Junkfood Science: Still adding it up…

February 04, 2009

Still adding it up…

In a running series that began last month, Black Informant has been going page-by-page through the stimulus package being debated in Congress. He’s finding that it’s not about stimulating the economy, but filled with perks for wealthy special interests that will most hurt the Black community, America’s cities, and the poor.

He’s been doing the math and trying to put the figures into perspective for his readers. He’s found that more money will be spent on non-stimulus stuff than the total city budgets of America’s largest cities with major Black populations. By January 28th, he was up to page 250, and said his count “of stuff that has NOTHING to do with ‘stimulating’ the economy was $7,723,000,000… and comprised of stuff that do nothing for you and I.”

Today, he wrote, “time to add some more stuff…” He got to the $246 million for tax breaks for Hollywood movie producers, $600 million to buy hybrid vehicles for federal employers and more… It’s an interesting read for those of us who don’t have the time to wade through hundreds of pages of legislation to find out what it really says.

This is a health issue, of course, because the single most important health index — shown in every country and on earth and throughout human history — is people’s prosperity and economic health. This morning, Associated Press published a troubling report that reveals that we’ve been overlooking the larger costs of the $819 billion stimulus package: the interest payments on all of that money.

Reporter Tom Raum reveals that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report found that this year’s federal budget deficit would be a record $1.2 trillion, “about two times that of the year before.” That would mean: “Every individual in the United States would have to chip in roughly $37,000 apiece to pay it off.”

And that’s before the stimulus proposal now before Congress, he wrote. The stimulus package, according to Treasury Department projections, will add roughly $40 billion more just in interest payments...every year.

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