Monday, May 04, 2009

Stimulus Paying to Insulate Others

In the Detroit News, editor Nolan Finley hits one out of the park when in Hey neighbor, buy you a window? he points out an Obamasurdity with the stimulus.
You may be surprised when the insulation truck pulls up to your neighbor's house and starts stuffing his attic. Or when his high-tech new windows arrive.

You'll be even more shocked to learn you're paying the bill. Most of the Obama stimulus money coming to Michigan counties is in the form of weatherization and neighborhood stabilization funds -- $248 million to plug drafty houses and $134 million to pretty up foreclosed homes.

Michigan expects 40,000 homes to get attic insulation, weatherstripping and window and roof repairs at a cost of up to $6,500. The lucky recipients will save about $400annually on their heating bills.

As the taxpayer picking up the tab, you might have a few questions. I know I do.
Yes indeed, like why they just didn't do this as a tax credit and use the funds for more universal things like road repair and infrastructure (probably because it wouldn't be a government program but only an incentive for individuals - can't have that). But it gets better as it doesn't make any real economic sense -
First, I wonder who did the math. At $400 a year, it will take 16 years to recoup the investment. The White House claims the greater good is the impact on global warming, but I doubt it'll cut enough carbon to keep a single ice cube from melting in the Arctic.
Yep, in the name of global warming, we're giving plentiful handouts to a favored few, handouts that don't even make economic sense. We could have made economic sense and reduced "climate change" by using the money to build some nice new clean nuclear power plants to reduce CO2 emissions and provide a source of pretty clean power -but noooo.

My bigger question, though, is: What about my house? While my tax dollars are going to make someone else's home cozy, I've got drafts blowing through that would take a chihuahua airborne.

Likewise, my castle could use a good sprucing to make it more marketable.

But the money I might have used for new siding went for taxes to fund a federal Neighborhood Stabilization stimulus program, which gives buyers of foreclosed homes cash to fix them up. Never mind that they bought the houses at a 40 percent discount and should have plenty of cash leftover for repairs. Obama is making sure they can flip them at a tidy profit.

The counties, starved for operating cash, have no choice but to use the money to pay for Obama's Robin Hood schemes.

Paul Gieleghem, chairman of the Macomb County Commission, said he would have rather used the $8 million his county is getting for weatherization to improve Macomb's higher education options.

That would be legitimate economic stimulus in a county that needs a more highly skilled work force. And it would have been a more direct benefit to a broader group of residents.

Exactly. This handout to a select few in the guise of a stimulus for weatherization of a few homes is a wasteful stimulus at that. No real multiplier effect - just that I bet the costs for weathering services and supplies just went up to match the stimulus rates being paid out.
Weatherization? That's welfare wrapped in itchy pink fiberglass.
Even worse its welfare only for those who bought foreclosed homes and those in the weatherstripping/insulation industries - hardly a broad-based stimulus to turn this state's economy around.

It expands the idea of a safety net well beyond making sure everyone is secure, fed and healthy to guaranteeing everyone has the same stuff, even the same R value in the attic.

It reflects the driving mission of Obamanomics to equalize wealth and flatten the standard of living. . . .

That and ideology above practicality. If they really wanted to promote weatherstripping, just give everyone a tax credit equal to the amount spent on weatherstripping and insulation, both of which just like Editor Finley my house could use some more of, and I actually plan to add it.

Unlike the Obama beneficiaries however, I won't be doing it with stimulus money but I'll be paying for theirs through taxes as I pay for mine, at a now higher price due to his artificially increased demand through this stimulus plan. Thanks.


Expatriate Owl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicki said...

My head threatens to explode every time I read more of what our earnings are funding. I'm sick and tired of paying others' mortgages, others' luxuries, others' home repair, and for others' screw ups.

I'm a pretty generous person, and I do my best to help charities and those who need a hand VOLUNTARILY, but when the government steps in, takes nearly half my earnings, because apparently, I make too much (as a single parent with two kids), because I happen to pay my bills on time, and hands them over to complete irresponsible screw-ups, it makes me want to climb a tall tower with an AK! Apparently in order to be considered "needy" by this administration, I have to neglect my bills, let my credit go to $hit, let my home deteriorate and allow my kids to run around wild sporting dirty faces and runny noses.

Is it any wonder charitable giving suffers every time the government takes more money out of our pockets to pay for inefficient, ineffective bureaucratic programs that would be better administered by private charities that don't have to pay unions, lazy workers, and fund miles of red tape?