Wednesday, June 10, 2009

So, Where Is All This Stimulus Money?

Many say that a turnaround is already upon us and that many places have already seen a large decrease in firings, a leveling or even uptick in employment vs. unemployment, and a real estate bottom. But most towns and states argue they haven’t seen much of the federal stimulus package and with the government acknowledging that only a fractional $44 billion has been issued, the question is being begged: where is all the stimulus money? Obviously it is not the sole catalyst for this burgeoning recovery.

'It’s coming' is the best the administration can do, with many saying this summer we will see an explosion in spending and a ramp-up of production, projects and job growth (seasonal employment leading from mid-June to mid-September—potentially settling 4 months of joblessness for many around the country). The beginning of so many projects is supposed to have a ripple effect (presumed, anyway).

So, do we ramp up spending for the summer? Or give it a continuous nudge along and prolong the funds for two-to-three years until we're positive the crisis has passed?

Or, do we ramp down the stimulus (as many are calling for now) and save billions from our massive current-year deficit, now that a recovery seems impending.

We proceed, obviously, is what this blogger believes and recommends.

Think of it this way: would you rather have no job for potentially 18 months until the economy picks up again? Or would you rather have a job for 4-12 months, then be unemployed for 6-9 before finding a new job in a more long-term stabilized economy?

In order to save states from exhausting all their funds for unemployment benefits, for bringing funds to the states, etc., the stimulus needs to stay in effect. Much of what was earmarked in it is necessary anyway, or will be necessary in the years to come. It's time to ensure that projects to improve our impact on the earth are moved to the forefront. It's time to double budget allocations for certain agencies (like the Department of Education for example), which are in desperate need of more funding for a common goal everyone should be in agreement with.

And no matter how much Republican chatter abounds to the opposition, NASA did need more than $1 billion for research and extra development. We need space exploration and understanding so much more than the recessive agendas of the religious elite who fear this means the eventual disproval of divinity. It will not. But if we can find life elsewhere, it certainly will present an interesting argument.

Let's keep the stimulus where it is and continue to provide funding for specific organizations that will assist everyone, not just a niche of our country's corporations. Let's play hardball when it comes to increasing taxes. Let the tea parties continue. The amount of taxes that our forefathers once protested against were radical and outrageous--these new proposals are marginal and might not be felt by many. Imagine paying an extra $.50 in taxes for your $2.13 coffee at Dunkin Donuts--that's what the colonists once dealt with. The measly 5-6% sales taxes of most states are minuscule in comparison and shouldn't be confused with over-taxation.

Conservatism needs to step aside for the sake of progress in the case of the stimulus. It's the constant forward march and backward pull that is driving the country to have an unsustainable discrepancy between rich, poor, majority and minority, frivolous and frugal, etc. etc. There is most likely a total secondary agenda to many projects, but a solid argument can be made to each of them--especially' volcano research.' I realize Louisiana doesn't have many, Bobby Jindal, but if you lived in Hawaii or Alaska, you might feel differently.

It's all a matter of prospective, and it's time to consider other ones when deciding.

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