Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner has a scathing open letter to Congress on the stimulus bill:
In addition to being the single most expensive bill ever proposed, this measure calls for a massive expansion of the federal government’s reach into the day-to-day life of virtually every citizen, business and civic organization in the nation. That, in itself, should be the subject of an extensive public conversation and thoughtful debate. Instead, we have seen Congressional leaders schedule snap votes on a 1,434-page bill that no oneâ€”repeat, no oneâ€”has had a chance to read in its entirety, much less digest and deliberate.
This bill has been advertised as an economic stimulus billâ€”despite the fact that the Congressional Budget Office estimates it will actually weaken our nation’s long-term economic growth. While the stimulative utility of the bill is, at best, questionable, it would unquestionably rewrite the social contract between the American people and their government. For example:
The bill reverses the bipartisan and highly successful welfare reforms of 1996 and drastically expands the welfare state. For instance, it will start rewarding states for adding people to their welfare rolls, rather than for helping them find gainful employment. And contrary to long-established practice, it will entitle able-bodied adults without children to receive cash assistance. It does extreme violence to the concept of federalismâ€”bailing out states that have spent irresponsibly at the expense of taxpayers in states that have been fiscally prudent. It greatly shifts the responsibility and power over health care delivery and decision making from individuals to government. Among other things, it would create a new federal health board to decide which medical services are “effective” in America, paving the way for government effectively to overrule the clinical decisions of private physicians. It deliberately censors religious speech and worship on school campuses by prohibiting use of any “stimulus” funds for facilities that are used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school of divinity.