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Buy American Clause

January 3, 2009 1 comment

So you thought that the trillion dollar stimulus might be carried out efficiently? As I have argued, this stimulus package is not going to help us at all, but rather serve as a diversion and probably disastrous use of private capital. However, adding in the “buy American” clause that the Democrats are advocating simply adds insult to injury. There are multiple issues with having this sort of clause. First, are funds going to be used effectively if they all must go to American companies? Will American goods and services be both the cheapest and highest quality for the public projects? Second, is the administration not asking for major issues with corruption, given that the government will be choosing what companies receive the contracts to carry out the projects?

Call me a pessimist but I see no way that this clause does the country any good. Chances are, funds will be used on worse and more expensive products, and politicians will hand the contracts for various goods and services out to favored constituents. Does this serve the public as a whole? Can any project created by politicians avoid ending up as mere pork, as Representative Von Hollen has argued? I just do not see any way that this stimulus can be productive, and adding in a “buy American” clause is simply going to give the taxpayers more grief.

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