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There are no funds for ACORN in the bill. Yes ACORN can apply for grants or bid on projects like any other group. Please feel free to show us where in the bill there are funds allocated for ACORN.

So noted and so corrected, though with something of an interpretive spin.

Thanks for correcting that small detail Boonton. Do you have any objection to the main theme of the post, that President Obama should remain consistent with the "no pork" principles of the Jan 8 speech?

That reminds me of something I was told a long time ago by an experienced member of committees. He said it was a useful strategy at the start of the meeting to pick up some trivial error in the minutes (ideally something that could be attributed to a key rival on the committee) and get really heavy about correcting it. That put him one up from the go-get.

What exactly is something that is 'highly likely to go to ACORN' and why should it be stripped from the bill?

Let's say there's some defense contractor that some people think is corrupt and evil. Let's call that contractor Hibutton. First someone says veto the defense bill unless money going to Hibutton is stripped. Then someone says ok there's no actual provision for Hibutton so strip anything that might go to Hibutton.

A saner person would say why is Hibutton getting business? If they are winning bids and getting the work done then what's the problem? If they are misuing funds, overbilling and causing trouble then why not prosecute them or ban them from getting any additional work. But ditching the defense budget to get at one company you don't like seems...well...silly.

Can we just agree that ACORN or no ACORN, it is highly unlikely that this money will be spent in a way that reflects the abstract intentions of the policy? Does anyone believe that going through the bill and asking, "How could they possibly think that this item help to stimulate the economy?" would fail to turn up a boatload of obvious pork? Didn't think so.

Another deflection Mr Boonton! (or can I call you Boonie, the way we talk to our friends Down Under?) Can you give a straight answer to the question - do you agree with the main point of the post? Do you think the President should maintain the "no pork" stance of 8 January or the "we won and we are writing the bill" approach which is likely to result in funds for a laundry list of liberal causes?

Not so much a stimulus more a tsunami of spending. Stimulus = Scam US.


You misunderstand my point. It's not about ACORN per se, but it's about a "stimulus" bill that's full of special interests, including some closely associated with the President. If Obama really means what he said on 1/8 at GMU, then he should make a substantive and symbolic point of asking Congress to remove funding for organizations that serve special interests with which he has been associated. THAT is what good leaders do: they don't ask of others more than they expect from themselves.

It's not about ACORN or Halliburton or any other specific organization. It's about following up your promises and leading by example.

Not a deflection. You began by asserting there's money allocated to ACORN. Then you backed off and said there's no money allocated to ACORN but it's possible ACORN might get some money if they win bids or successfully apply for grants. Then it is said by Rafe that the objection is to pork in the bill. Now Steve says that there is funding for 'organizations that serve special interests'...ok so back to the original question of what specific funding are you talking about? I'm wondering do you even know what you're objecting too?

If you want to make an objection to the bill based on economic theory about gov't spending and such then please feel free but if you're going to make very specific objections then it is kind of useful to get your specifics right....or at least somewhere in the ballpark.

Sorry Boonton, but you've picked up on a side point from the main argument, which is that Obama railed against a stimulus plan full of pet projects and special interests, then has gone ahead and supported one. My point in bringing up ACORN originally was that there are certainly provisions in the bill that will benefit organizations that are near and dear to Obama's heart. If he really meant what he said, he could lead by example and eliminate that proposed funding so that there would be no question of those organizations benefiting from the stimulus.

You and I may differ on what counts as a special interest or "pet project." That's fine, but let's have that out. My being wrong on the ACORN point does not change the fact that the bill is full of pet projects and special interest benefits that have nothing to do with any even remotely accepted theory of economic stimulus. I linked the WSJ list in an earlier post.

If you want to challenge that claim, do go right ahead, but that means you'll have to get by my error about ACORN and address the larger point.

Mr Boonton clearly does not want to be bothered about the larger point. So far he has struck out three times. I think in your game that means he is out.

I think Boonton is looking for a partial or full list of special interest and pet projects that would negate the president's call to exclude these items.

Heritage foundation has some, for example the increased presence of the federal government in the mortage market. I don't have quite the sustained interest to read through the bill and have not yet found a searchable copy. But I am assuming that Boonton would back off the point and apologize if there could be one example given of a special interest, pet project, or earmark in the bill?

Mankiw suggests a pet project for the steel industry:


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