Monday, June 1, 2009

Left Out?

"The federal stimulus plan sounded good: cover the experse of some ready-made Rooseveltian public works projects that would employ people who have lost their jobs...It almost seems a ruse. Was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...just a sleight of hand?

"Stimulus plan or ruse?" Kent County News Editorial, May 28, 2009.

The basic complaint is that the right kind of stimulus money isn't available on a flexible basis to do what needs to be done. I tried to check Maryland RecoveryStat to check the numbers for Kent County but got frozen out -- maybe my fault, who knows. Doesn't make sense that you would apply on one basis and then receive dollars that don't work for the right thing. That needs fixing.

On the other hand, I would have expected a more comprehensive account of ARRA dollars, not just the infrastructure. After all, the editorial goes on to argue that, "Stimulus programs of the future...should be aimed at projects that make sense, and made available to those who will need them the most."

By that standard: Did anyone in Kent County receive new tax credits, expanded food stamp dollars, unemployment insurance, etc.? How many new homes of low and moderate income families are being targeted for weatherization? Any ARRA resources helping out with school budgets, or energy efficiency? Is Kent County ready to participate in competitive grants for workforce, energy, and early childhood?

Kent County may still be left out? That would be unfortunate. But we could then at least have a more complete discussion about ARRA.

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