Framing the Dialogue

Stimulus (stim – you – less)

Stimulus is defined as:

“Something that rouses or incites to action or increased action; incentive”

Synonyms:  inducement, provocation

Can you use it in a sentence?

President Barack Obama said the $787 billion economic stimulus plan is beginning to take hold and that work is coming in “ahead of schedule and under budget.”

Can you give me an example?

The stimulus package was hoisted on to the taxpayers as a means to “rebuild crumbling roads and bridges, modernize airports and shipyards, develop high-speed rail networks and restore aging public transit systems.

Example 1:  The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has awarded a $780,000 grant to rebuild crumbling infrastructure through the federal stimulus package.  The grant was awarded to the Roaring Run Watershed Association to resurface a one mile portion of their trail and to build a restroom.  The rails-to-trails folks do a great job, but is this what you think of as rebuilding roads and bridges?

Example 2:  A provision was placed in the stimulus bill to compensate Filipino veterans of World War II, survivors now in their 80s and 90s, with lump-sum payments of $15,000 if they are U.S. citizens or $9,000 if they are not. I do not take issue with the payments if they are deserved and I do not know enough about the subject to comment.  I do know, however, that these payments are NOT for roads and bridges.

Example 3:  From the Heritage Foundation;

“The so-called “stimulus” bill (H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) created the refundable Making Work Pay Credit, increased and made refundable the Hope Scholarship Credit (now renamed the American Opportunity Education Credit), and increased the two largest existing refundable credits, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit. To the extent these credits are refundable, they are really spending run through the tax code and as such will do nothing to boost the ailing economy.”

Again, no roads or bridges.

Example 4:  The City of Connellsville (south of Pittsburgh, PA) will receive $1.25 million to build a train station for Amtrak as an economic development tool.  This one is actually an infrastructure type project.  Does it seem like we just opened a giant credit card that is funding everyone’s wish list?

Example 5:  The mayor of Pittsburgh plans to use economic stimulus money for roads…just kidding; he plans to hire at least 500 young people for the Summer Youth Employment Program to the tune of $1.5 million.  The youths will “spruce up” the city.

Example 6: The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported that millions of dollars are being spent on small bridges that handle as few as 10 cars per day. 

Example 7:  California actually proposed to rebuild infrastructure with some of their stimulus money, however, it may be a little pricey.  The LA Times reports that one three mile section of Interstate 710 will cost $75 million to repave.  That is not building a new road, that is for repaving.  That is $25 million a mile!

Example 8:  The Washington Post reports that Representative John Murtha was one of the first to “win” funding from the stimulus bill for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County airport.  Built on Murtha’s foundation of PORK to the tune of $200 million.  The stimulus added another $800,000 to pave a backup runway.  The airport is so busy, that:

“on a recent weekday, four passengers lined up to board a flight, outnumbered by seven security staff members and supervisors, all suited up in gloves and uniforms to screen six pieces of luggage. For three hours that day, no commercial or private planes took off or landed. Three commercial flights leave the airport on weekdays, all bound for Dulles International Airport…Each of the six daily flights that the United Express local carrier makes to and from the airport is subsidized, costing taxpayers about $1.4 million, or $147 per passenger, last year. The subsidy is double the national average for the federal program designed to guarantee air service for 150 rural communities”

If you really want to be sick, read the entire article.

Example 9:  Please leave me a comment of your favorite stimulus project.

3 CommentsLeave one

  1. Kevin says:

    I could go on for a while about my favorite stimulus programs, but I’d rather talk about #5 for a little while.

    What the government is doing for the summer youth program (and others like it) isn’t creating ‘jobs’ like this administration likes to tout (“So and so project will create X number of jobs.”) What happens when the stimulus money runs out? The “jobs” disappear. The stimulus bill does not create any jobs in my opinion; it only creates work. As soon as the stimulus money stops flowing like the Ohio River after it rains, one of two things has to happen: the people employed by these projects will go right back to being unemployed, or more taxpayer money will be budgeted to continue this ongoing project. Either way in the long run, the country is no better off than when this stimulus started. That isn’t stimulating the economy; it’s writing a blank check in the taxpayers name or artificially inflating the unemployment rate.

    If Obama truly wants to stimulate the economy, he should cut taxes for businesses; businesses who will then in turn hire more people and expand our long run national output by creating permanent jobs rather than just work.

  2. health insurance says:

    The Democrats don’t create jobs The Republicans don’t create jobs The government doesn’t create jobs The PRIVATE SECTOR creates jobs. The only thing the first three have to do Is LOWER TAXES

  3. boca raton plumbers says:

    “The president will also ask the panel to look at the U.S. tax code and has not ruled out tax increases for the middle class should the commission deem them necessary” So here is the report: “get rid of a few programs, put a symbolic freeze on others (exclude everything even remotely connected to transfer or safe-the-environment payments) and raise taxes.”

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