Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Will Texas Spend the Stimulus Cash Wisely?

So as currently proposed, how would Texas benefit from the Obama economic recovery plan? Where would those dollars go?

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, the plan, which could bring some $27 billion to the state, could break down like this:

Highways - $2.42 billion

Transit and rail - $336.53 million

Food Stamps - $1.8 billion increase

Job Training for youth,
displaced workers, and
adults - $163.48 million

Unemployment Insurance - $846 million

Medicaid - $5.12 billion

Specific potential benefits to Dallas:

$70.7 million - Low income schools

$48.06 million - Special Education

$82.73 - School Rehabilitation and construction

There is more than $100 million for homeless assistance, and $400 million in block grants.

Governor Rick Perry's reaction? "Just bad message. Bad policy."
With unemployment at 6%, more than 400,000 people on food stamps and the prospect of creating or saving more than 300,000 jobs, where is the '...bad message?'

Republicans are questioning the prospect of adding jobless Texans to the states' Medicaid rolls with the stimulus, because they may kick them off when the funds run out. That's NOT a bad message?

I'm wondering what audience is being played to while people's lives hang in the balance.

I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have some doubt as to whether or not this stimulus will work exactly the way it is proposed. But it's not just the outlay of money and the deficit, but the fear that states and cities which get the money won't use it in ways that are really stimulative.

Texas has 9 billion less than two years ago, due to declining sales taxes and property tax cuts. These projections in the stimulus would cover a little more than half of that.

But its not that this 'Texas Proud' arrogance, won't keep the state from taking the money - but given our history, it could keep us from spending it to maximum benefit.
Please check out my column in this morning's Dallas Morning News!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The results are in.....2.5 million in attendance for the inauguration and
only 14 missed work"!!!