February 8, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
I just found out that the Senate voted 73-24 to ban using any stimulus money to help any:
aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification projectI want to know which Democrats were among those 73 who voted to prohibit using stimulus money for any of these.
How do I find out?
Update - found it. Here are the Dems who voted to prohibit using stimulus money for any aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, or highway beautification project.
Posted by Dave Johnson at February 8, 2009 4:28 PM
DiFi strikes again. I want to know what the rationale behind these prohibitions is. As I recall, the WPA build all sorts of things along these lines, and seventy years out, it seems to me that the payback has been quite substantial, and continues... there are quite a few buildings built with WPA money still standing in Santa Monica, where I grew up, and in Santa Cruz, where I live. In fact, I'd venture to say that these surviving WPA projects are some of the highest return "investments" our government has ever made.
I'm all in favor of spending the stimulus money effectively. Especially on stuff that is going to actually have a stimulus effect sooner rather than later (per the CBO). On the other hand, the whole point of spending ANY money is to spend ENOUGH money to MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Which is why this who "bi-partisan" conspiracy to "trim down" the stimulus package and spend LESS money just baffles me... we might as well not do this at all, if we're not going to make a serious attempt at it. Relative to the size of our economy, this is still not tremendously significant, and could easily be washed out by other factors (the drop in oil prices alone amounts to a stimulus half the size of this package, and much more evenly distributed). These prohibitions seem like just one more example of how the powers that be in Washington are attempting to hamstring and hobble the "stimulus" so that it winds up being nothing such.
Look, we're in a recession and have to prioritize. Those things might be great if tax rolls weren't declining due to job loss and "negative" economic growth, but not now.
As an analogy I offer. Say you lost you're job (hopefully not you). You might, in your search for a job, decide to max out the credit cards for what you need to find a job and to pay the bills. So you repair that old car (for job hunting), buy new clothes for interviews, pay tuition for classes to update your skill set, and maybe pay for airline tickets to travel to interviews.
All fine and good and understandable.
But let's say in your maxing out of your credit for job hunting your spouse says that you need a new 50" plasma TV. Would you say "of course we need it"? No. You'd say that that expense should be saved for when we have an income.
Parks and museums and such are nice, they're just not a part of what is going to stimulate the economy back into growth or keep people off the streets.
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