The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Earmarks don’t generate jobs

By Frances Matteck/editor-in-chief

President Obama has promised to create or preserve 3 million jobs through the stimulus plan, a.k.a. “the tab my children and grandchildren will pick up.”

The economy is in bad shape, but how does a provision granting $246 million in special tax breaks for the film industry help?

Thankfully, the Senate passed an amendment to strike the provision. However, the vote was only 52-45. If it had gone a few votes in the other direction, we would have been bailing out Hollywood.

The stimulus includes some worthy causes and institutions, such as the digital television converter box program, but $650 million toward that doesn’t stimulate the economy.

With so many earmarks and ridiculous proposals in this behemoth, I’m surprised it passed in Congress.

For example, take the “Making Work Pay” credit. This proposes to give $500 to every individual making less than $75,000 a year or $1,000 to couples making less than $150,000 a year. Sounds pretty great, right? Wait, there’s a catch — people who did not make enough money to contribute to income tax will also receive this refund. This begs the question, if they didn’t contribute anything to income tax, then where does their refund come from? That’s right. It’s coming from you and me.

The same goes for the proposed $75 million earmarked for “smoking cessation activities.” Smoking causes lung cancer, and no one argues that smokers slowly kill themselves with their cancer sticks.

However, if grown people choose to smoke, should taxpayers financially contribute to teaching them smoking is bad? They know it’s bad — every pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. has the surgeon general’s warning.

Trying to convince smokers to quit smoking does not belong in the stimulus plan. It doesn’t create jobs.

The officials writing the stimulus need to take a step back and look at what they’ve created. Billions of dollars of extras won’t do anything to help the economy.

Instead of throwing away money they don’t actually have to fix the economy, the government officials should stop pursuing their personal agendas and consider other alternatives such as tax breaks.

What a novel idea. Instead of taxing people and then refunding it to people who didn’t contribute, they can leave a little more in the pockets of the average person. I bet when the 300 million Americans who have that extra money spend it, it’ll help the economy.

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