniture? I think the money could be spent more wisely. I guess my last issue is with issuing federal employees money to purchase hybrid cars. I understand that we should limit “our dependence on foreign oil” and blahblah but these employees already have so many benefits most people will not be able to get at any other job. Why should we give them more tax dollar money? Is it such a crime to give the people back their own money? Also, even though there is a high demand for alternate ways of energy, what made that coal plant so inefficient? Has the issue been resolved? Is it worth pouring $2 billion into?

    To me this stimulus package has just produced way more questions than answers. As President Obama has said this will be a process, but how do you start spending our tax dollars on what many may call frivilous and expect the people to trust this new administration after the past of many misdeeds?

  5. Brianne Coffey says:

    Just looking at each of these provisions and the dollar amount attached, I can somewhat understand why Congressional Republican leaders think they are “wasteful”. President Obama thinks that without the stimulus, the economy will worsen beyond recession. In his campaigns, he mentioned creating more “Green collar jobs”. I think that by spending money to turn federal buildings into “green” buildings is an example of how that aspect will be fullfilled. Some of these provisions link to the issues Obama/Biden campaigned about during the race to the White House. Another way to look at these provisions is to see the potential jobs that could be created, in turn decreasing the unemployment rate in the United States.

    Some of these provisions are arguable such as $160 million for paying Corporation for National and Community Service volunteers.

    Putting a large amount of money into the economy is a risk. Will this package actually create stimulus? I’m crossing my fingers.

  6. Kelly Zastrow says:

    So that seems to be a lot of unnecessary money being spent. Granted some of these seem like they would be needed like revamping the Homeland Security building, but does it have to be completely redone? I’m sure the things they are redoing are still in good condition and could just use a few shape ups here and there, but going extreme? Is there that much money for all these things to be done? Didn’t really think so. And the Hollywood Movie producers getting a tax break? Definately feeling that 246$ million could have something else dealt with. The money being dealt with the Smithsonian, I see, because that is an important thing for history and maintaining that is vital. But I’m sure all these things don’t need to be budgeted for, and some of the things they have, definately do not need to have that much money for the project.

  7. rachel woodford says:

    This is alot of money to be tossing out there just in hope that it will try to stimulate our economy. i do not blame the republicans for not agreeing to some of the list where as other areas may be helpful to stimulate our increasing issues in the economy. funiture for homeland security is at almost 250k this should be lower than almost all other things if not even on the list. revise it or not hopefully it helps

  8. Katie Francour says:

    $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters.
    That seems absolutely ridiculous! Who needs to spend that much money on furniture?! Honestly how much furniture are they planning on needing there and where are they buying this furniture?
    $500 million for state and local fire stations.
    It’s sad that that is all they are giving to fire stations that we absolutely need, yet are willing to spend HALF of that on furniture?! They should forget about the furniture and give the rest of it to the fire stations.
    Some of these things seem crazy and are getting a ton of money. I know that this is what the stimulus’s are all about- sticking in smaller things to get passed with the things that are needed, but it’s ridiculous. There should be some things taken out of there and probably given to other places.

  9. Brittany Kleinert says:

    I agree with a lot of what other people have already said. I feel a little bad for Obama because he is under an intense amount of scrutiny right now. People are constantly questioning and debating over the stimulus plan mainly because it puts us in deeper in debt. Obama stated it perfectly in his first primetime public address saying that he inherited this debt. I agree with him that something does have to be done in order to get the economy moving again.

    On the other hand, furniture? Really? Hollywood producers? Seriously? The last time I checked, Hollywood producers make money hand over fist. Why is it my job to support them? Don’t we do enough by seeing their movies? The hybrid cars part is a little over the top as well. We’re talking about federal employees (who make more than you or I could ever imagine!). If they were really worried about being green before Obama, they should have taken it upon themselves to get hybrid cars earlier. Instead, they chose to ride in their Suburbans and fly their private jets all across the country.

    Behind all of the stuff that seems wasteful, we have to look at the bottom line: We are still creating work for people. I think that’s the main thing. You have to spend money in order to make money. Hopefully this really will work. For the time being, we can only just sit back and hope.

  10. Betsy Beck says:

    I agree with everyone else. I guess that I knew that we don’t always spend our money in the best ways, but it is different to see just how much money we are putting towards each cause. It is unfortunate that our economy had to get to such a state, for us to give our spending decisions a second thought. On the other hand, part of me thinks that we need to continue with some of them. Personally I don’t see alcohol and drug abuse reduction attempts, youth activites, or green efforts as “wasteful provisions.” I would just have to say that there are obvious things that we shouldn’t be spending quite as much money on, but at the same time some of these causes shouldn’t have to go.

  11. Jacob Johnson says:

    While I am thoroughly disappointed in some of these expenditures, what really can we do about this? My answer is nothing. Whether this stimulus will turn the crisis into a catastrophe as the Republicans are saying, is yet to be seen. On the other hand, I think these numbers are simply put out there to please the public. Who is actually going to keep track and make sure only this much is spent on each of these? It says that the 2010 census is scheduled to cost over 3 billion and we have 1 million allocated to that. 88 million to develop a new ice breaking ship for the coast guard? What’s wrong with the current one; it just doesn’t seem like an ice breaking ship should be a priority right now. 248 million for furniture in the new Homeland Security Headquarters; just how big is this building? I can’t imagine spending 248 million on something like that. 150 million for museum facilities; this has to be a joke. Is the author of this article a comedian or was this actually published by the administration? 100 million to help reduce the hazard of lead based paint; we are the only country in the world spending 100 million on something as unimportant as that. Yes it may be hazardous to our environment but what is one country out of the whole world putting regulations on lead based paint going to do about it?

    While many people may be outraged by this article, I am more outraged that this article only tells us what 18 billion 905 million of the 900 billion is being used for. I just wish that if the government was going to shell out this kind of money in a stimulus plan, I wish they would help out college-aged people who are going to have a very difficult time staying in school if they are unable to find a job this summer. I have read that the current plan as of today is below the 800 billion mark, but this still leaves me wondering. Who are the government’s economic advisors?

  12. Anna Wasmund says:

    WOW, considering the current state which our country is in, many of these spending provisions are completely unnecessary! Take for example: $248 million for furniture at the new Homeland Security headquarters and a $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film.
    This is all just very depressing because there really is nothing we can do about all this money spent and besides the USA is already about 10.7 trillion dollars in debt so why dont we just keep racking it up? There is a point where all this unheeded spending and debt will be demanded in one way or another to be accounted for…we dont have the money plain and simple so whether we spend all this extra money for the stimulus package or not, there will be a major debunking of our system- inevitable. I am not saying “so heck spend all you want!” but at the same sense, i personally, can do nothing about the packages new irrational spendings. (some were very valid)

  13. Tyler Holt says:

    Interesting…most of these “pork” products are just going to back to the government. Many items are just for helping internal government programs and their employees. But yeah, at least what Brittany said about having to spend money to create more jobs is definitely true. More jobs means more production and more money made. However, this is going to have to be more help if this country is going to get back up on its feet.

  14. Victoria Herrmann says:

    It looks like I agree with many of the people that already posted. Some of these things are so unecessary and people wonder why the economy sucks! We have many upgraded things in our lives today including movies and cars and so forth. I dont feel that spending $246 million in a tax break for hollywood to buy feature film or $600 million for hybrid vehicles for employees. Some of the things in this article are just ridiculous!

  15. Kelly Ross says:

    I think it is hard for us to understand how money for these kinds of things works. Most people will never understand how that large amount of money works in a system. Alot of the things the money is going to seems to do with the going “green”. Which everyone knew would cost more initally and hopefully save the world and money later on. The things like paying volunteers and furniture is crazy.Also one thing i really dont understand is the hollywood tax break. I think the people in hollywood already have enough money. i mean most people dont see a million dollars in a lifetime and the cast of friends was getting a million an episode. If people like that just learned they dont need a million dollar dress or things like that there would be more money around for other things. I know i would have no idea where to start to help our economy but this ridiculous spending can only hurt.

  16. Scott Thellefsen says:

    OK to begin with we all need to understand that the economy we are in is in a terrible spot and is it going to take all of us to fix it. I am indifferent about the Stimulus Bills because they help everyone out in different ways either from protection to just giving Americans more money to either spend or invest. I believe that everyone should give back to their county that does protect them and give them everything in their life from the water they drink to the cars they drive. I don’t serve in the military and don’t plan on it so this is my way on giving back. If it raises my taxes another 20 dollars or whatever is comes to, then I am fine to a point. The real thing is if we don’t change our society and culture, we are going to be right back here in 10 years. I don’t like it only because there are people that could donate alot of their money from the oil companies to Bill Gates. Even if they give just 10% of the wealth/income it would help everyone out. There are some places where we don’t need to be giving 200 million dollars. The 850 million dollars for Amtrak, 75 million to the salaries of employess at the FBI, 125 million for Washington sewer systems, and even 1.4 billion for rural waster disposal programs? Unless someone is goign to come to my house which is in the middle of no where, I can’t even get internet their, why would they need 1.4 billion to upgrade that. I understand better than most that money does run this world and the more we have the more things we aquire, but people just need to invest in my mind. Your money will make you more money than you will ever make in your life. We do need upgrades and it is good to see that the money is going towards some good things as in youth activites, alcohol and substance control, and to our national security. Overall, again I am indifferent about it because I can see the good and the bad in it.

  17. Courtney Harries says:

    I was completely shocked when I looked at the CNN article about how much money was being spent on certain things. To be perfectly honest some of these things we can go without and therefore if we were to get rid of paying for unnecessary things then maybe our economy would be a lot better. I believe this is one of the main reasons why our economy is in a recession begin with. I honestly think some thing we can go without is the $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program. If the government had not decided to go digital in the first place then there would not be a need for the digital coupons and no to mention the cost is ridiculous. what’s the point of digital any way? Another major one is the
    600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees, which is a huge waste of money because they can use regular gas efficient vehicles just like everyone else, I understand the type of work that they do but, if you were to have a good paying job simply because you worked for the government then you should be able to afford the gas.
    $160 million for “paid volunteers” at the Corporation for National and Community Service, who pays volunteers the point of volunteering is obviously free work, I don’t understand why funds are needed to put toward this. Another HUGE one is the tax-break for motion picture films at the cost of 246 million dollars, just for hollywood producers to buy Film for Motion pictures. I think that if you put more money into the economy then we would be better off and less money would go toward unnecessary things. My overall opinion is that there is way too much money being spent on some things that we could save.

  18. Lindsay Ellifson says:

    So, I’m all for “going green” and making things in general more energy efficient and cost effective, but what I want to know is how does any of this improve our economy and situations for us? Granted, in the long run/over time the use of use of hybrid vehicles and reducing the hazard of lead-based paint will be beneficial, but why not encourage those federal employees to use the Amtrack they’re spending $850 million on…? Also, as others have mentioned, I fail to see the need for the $246 million tax break for hollywood producers or $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program. The president said “failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans” and “could turn a crisis into a catastrophe” if not acted upon, and I would like to believe that this spending would pull us out of recession, however; currently it’s hard to see the necessity and validity of some of the items included in the bill.

  19. Liz Benzschawel says:

    Like every other major change we have discussed, it is going to take awhile to get our economy back on the right track. I think a lot of people expect a quick change. So not matter what bills are passed I’m sure they will receive criticism, especially with recent events (like a business that received funds as part of a bail out and preceded to spend hundreds of thousands at a spa the following weekend). It’s very difficult to say what is wasteful spending and what will seriously benefit the economy in the long run. I don’t think anything regarding improving of helping environmental conditions should be deemed wasteful, but I guess I could see how people could argue it wouldn’t directly benefit our economy. I think the grant for hollywood movie producers would be wasteful. I do not see that industry as needing more money or benefitting our economy by receiving more money. $248 million for furniture seems extremely excessive. $75 million for smoking cessation is unnecessary in my mind. I definately do not like or approve of smoking but I see it as a personal choice that does not need immediate attention. No one is forced to smoke. Like I said earlier, I am all for activities to benefit our environment, but $6 billion to turn building to “green” buildings is too much. I agree with some of the list being deemed wasteful but not everything. However, as I said in the beginning of my response, there is no way for a quick fix so we will need to try different things and spread the money around a little bit, do a little trial and error.

  20. Elisabeth Callahan says:

    I remember while learning about the great depression many Americans did go to movie theatres in attempt to momentarily forget about their worries through film. So the fact that the gov’t is spending $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film is a little troubling.
    Like many other people have noted I think the tax break on a ridiculous amount of money for furniture isn’t right but many of the other ones seem to be fine, creating lost of jobs with attempts to better the environment.
    Not to be completely recessive and turn a blinds eye but I have faith in the new administration to try their hardest to pull our economy up. It will take time so its important not to be so critical in the beginning as the problem is complex as well as the answers.

  21. Jessica Mesmer says:

    I can honestly say that some of the things on this list are absurd! Our tax payer dollars should really go to something that benefits more, especially with the economy we have today! I understand making some building green is a good idea, but do we really need to be focusing on spending that much on it right now? Some of the money should be redistributed to the common people! I know that because I allow my parents to claim me, I got nothing for our stimulus package; some of this money should really be going out in grants to help our financial aid. Yes I think some of these things are necessary, but right now some of them could definitely wait!

  22. Lindsay says:

    Where do we get all of this money to spend in my big question. I see where they are going with some of the items on the list that will help our economy, but other items I am not so sure on. Why do we need to spend money on new furniture? That seems like something that can wait and is not a priority. I also think that increasing the salary of the the FBI employees could also be put on the back burner. They are probably making way more money than we can imagine. If they are so concerned with our economy then why do they need some of this stimulus money?

    I just hope this plan works. There is nothing we can really do now, but just hope.

  23. Ashley says:

    First after ready over the list i thought that alot of it was a bunch of bogus, obviously besides the things that i think we do need to spend money on. But after looking at some of the ones that i thought were bogus i feel that they could work out helping the economy in ways that not alot of people would think. The other thing that i thought about was how are we going to get all of this money? the government cant just keep printing money because pretty soon the american dollar is going to mean crap. I also agree that people getting raises shouldnt be a top priority right now. I do not really know how i feel about the stimulus package but i do hope that whatever gets choosen works.

  24. Brian Cacic says:

    Well my first reaction to looking at the breakdown of this stimulus package is that it’s kind of funny how a lot of the money is just going back to the government. They feel it’s necessary to construct a new Department of Homeland Securites headquarters for $448 million. I’m wondering what’s wrong with the current one. I’m also wondering why they can’t move the furniture from the old one to the new one instead of paying another $248 million for furniture. Another thing that jumped out at me was the spending of $110 million for the Farm Service Agency to upgrade computer systems. It seems to me that this should be way down the list of importance. On the other hand, the things listed in this article only make up about two percent of the entire stimulus. I just hope the other 98 percent isn’t being spent on furniture.

  25. Tiffany Anderson says:

    I was expecting to see some kind of plan for industries that could really benefit from this such as GM or one of the many other large American companies that is going under. Instead the government wants to give $650 million for digital converter boxes and $248 million for new furniture for the new Homeland security headquarters. We are in a recession and it is a little unsettling that the government thinks that that’s where our money needs to be directed. Lets just forget about the millions of people out of work, television and new furniture really should be the priority here. Seriously!

  26. Steffany Olaciregui says:

    After reading this article it made me realize that alot American’s are spending money the wrong way such as in technologies that are being updated constantly and hollywood. In my opinion I think that the US economy should be using this money for other things such as helping these in need (poverty), better education, roads, and hospitals. If this money was used correctly maybe the economy would not be in so much debt and people would still have their jobs.

  27. Peter Fields says:

    I agree that some of these are “wasteful provisions” such as 850 million for Amtrak considering not many people use trains anymore. But I think a good portion of the list could use the extra money. Turning federal buildings into “green” buildings could actually provide jobs for the unemployed. Overall, the areas where Obama intends to spend money seem worthwhile. It is hard to have an opinion since our economy is going through such a rough time and there are no clear answers.

  28. Kendra Lutz says:

    I can’t believe what some of this money is going towards. Like a “$246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film” or “$650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program.” Some of this stuff just seems silly and wasteful. I feel like our money needs to go to helping people. Like more towards education or poverty.

  29. Susan Crans-Hunt says:

    I believe that our society as a whole is very wasteful…..and after looking at what some of these provisions are it only re-enforces that belief. $650 million for converter boxes, $248 million for new furniture, $246 million dollar tax breaks for Hollywood producers, etc… First of all where in the heck does all of this money come from? Instead of some of this senseless garbage, why not use it for what is truly needed in our society? For example, adequate healthcare for all, adequate and equal education for all, poverty levels, etc… I truly dream for the day when we start to make our nation a healthier place for everyone. Not just the wealthy ones.

  30. David Hanizeski says:

    A lot of money going someplace. But easier for the american public to put it in the hands of the people we dont know, don’t care to know, dont really want to think about, but trust because hey they know whats best for us. The money is ridiculous but I can’t help but think they have the best interest for “us” when they make the policies that they do. The only statement I have is, “So I owe the government 2000 dollars in taxes and reperations. Should I borrow the money from a bank and slowly pay it off to numurous companies? Or put it all in one place and have strong belief that they will figure it out and not put me in deeper debt? Difficult

  31. Nikki Oziminski says:

    Holy smokes! I think one of the one’s that hits at home is this TV thing that we’ve been talking about and seeing for the past year now. $650 million for the digital television converter box coupon program….WHY! Some of the things on this list are sooo unnecessary and a waste! Such as $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employees,and a $246 million tax break for Hollywood movie producers to buy motion picture film. This money spent of these things should be added to others on the list such as $25 million for tribal alcohol and substance abuse reductionand $500 million for state and local fire stations. But I’m sorry Washington your sewers can wait! I think there’s a good chunk of this money being spent in smart ways but is it going to help the economy….I don’t know??? I guess we’ll see.

  32. Julia Fessler says:

    I feel like some of the things listed are valid things to spend money on while others aren’t. I have a brother in law who works for the state and he is a forest fire fighter and they dont have enough money to travel to let out the fires that are devastating California and other states, and there are many other states that are facing this same issue, so seeing that there is money being distributed there made him very happy because its something that legitimately helps the United States. I think that all of the HDTV bullcrap is STUPID. Seriously, we have gone by with normal cable for how long now, and no one has complained, so I don’t think that it is something worth spending money on as a country. I feel like if individuals want to spend their money on it they can go for it but I dont think it is something that we should all have to contribute to by paying taxes. Also, WHERE IS ALL OF THIS MONEY COMING FROM? WE ARE IN A CRISIS!! AND WE ARE SPENDING MONEY ON HOLLYWOOD? COME. ON. I could go on and on, but I think that the spending is being disbursed wrongly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *