Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stimulus money down the drain

From the Times Newsweekly:

Does anyone in the neighborhood feel stimulated?

At this time last year, President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion stimulus package designed, in part, to create or save millions of jobs across the country. The country was told that the Great Recession would turn into a full-blown depression without such a package.

A large portion of the money was used to save government jobs and social services. Most of the jobs supported by stimulus spending belonged to public employees at the state and local level, including about 325,000 teachers and school staff.

Other than tax credits, there was little aid provided to businesses to bring about a substantial hiring of people in the private sector. Evidence of the lack of job creation can be found in this newspaper or any other publication or Internet classified, none of which seem to be overflowing with help wanted ads.

The stimulus package, instead, extended unemployment benefits and programs like food stamps for the neediest Americans. Those receiving Social Security payments were provided with a one-time bonus of $250. Payroll taxes for middle class workers were also decreased ever so slightly.

As for infrastructure improvements, the stimulus package was to provide money for hundreds of “shovel-ready” jobs across the United States. Yet few seem to get a shovel in the ground, as a number of projects are caught up in red tape and/or union scuffles.

If Americans want to know what a real stimulus package looks like, they should open up the history books and read about the Works Progress Administration (WPA) that helped bring the country out of the Great Depression.

The brainchild of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, WPA was a controversial program. Some thought it was like socialism, others felt it put the country in debt and others still thought it would be just as effective to give money to people and expand welfare payments. Sound familiar?

For all the hemming and hawing in that era, history would show that, in the eight years the WPA operated, nearly onefourth of all families in the U.S. were dependent on wages provided through WPA projects.

The WPA built or improved 651,000 miles of roads, 19,700 miles of water mains, 500 water treatment plants, 24,000 miles of sidewalks, 12,800 playgrounds, 24,000 miles of storm and sewer lines, 1,200 airport buildings, 226 hospitals and more than 5,900 schools.

New York City got things like the RFK (Triborough) Bridge and LaGuardia Airport through the WPA. Nearly every American community benefited in some way from WPA projects with a new park, bridge or school.

What do we have to show for $787 billion in spending last year? So far, not much, as there are still tens of millions of Americans out of work or underemployed, and there are scores of needed infrastructure projects yet to be started.

When it comes to increasing employment for the middle class workers of America, it seems that the present administration seems able to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

Wake up and smell the coffee, Mr. President.


Anonymous said...

conservative historians state that the United States entering W.W. ll, against the Nazi war machine(national socialists party) ,was the major cause in diminishing the Great Depression.
let us not forget the japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.

in that era our Dept. of Justice would execute saboteurs.

stinky said...

At least under Roosevelt there was something to show for the money.The stimulus today is to pour money into bottomless pits that when election time comes around the swamp things climb out of the pit to vote for Obama and his coattails Pols in gratitude and hopefully obtain continued funds.

Anonymous said...

75% of my salary is through stimulus funds. I work in construction and I am building 3 schools which are 75% funded specifically through stimulus funding (25% are charter school dollars funded by charitable donations).
I live in Glendale and make an effort to spend my money locally.
You guys just dont like Obama because he is a black democrat.

Snake Plissskin said...

Actually a good portion of the money went into more building - and paying illegals to man the job sites - as infrastructure falls apart around us unable to handle the people that are already living here.

So the money goes to line developer pockets, build human warehouses, and gets sent back to Mexico.

After benefiting tweeds (with pork) and the clubhouse, we are still left with a shit sandwhich being nickeled and dimed to death as services take a big step down.

Anonymous said...

Middle class is useless to a politician.

We aren't poor (yet) so we cant be efficiently tweeded, and we aren't rich, so we cant buy their favor.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was sublimely idiotic. Middle class is ESSENTIAL to politicians, as the middle class comprise some 75-80% of the electorate.

The poor - who vote in low numbers and have no influence - THEY're useless to politicians.

Anonymous said...

The poor - who vote in low numbers and have no influence - THEY're useless to politicians.

The poor are vital to politicans, because they have needs that need programs that can be filled with cronies and relatives, have low expectations so they don't complain like middle class, don't vote, respect authority and do not often have jobs that require thought.

Middle Class? the less the better for the clubhouse - they complain, vote people out of office, write letters, and general make politicans work for their living.

The happy politican is one with no middle class and a sea of tweeded poverty.

Anonymous said...

Worst. President. Ever. And today, he committed to the worst yet. I hope Queens is happy with the man they voted for.

Anonymous said...

you are building schools to house the children of illegal aliens,who scam the system by not paying taxes,medical care,property taxes for schools, and take jobs from the minority citizens.

the U.F.T. will administer these schools,house the U.F.T. bodies who are paid by stimulus and taxpayer revenues,until it depletes because
of no private sector employment.

obama's policies are bankrupting the U.S. just like the P.I.G.S. of Europe. the Greek civil servants just had their wages cut 12%,holiday bonuses cut 30%( two months wages).the V.A.T.,value added taxes are 21%, alcohol up 20%, cigarettes up 6%.

Portugal,Italy and Spain are next.obama's buddies at Goldman-Sachs advised the GREEK government to hide the country's debt.

the color of the skin is passe,"it is the economy stupid "
U.S. unemployment 10-20%....all U.S.citizens of various races......

Anonymous said...

bunch of tea party loving morons, you make me weep for this country's future.