Sen. Coburn gave a terrific, moving, conservatively-grounded, and inspired floor speech late last night on the Obama Generational Theft Act of 2009. He defended market capitalism, assailed wealth distributionist programs and government corruption, and decimated the pork in the Democrats’ behemoth package.
Most importantly, he outlined repeatedly how this debt stimulus would be built on the backs of our children and grandchildren. He said last night on the floor: “This plan steals the future of the next two generations.”
On his website (and in a WSJ op-ed), Sen. Coburn reiterated this theme: “When the American people learn what this bill contains they will reject it. This bill is about spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need. We got into this mess by spending and investing money that didn’t exist. We won’t get out of this mess by doing more of the same. Yet, that is precisely what we are doing,” Dr. Coburn said. “Instead of delivering change, this bill celebrates the politics of the past. The bill represents both the mindless partisanship of recent decades, and the failed interventionist policies of the 1930’s. The Senate can, and must, do much better. As currently written, this bill represents the worst act of generational theft in our nation’s history.”
It’s a theme you and I have expounded upon since the Obama plan was introduced. And it’s working. More and more Americans are realizing what a colossal rip-off this plan is. “Unease is stirring” among moderate Democrats. I wish the rest of the Senate GOP leadership would start talking, acting, and then voting like responsible fiscal conservatives. Conservatism is shifting public opinion.
Kill the bill. Stab it. Stick a fork in it. Then start over from scratch.
Here are the amendments Coburn is offering:
1. Require that all money in the bill given to states be a loan that must be repaid.
2. Strike $246 million “Hollywood earmark” for the purchase of motion picture film. (passed last night)
3. Strike “biggest earmark of all time” – $2 billion for FutureGen clean coal power plant.
4. Sense of the Senate that the Congress should support President Obama’s “Plan for Restoring Fiscal Discipline.” (Specifically relating to cutting costs and inefficiencies of government.)
5. No funds shall be used for casinos, aquariums, zoos, museums, golf courses, or swimming pools (mirror House language).
6. No more than $1 billion may be spent on projects for federal agencies inside the beltway.
7. Require that any contract that is awarded must be competitively bid.
8. Convert $9 billion for broadband into loans for internet service providers/telecom companies to build infrastructure in market-sustainable areas.
9. Prohibit any Corps construction funds appropriated in this Act from being used for initial construction projects until all unfinished Corps projects have been completed.
10. No funds from the Federal Building Fund may be used to construct new federal buildings until the government reduces its inventory of surplus/excess real property by 50 percent as of the date of bill passage.
11. None of the funds made available for the National Park Service may be expended unless such funding directly reduces the deferred maintenance backlog.
12. Strike authority for the Director of Indian Health Service to spend all health information technology funds ($85 million) at his discretion, regardless of current law (competitive awards, bidding, etc).
13. Cut $3.25 billion in funding for Workforce Investment Act programs since WIA has not been reauthorized and GAO has found duplicative job-training programs across 8 different federal agencies.
14. No funds in the Act may go to a public or private institution of high education that has an endowment of more than $15 billion and/or spends more than $100,000 on lobbying annually.
15. Make the “making work pay” tax credit non-refundable (the plan to give $500 or $1,000 checks of every family).