January 29, 2009, - 12:12 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
As you know, there are gazillions of dollars in special interest items in the so-called stimulus bill, which could spend us out of existence. But, with most evil things (and every cloud), there are two tiny silver linings. With this bill, these are probaby the closest we come to a silver lining, though it’s probably more of a grey tarnish:
1) Made in America
North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell won a House amendment that requires the Transportation Security Administration to buy some 100,000 employee uniforms from U.S. textile plants.
Rep. Kissell’s staffers said that while they aren’t sure exactly where TSA uniforms worn by airport-security checkers come from, they aren’t completely U.S.-made.
Currently, the Department of Defense is required to buy American-made uniforms. In arguing for the measure, Rep. Kissell, himself a former textile worker, points to 44 textile plants that have closed in the South, including 14 in his home state. “Last year, over 60,000 textile jobs were lost in the entire nation, 8,000 of those in North Carolina,” he said. “This is the right thing to do.”
I believe in the free market, but there is no reason to spend our tax dollars on foreign-made goods, when we can make them here and employ Americans.
2) Some Government Whistleblower Protections Restored
The Bush Administration severely weakened whistleblower protections for government employees who report wrongdoing. This includes, for example, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and FBI agents, who’ve reported on mammoth waste, outrageously unethical behavior, and pandering to Islamic extremists. I’m glad some of the protections–though, not enough of them–are being restored, since in many cases, these whistleblowers are the only check taxpayers have on dishonest executive branch bureaucrats:
Maryland Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, whose district includes a large number of government workers, added legislation to give federal workers new whistle-blower protections.
A couple of tiny silver linings in an otherwise beastly waste of money and increase in American debt from which we will have an even more difficult time of climbing out.
Not exactly worth it. But, still, it’s something, since we know this ridiculous bill will go through anyway.