Ben Buchwalter


So Stupid It Hurts
January 28, 2009, 2:58 pm
Filed under: Economy, Republicans | Tags: , , ,

If I spent five dollars today and got free sandwiches for the rest of the week, I’d call that a good deal. It would be an even better deal if the sandwiches prevented disease.

Republicans are whining that the economic stimulus package is too large and contains unnecessary and wasteful spending. But much of this spending will directly save the government money in the long run. You’d think that getting elected to national office would mean you have some kind of foresight or basic competence. But I guess shameless politics trumps those virtues in Washington DC. 

Alex Koppelman examines some of the GOP’s complaints about money allocated to health programs in the stimulus package. Brief rundown:

  • $150 Million “to carry out activities to implement a national action plan to prevent healthcare-associated infections … of which not less $50,000,000 shall be provided to States to implement healthcare-associated infection reduction strategies.” In 2000, healthcare related infections costed the government more than $5 Billion. Anyone worth anything would recognize its worth spending a little upfront to make this number go down. 
  • $335 million for STD prevention. This is also a large number, but a 2000 study found that the direct medical cost of STDs each year is $6.5 Billion.

As Atrios observes, this is just the Republicans “squealing OH NOES DEMS HEART TEH SEX, the media giggling like tweens, and the Dems running for cover from the BIG SCARY VAGINA.” Also, since when is disease prevention a bad thing?

Maybe the Republican Party would become relevant again if it started to, you know, try to make the country better instead of shoot it in the proverbial foot.

More on this from Think Progress.

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