Monday, June 15, 2009

War Bill H.R. 2346 Is Set To Be Approved, After All

Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 (H.R. 2346) is set to be approved, after negotiations between House and Senate and the White House resulted in the "compromise".

U.S. Lawmakers to Vote on $106 Billion War Measure
(6/12/09 Bloomberg):

"U.S. lawmakers are set to approve a $106 billion war-spending bill after President Barack Obama said he would use “every legal and administrative remedy available” to block the release of photos of troops abusing detainees."

There goes Freedom of Information, and that was the position of the administration to begin with.

"Lawmakers crafting the war-spending bill also defeated an attempt to remove from it a “cash for clunkers” provision offering as much as $4,500 to those trading in cars for more fuel-efficient models.

"Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the chamber’s No. 2 Democrat, estimated the provision would result in 250,000 cars being traded in. It would cost taxpayers $1 billion."

So they managed to put this back in, just like they wanted from the beginning. And this applies only to new car purchase, and as long as the new car's fuel efficiency is better than your old car that's OK. It would cost only $1 billion, and taxpayers are going to pay for it anyway. A chump change.

By the way, Mr. Durbin apparently made some shrewed investment decision back in September 2008 after he was in discussions with Messrs. Paulson and Bernanke (sorry, Dr. Bernanke) along with his Congressional colleagues, before the market started to crash in earnest in late September-early October. On September 19, the day he sold his mutual fund holdings, Dow had a huge up-day; it ended at 11,388. Then he put his money on Berkshire Hathaway by October 2, which shows there is some justice left in the world. (Didn't Martha Stewart have to go to prison for insider trading?)

"The bill also will approve an Obama request for $108 billion in aid, mostly in the form of a line of credit, to the International Monetary Fund to help it deal with the global recession. Lawmakers appropriated $5 billion to secure the aid."

Uh huh. It also happens to come with over $100 billion loan guarantee to IMF.

If IMF thing is in, World Bank thing should be in, too. To fight poverty in the world. Oh I see. It's a war. War against poverty. Only $4 billion. Big deal, right?

What compromise? It sure looks like the administration got everything they wanted. Here's my post when the bill was still in negotiation. The bill will also authorize Treasury Secretary Geithner to instruct IMF to sell part of IMF's gold. China must be laughing and saying "Oh, thank you so much, Timmy". Tim will also get to beat up on various development banks to adopt green gas accounting.

I don't think the U.S. economy will have much chance of surviving, not to mention thriving, under the government like this. Today's stock market agrees with me. It is selling off all day, just quietly selling off.


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