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Greene County, area could use some stimulatingPosted Friday, February 13, 2009, at 11:46 AM
How many of you don't feel real stimulated by the much-debated federal $787 billion "Stimulus Plan" now steamrolling its way through the halls of Congress?
How much of the huge chunk of bailout, economic arousal bucks do you think will really make their way to the folks here in Greene County, Indiana?
Not much, I can assure you.
Indiana tentatively will have 713 projects funded to the tune of $2,598,965,295, according to "Stimulus Watch," an online database where you can track the mega bailout bill aimed at jump-starting our stagnant economy.
Last week, the Indiana Finance Authority (IFA) released a group of wastewater and drinking water projects that would be eligible for interest-free loans in the state if the federal stimulus package is approved.
A $320,000 wastewater treatment plant in Dugger was the only project on the eligible list for this area.
None of those "shovel read" projects and related jobs, that were requested by mayors in the state, are in the plan for Greene, Owen, Daviess, Clay, Knox or Lawrence counties.
If you want to see for yourself, go to www.stimuluswatch.org -- the figures are there. These projects are not yet a part of the stimulus bill. They are candidates for funding by federal grant programs once the bill passes.
The Stimulus Plan has plenty of road construction and wastewater improvement projects, mass transit, and solar energy as well as fire safety equipment and buildings for places in the Hoosier state like Carmel, Crown Point, East Chicago, Evansville, Indianapolis, Michigan City, Hobart, Kokomo, Lake Station, Lawrence, Merrillville, Mishawaka, Muncie, Plymouth, Richmond, Whiting, and Terre Haute.
There are a lot of good and needed projects on the list, but some beg a few questions.
Among the questionable Hoosier projects is $2.5 million for a water slide and wave pool in Carmel; $1 million for construction of a trail and rail bridge in Carmel; $1.1 million for a bike trail in East Chicago.
I guess it could be worse.
* Dallas, Texas has a $386 million convention hotel on the list.
* There is $1 million for the construction of an indoor soccer field in Hampstead, N.Y.
* There is $500,000 for construction of a dog park in Chula Vista, Calif.
* A total of $886,000 is earmarked for a Frisbee golf course in Austin, Texas.
* Arlington, Texas has plans to spend $6 million for golf course renovations.
* $20 million has been request for the establishment of "downtown quiet zone" in San Diego, Calif.
If you want to see a downtown quiet zone, come to Bloomfield, Newberry or Solsberry. There is plenty of quiet in those communities and no federal dollars were used to create it.
Another thing I don't understand.
Puerto Rico is slated to get funding for 340 projects. West Virginia has just one.
What is wrong with this picture?
Look at the whole list. There's a lot of pork in it.
It's no secret President Barack Obama is pushing the mega billion dollar package hard and so are his Democrat colleagues on Capitol Hill.
Most of the so-called experts are saying the amended version of the deal will probably make it through the legislative process in the next few days.
President Obama drew a line in the sand early in the fight and asked that the stimulus package be delivered to his Oval Office desk by President's Day -- which is Monday.
How about all of that change that we heard about before the election?
From where I sit, all of this looks too much like business as usual in Washington D.C.
Partisan politics are alive and not so well for the long term good of this great nation.
Make no mistake about it, this is a Democrat spending bill -- a very big one.
Not a single Republican voted for the plan Friday in the House of Representatives, and only three GOP members backed it in the U.S. Senate.
I wonder since when did borrowing money from China and OPEC ever do anything for the good old USA? That's what we have to do in order to fund this economic stimulus package.
This country doesn't have $787,000,000,000 in the bank.
In fact, we don't have any money.
We are in the hole to the tune of $9,000,000,000,000 -- can you say $9 trillion?
John Nofsinger recently wrote in "Mind on My Money" that "President Obama wants to create four million jobs. At nearly $800 billion that's $200,000 per job -- where do I apply?"
Remember President Obama's recent inauguration gala was quite an affair and watched around the world.
"At a cost of $170 million, we could do it 4,705 more times," he wrote.
Nofsinger also points out that about 6.5 million people are currently receiving unemployment benefits -- $800 billion is $123,000 for each one of them.
The stimulus package is big and costly to the hard-working taxpayers back home -- many of whom are losing their jobs in record numbers.
Is this really the kind of stimulus we need to get our economy back on the road to recovery?
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