Senate Approves Stimulus, Steps off Economic Cliff

Senate Approves Stimulus, Steps off Economic Cliff

Massive Increase in Debt-Fueled Spending a Looming Disaster
February 10, 2009

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Washington,
D.C., February 10, 2009—Today the
U.S. Senate voted 61-37 to approve the controversial $838 billion economic
stimulus bill, roughly matching the plan recently approved by the House of
Representatives. Despite approval by Congress, the Competitive Enterprise
Institute reiterates its opposition to this wasteful, reckless and dangerous binge
of deficit spending.

“Taken together with the $1 trillion second round of the
bank bailout, the Senate has decided to increase our already disastrous
national debt of $10 trillion by a further twenty percent,” said Competitive
Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Iain
Murray
. “It is ludicrous to think that the solution to a debt crisis is
further borrowing.”

The Senate bill will now move to a conference committee,
where differences with the House plan will be reconciled before being sent to
the White House for approval. Both bills, however, contain billions of dollars
not just in bailouts for failed businesses and financial institutions, but
billions more for countless pork-barrel projects. 

“This pork package has been sold to the public as one that
will get unemployed Americans back to work by funding public
works projects,” said Murray. “In
fact, only 7% of the Senate package is about infrastructure. The rest is
merely pay-offs and rewards to special interest groups. The public has
been sold a pig in a poke.”

This unprecedented level of government spending in the
stimulus plan will likely discourage savings and investment and kill private
sector jobs while substantially postponing any hope of a quick economic
recovery by spending borrowed money on inefficient and wasteful programs.

“The actual bold political action, genuine leadership,
needed in today’s crisis is pretty much the opposite of what’s going on,” said
CEI Vice President for Policy Wayne
Crews
. “Indeed, it seems the political price is too high for election-bound
lawmakers or career politicians to entertain non-governmental solutions to recession
recovery.”

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government.  For more information about
CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.