Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reinvestment Act in Action

According the The New York Times, many states have started spending nearly $50 billion dollars that might create up to 400,000 jobs. This in the first three weeks since the bill was made law.

John D. Porcari, Maryland's transportation secretary, said the state: "would quickly put 10,000 people to work resurfacing dozens of roads, painting and repairing bridges, and putting up guardrails".

The construction industry has an unemployment rate twice that of the national average.

When people against this legislation characterize it as a "New Deal" type of package they are wrong.


This package is intended to spend money quickly (states must begin spending money within four months) and states have a lot of leeway on how it gets spent in terms of public works projects.

Many states are opting for smaller, previously shelved projects to repair roads that are in terrible condition.

Some places are opting for major projects, such as the one causing problems in the state of Washington's legislature over whether or not to tear down the Alaska Way viaduct, an elevated highway in Seattle that "blocks off its waterfront" in order to replace it with a tunnel.

Although there are many fights to come within states about how best to spend the money, two things are for sure.

The money will get spent.


People will go back to work.

Families, grocery stores, gas stations, truck drivers, pavement makers, steel workers, restaurants, even banks will benefit from the workers on these projects having a paycheck.

Additionally, people will get off unemployment and other types of public assistance, freeing up those state funds for other things.

Sounds like stimulus to me.

But what do I know?

I'm just a grad student who tries to see the bigger picture... and doesn't expect immediate gratification from a bill that is only three weeks into action...


Chris March 4, 2009 at 12:57 PM  

Sounds good, but will it last? Will those jobs still be there when the money runs out? I hope so...trying to stay positive here....

skyewriter March 4, 2009 at 1:18 PM  

My hope is that the bigger projects will be able to be funded after this first round.

States should have more money with fewer people unemployed (part of ARRA also goes to help states with unemployment costs as well as public aid costs due to unemployment).

I suppose that if things are done right in the states, it should turn into a ripple effect. It will be slow for sure, but, only time will tell.

At least it's a start... I'm trying to stay positive too.

The news is so negative, negative, negative.

What ever happened to focusing on the positive?

Seeing Eye Chick March 4, 2009 at 1:46 PM  

Instant Gratification: That is the key phrase isn't it.

Being able to wait for satisfaction. Its a lost art right now. March 4, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

I guess it must be hard to be patient when yo have kids to feed, a mortgage and you've either lost your job or are afraid that you will.

Shady Lady March 4, 2009 at 11:07 PM  

This is wonderful! I believe that the more people have a positive attitude, the more positive the outcome will be.

Seeing Eye Chick March 5, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

Its not the people who need the jobs that I worry about. Its the people who think that if Obama's plan doesn't transform the country yesterday--that it must be a failure, that I am concerned about.

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