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Our new accountable and transparent government recently launched a website to monitor spending from the stimulus bill. On the very front page the site shows tax relief as the largest part of the stimulus. I took issue with that right away. The relief I thought they were talking about was the $400 tax rebates we're supposed to be getting which is looking more like welfare than a tax relief to me.
When I went to "Learn more" about it, I found that included in the tax relief number is "$15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy." Now none of that sounds like tax relief to me, but I might just be misunderstanding. Why would they list it that way? Of course, the definition of "tax relief" isn't explained. There isn't any list of policies that they are calling "tax relief" on the site yet.
What exactly is "Protecting the Vulnerable" anyway? There are no details on it. Of course, no one could be against protecting the vulnerable... so I guess it's OK to just let that one slide. I wonder how they decide whether something is vulnerable or not. Are bureaucrats that are about to lose their job vulnerable? Is Nancy Pelosi's swamp mouse being protected with this money or is that under "other"? If $15 billion under "tax relief" goes toward "Infrastructure and Science", then could it be that Mr. Reid's train is listed under "tax relief"?
The site is not finished and the money hasn't been spent yet, so it might be a little too soon to make a judgement, but it looks like to me the site is just a repeat of the same rhetoric from when the bill was passing. They also posted a link to the full text of the bill so we can see it after it passed. Of course, it would have been really nice if House members could have seen it before they had to vote on it.