The great state of Colorado has been mighty kind to our nation’s 44th President. Perhaps that’s why he will be signing the economic stimulus plan into action right here in Denver at the Museum of Nature and Science. ‘Potus 44’ (the 44th President of the United States) will then be on his way down to Phoenix to talk about houses and maybe a rendezvous with Senator John McCain. It is expected that Senator McCain will be all business as 21 people were killed recently in Nogales, a border town just inside Mexico. It is likely that most of Arizona’s stimulus money will be going straight to border technology in order to suppress the escalating violence. And with E Verify being cut from the stimulus package, Arizona should have no problem hiring more border patrol agents. E Verify was a program designed to ensure corporations were not hiring illegal immigrants and was cut due to its ineffectiveness after counting one hundred thousand people.
So where will Colorado be spending the estimated $1.97 billion it’s been allocated and how did the state’s politicians vote on the bill? Well it turns out, every Democrat from the state of Colorado voted in favor of the stimulus package. The state’s two Republicans voted against it. Colorado has largely been a state whose nonpartisan voters tend to swing an election, needless to say, if this spending increase has little to no effect, Governor Bill Ritter may be out of a job come re-election time in 2010.
The real question though, is not about political careers. The real question is what would happen to those of us out here on the front line if this spending package turns out to be too little, too late? “The economy is struggling more than this package is up to solving,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at www.moodyseconomy.com. Zandi estimates the bill will create just more than 2 million jobs by the end of 2010, but the recession will probably end up wiping out 6.5 million jobs.
Colorado is receiving approximately $1.97 billion to be spent by a formula. It appears that about $404 million will be going to state highways. Hopefully I70’s elevated deck will see some improvements as it currently feels like you’re driving over washboards on a dirt road!
Approximately $103 million is being allocated to transit. It has been suggested that the light rail extend the full length of Interstate 225.
Around $15 million is going to homeless prevention, although some locals feel that’s a bit excessive as Colorado already has a homeless prevention program in place called winter!
And about $611 million looks to be in place to help shore up the state’s budget. As it stands right now, approximately half the state’s budget goes to kindergarten through 12th grade education.
So that’s where approximately $1.13 billion is going of Colorado’s allotted $1.97 billion. What about the rest of the $837 million? That information is not as easily attainable. Perhaps it is going to kick start Colorado’s green job initiative. Vestas, a worldwide leader in wind energy is holding a job fair Monday, February 16th in Windsor, Colorado. All management positions have been filled, but the company seeks production workers to start at $32k a year. Look for this to stimulate northern Colorado’s economy where the weather is harsh because the winds are plentiful, but not for about another year as the company has barely broke ground on their new production facility to be located in Broomfield, Colorado. For more information go to the website www.vestas.com.
Ed Perlmutter says the stimulus package will create or simply retain about 60,000 jobs in Colorado. Is that where the rest of the $837 million is going? Ironically, the denverpost.com just pulled an article entitled “Banks not saying where bailout money is going”. Of course, this stimulus package is not a bailout because it’s called a recovery plan. One can’t help but wonder though, how much money the banking system is receiving on behalf of this new bill as well as the previous bailouts?
The new stimulus bill has various names and various dollar figures. The new stimulus bill is a total of 1,434 pages. Perhaps if you’ve recently been laid off you can find the time to spend going through that thing line by line, but the built in distractions and confusing tracking measures will have the common man or woman, pressed and stressed for time, going to their television sets for the answers. The American economic recovery, re-stabilization stimulus plan/package of 2009 should instead be called The Final Preservation of the Status Quo.