Bond voices disagreement with Senate version of stimulus bill

Monday, February 9, 2009 | 12:52 p.m. CST; updated 3:40 p.m. CST, Monday, February 9, 2009


ST. LOUIS  — Sen. Kit Bond said the Senate's version of President Barack Obama's stimulus bill will drive up costs and increase the debt without helping the economy.

The Republican spoke briefly to the media Monday at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis before flying to Washington.

Bond acknowledged that the $827 billion Senate version will likely pass when it comes to a vote on Tuesday.  It must still be reconciled with the House's $820 billion version.

Bond said the bill will not stimulate job growth and fails to adequately address problems in the home industry and the credit market. He said his office is getting calls 19-1 against the measure.

Bond's Missouri colleague in the Senate, Democrat Claire McCaskill, supports the bill and even helped craft the Senate version.


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J Benton February 9, 2009 | 3:57 p.m.

Hey, I know what might work. Let's cut taxes for high income people and deregulate the financial sector. Yeah, that's the ticket!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 9, 2009 | 5:06 p.m.

>>> J Benton February 9, 2009 | 3:57 p.m.
Hey, I know what might work. Let's cut taxes for high income people and deregulate the financial sector. Yeah, that's the ticket! <<<

Isn't that how Bush got us into this mess Obama has to bail us out of now?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 12:37 a.m.

The current regulation in the financial sector didn't keep Bernie Madoff from bilking tens of thousands of people. What makes that regulation even worse is that the SEC received tips that Madoff's investments were too good to be true and never checked them out. Big government at work for you!

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 10, 2009 | 3:27 a.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County do you have any real great examples of how little government has actually helped anybody?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 3:49 a.m.

Chuck Dudley, great forum disturber, why am I not surprised to see you defending big government? Big government that requires more taxes, imposes less freedoms and curtails rights of the people, and limits economic opportunities. You probably approve of Missouri requiring licenses for taxidermists and hair braiding, right? You are OK with higher taxes as long as you benefit from it, right? You are probably OK with HB224/SB115 (before our state legislators now) that would put restrictions on citizens placing petition initiatives and constitutional amendments before the voters, right?

Let me know how those examples of big government above have helped the people, Chuck.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 3:55 a.m.

One more thing Chuck, how do you account for the SEC when they couldn't even find Bernie Madoff's scam after the information was dumped in their lap? I notice you didn't feel like addressing my comment, you just jumped into defending big government from those nasty Libertarians.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 10, 2009 | 6:52 a.m.

John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County where did I say I support big government.

The fact is I didn't. You are once again trying to inject something that was not said.

I asked you a simple question and you once again have a little snippet fit over it. You cannot help it as it is just the way you are wired. Everybody is wired differently.

All you had to do was answer the very simple question.

Why should I even answer any of your questions with your ongoing attitude whenever anybody asks a question that is not of your opinion.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 8:56 a.m.

Geez Louise Chuck, I gave you some examples where big government was bad and you don't like it? After you get on my case for wanting less government in my life, where else can one consider your support but FOR big government?

Funny how you are all for private charity to pick up the slack in the Adaptive Recreation Program at Paquin. Private people helping others, instead of relying on government, is EXACTLY what I am talking about in this discussion.

As for your comments about a "snippet fit" and how I'm wired, you're not a psychiatrist so please don't play one on the Internet (I would rather see Lucy van Pelt for any issues anyway).

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 10, 2009 | 10:38 a.m.

One more time John Schultz the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County in case you missed how the question was worded:

>>> John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County do you have any real great examples of how "little government" has actually helped anybody? <<

In case you missed it I quoted around the key phrase for you so you did not miss the two key words which you preach relentlessly.

Notice the emphasis on "Little Government" not how little they have done but how "little in size" which you keep preaching we should have.

Do ya get the question now? So easy a non Libertarian can understand it.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 11:20 a.m.

I gave you some examples Chuckles, you're just too busy spitting invective to understand. For example, less governmental licensing allows people to make a living for themselves without having to pay the government for the privilege to work or be priced out of the marketplace. I don't have a problem with some occupational licensing, although I think professional organizations can do a better job overseeing their members. But why should taxidermists be licensed by the state? Am I really harmed if I take a deer to be mounted and that person is not authorized by the government to stuff it for me? What's the absolute worse that could happen, and why should the state care? Why should a person be forced to go through cosmetology school if all they want to do is African hair braiding, something not even teached in cosmetology classes to my understanding?

Now why don't you answer some of my questions posed to you in this thread? You're the one griping about no content on Mike Martin's new forum, but all I'm seeing from you here is hot air.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 10, 2009 | 11:54 a.m.

"Hey, I know what might work. Let's cut taxes for high income people and deregulate the financial sector. Yeah, that's the ticket!"

Yeah, let's punish doctors, lawyers, small business owners, etc. for being hardworking and responsible. Let's take some more of their money so we can give more to people who choose to get hooked on drugs, drop out of high school, have kids they can't support or simply choose not to work.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 10, 2009 | 2:04 p.m.

>>> John Schultz Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Boone County do you have any real great examples of how "little government" has actually helped anybody? <<

If you have no real examples of how that form of government has actually helped your presentations are irrelevant.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 2:42 p.m.

As usual Chuck, I wonder why I even try to get it through your head. I suppose some people, especially those living off the tax dollars of others, just love big government.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 10, 2009 | 2:53 p.m.

Yup. Time for more of us to put aside childish things and start contributing instead of taking.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 10, 2009 | 3:36 p.m.

In your worlds, exactly what does "contributing" and "taking" look like?
And, how does the concept of "sharing" fit into that world?
While, I am not pro "big governmnet," I am in favor of a more balanced "community."
If "small government" is a wothwhile goal, how do we help the private 501c3 voluntary private sector, corporate and church venues fill the void you guys advocate to create?
(The capacity to meet such an increase in health and human care needs will not spontaneously occur.)
And, should there be governmental policy and regulation involvement on the local, state and federal levels?
Or, is Isolationism and a strong milita all that matters?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 10, 2009 | 4:27 p.m.

Here's one way to distinguish between contributing and taking: People whose earnings fall in the lowest third of incomes receive roughly $8 in government spending for every $1 they pay in taxes.

Another example of taking is the $7.6 billion we spend annually on births to teen-agers. A lot of that money comes out of the pockets of people who were responsible enough to wait until they're financially stable adults to have children. How are teen-age parents sharing or contributing?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 4:57 p.m.

This might get a bit rambling...

In my ideal world, there would be no Social Security, at least not for retirement (I'm open to keeping something for disabled/children/etc. until private charity can cover that). People would be required to save for their own retirement and not rely on the government to do so. There's probably a good percentage of the population who thinks all is well, Social Security is there for me, I can spend my money on a car or big TV instead. I'm assuming that Social Security will not be there when I retire and am saving money to be self-sufficient. If Social Security is still around, odds are it will be funded by a much higher payroll tax on my children and their children. Why punish them and reward people who didn't plan for their future?

Sharing should be voluntary, not at the point of the gun or the threat of jail, which is what all taxes come down to in the end. I share my time and money with causes that I believe in, just as other people should be able to do with theirs. With smaller government and less taxes to fund that lower level of government, people would have more money to devote to the causes they believe in.

Two-time Libertarian Presidential candidate Harry Browne says it better than I:

Suppose the federal government weren't taxing your income, squandering your retirement money, adding regulatory costs to everything you buy, and forcing your employer to spend money on bureaucratic mandates instead of on you. How well off would you be?

Suppose all the money you now pay in income and Social Security tax — $10,000 or more a year — were available to take care of your family? Would you work fewer hours a week? Take a longer vacation? Provide better health care for your family? Live in a better neighborhood? Spend more time helping your church or your favorite cause? Pick a better college for your children?

Are you as well off as you could be?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 10, 2009 | 5:06 p.m.

John, no doubt you've heard of the proposals kicking around Congress to eliminate the 401(k) and force people into a new, Social Security-style plan. That would give the feds even more money to squander.

By the way, anyone who argues that SS is safer for the average person because it's guaranteed, news flash: It's not. See the U.S. Supreme Court's Flemming vs. Nestor ruling. You are guaranteed nothing, no matter how much you've paid.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 10, 2009 | 6:13 p.m.

I have no problem with "smaller government," however how do we make the transition without hurting those currently vested/dependent on "the government" and ensure that non-government entities are effective in meeting health and human care needs to children, seniors and the disabled?
(Also, it is well known in the United Way community that Physicians do not voluntarily contribute their "fair share" as compared to those with lower incomes.)

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 10, 2009 | 8:17 p.m.

For people over a certain age, guarantee them the retirement benefits and maybe health benefits that the government promised them and they paid into. Sell government assets to pay for that if necessary. Harry Browne talked about selling national forests, parks, and such to organizations such as the Audobon Society, Sierra Club, etc. that would have more of an incentive to manage the land than the government.

Next, the federal government would need to get out of funding any operations not mandated or permitted by the Constitution. Ideally, any such federal program that is no longer authorized would fall to the states to run or end as they each saw fit. There could be a phaseout period of some time with declining support from the federal government.

I don't know where the United Way community gets its numbers, but I'm aware of doctors and dentists that do volunteer work, either here or overseas. They all aren't riding around in their Beemers full-time certainly. People forget that these docs give up years of their lives and a lot of cash to get the medical information they use to make our lives better.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 11, 2009 | 2:12 a.m.

Dear John:
IMHO, not a bad start concerning Social Security. I would still be concerned about affordable housing, health and human care services, assistance to children, the poor and the disabled. Whether America is a republic or a democracy is debateable. I think we've evolved, since the Constitution, where the need to adjust what our Federal Government has become and begin to scale back, providing that the States, voluntary sector, corporate philanthropy and churches pick up the slack.
Also, I agree that some doctors and lawyers do donate their time and services, however when it comes to dollars donated, figures hash out as such....
According to the IRS, the average itemized charitable deduction in 1994 was between $1200 and $1800 for itemizers who reported adjusted gross income between $15,000 and $75,000. That’s pretty good, considering how tough it is to take care of your own family’s needs these days on an AGI of $15,000 to $75,000. Of course, most low-income taxpayers don’t itemize their deductions, so it’s hard to say how much they really give as a whole. But especially when you take into account that collection plate, I think the overall giving level of low-to-moderate income folks could average 3%.

Now go up to the $100,000-$200,000 adjusted gross income range. Yuppies, lawyers, doctors. Their average charitable deduction in 1994 was $3,420 -- less than 3% on average.

Now go up to the $200,000-$500,000 range. Surgeons, law partners, big-time corporate VPs. They averaged $8,372 -- still barely 3%.

Those in the $500,000-$1,000,000 range averaged $21,582. Still about 3%.
The Uncharitable Rich - Revisited contribute time or money is always an uphill battle. .... Yuppies, lawyers, doctors. Their average charitable deduction in 1994 was didn’t give much to United Way...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking February 11, 2009 | 4:22 a.m.

So the rate of charitable contributions was fairly constant regardless of income. This would mean a person making 10 times as much would give 10 times as much to charity. Considering a person making $400,000/year has a much higher federal tax bite than someone that makes $40,000/year, that's not too bad.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 11, 2009 | 7:20 a.m.

With John's ideals I just see far too many at risk citizens slipping through the cracks his ideals would impose and even more people living far below the poverty levels they do now.

How is having a tiny or less government even with the now floundering 501c3's still out there being short n donations yearly going to be a benefit to all?

I just do not see it at all in John's presentations nor have I seen it in any Libertarian presentation ever.

If you want to make government smaller first start with all of those Congressmen's and Senator's pay checks.

There is one of the biggest cases of the "Fleecing of America" there is going now.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 11, 2009 | 8:53 a.m.

What specific Libertarian proposal or idea would cause more people to live in poverty than they do now? With smaller government and lower taxes, citizens would have more money in their pocket.

Libertarians believe in private charity, not letting people slip through the cracks. I know a Libertarian in the KC area who is looking for contributions to pay a single mom's bills that she fell behind on due to a pending divorce. Sit down now, because I'm sending her some money to help out. I donate time to a local military charity, another Libertarian works with the Ashland Optimists and the local Boy Scout troop, and another is pooling donations for a New Orleans housing charity in conjunction with his annual Fat Tuesday party. Bet you didn't think Libertarians had a giving cell in their body...

Cutting the salaries of Senators and Representatives won't do one whit to make government smaller. Reducing federal government spending that is not authorized by the Constitution would have a much larger impact. For instance, why is there a Department of Education and why has the education of our children continued to decline after it was founded? Get the federal government completely out of education and let the states and local entities take care of it.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 11, 2009 | 9:17 a.m.

One benefit of having charities take a larger role is that they can say: "You came in here for assistance with two kids, and now you have three. You need to take responsibility for the kids you already have -- not to mention yourself -- before making more. Be gone."

Those of you who feel that taking such a stance is unfair to the children, or even the parent(s), are free to take them into your home. So let's see who's willing to put their money, instead of someone else's, where their mouth is.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 11, 2009 | 10:34 a.m.

>>> Cutting the salaries of Senators and Representatives won't do one whit to make government smaller. <<<

How many millions would it save to allow expansion of much needed programs for all at risk citizens?

More than any of us can imagine.

Until you or anybody can come up with a fool proof system to guarantee that all of the 501c3 programs that would be needed to keep all of the current programs in place plus allow for expansion in the future as needed I think your ideals are all wet.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 11, 2009 | 11:22 a.m.

The 435 Representatives make $169,300 apiece, the Speaker of the House earns $212,100, and the majority and minority leaders earn $183,500 for a grand total of just a bit over $73 million. The 100 Senators earn $169,300, the President pro tem earns $188,100, as do the minority and majority leaders for a grand total of just under $17 million, for an overall salary of about $90 million between the two houses. The average Senate pension looks to be about a third of the current salary, didn't see a figure on the House pension but let's assume it's about the same percentage, bringing us to a grand total of salary plus pension of approximately $120 million. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Except when you consider that the federal government spent $2730 billion in fiscal year 2007.

Chuck, if you think private charities are so bad, why don't you tell everyone at Paquin to just shut down the fundraising group for the Adaptive Recreation Program? Obviously it's going to fail, right?

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr February 11, 2009 | 12:18 p.m.

You miss the point totally John.

Why does anybody need such a high salary to begin with? Just to keep up with the Jones'? Whatever.That is over 50 mill out of that roughly 100 mill that could go into taking care of all of the less fortunate.

I never said 501c3's are bad at any time so we are not going to go there but what I did ask of you and have in the pasty is what do we all do under your idealisms if those 501c3's cannot make their quotas?

Watch people die by the way side?

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 11, 2009 | 12:32 p.m.

So why doesn't Obama publicly shame Oprah into giving up everything except for her last $50 million?

(Report Comment)
John Schultz February 11, 2009 | 12:48 p.m.

The money you would save by making Congress work for peanuts is a fraction of a drop in the bucket of the federal budget. I'm surprised you can get people to go to Washington D.C. for that salary, you would have to pay me a lot more to spend time away from my family, although maybe some fraction of the Congress folk crave the power or lobbying positions after they leave office.

If those in Congress can only earn "so much" would you impose that on the rest of the country as well? I believe that Barney Frank was considering such a measure, even for firms that did not take any of the TARP money. Doesn't that strike you as incredibly intrusive into the private marketplace?

In my ideal society, I see all charity being provided by private organizations and individuals. Doesn't mean it will ever happen, and certainly not overnight, but that is what I would like to see us move toward. Sorry if that scares the willies out of you.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand February 11, 2009 | 12:53 p.m.

Will U2 be donating all profits from No Line on the Horizon to charity?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 11, 2009 | 1:08 p.m.

Open to all interested persons:

"House Parties" discussing the Economic Recovery Act. We would
> like to take the opportunity to combine this "House Party" with our
> monthly "Change Today" meeting.
> We will be meeting Wednesday February 11th, 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the
> Friends Room of the Columbia Public Library. A rough outline of the
> Agenda is as follows.
> 1) Welcome
> 2) Showing Economic Recovery Act Video
> 3) Discussion/Action
> 4) Change Today Overview / Recap
> 5) Break-out into individual Committee's
> 6) Committee Report to Large group
> 7) Selection of "Working Group"
> 8) Recap - setting of goals for "Working Group"

(Report Comment)

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