District Representative Speaks Out On Stimulus

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by windcatcher, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. windcatcher

    windcatcher
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    At the Women for Responsible Legislation meeting, today, our local representative to the state house spoke out on the stimulus.

    Did you know that martial law was in effect for the vote on the stimulus package? I was shocked to hear this. But he explained that the doors of Congress were locked and our legislatures were told the doors would stay that way until the Stimulus Bill was voted on.

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    His view of the stimulus..... is that it is partial to certain programs and groups but not all inclusive, nor is it without strings attached. One such program is for a commuter rail system here in the state of Florida which will move people over a rail system of 61 miles. CSX is the rail system track which will be dedicated for commuter times and traffic. If I got the figures straight.... it will move people from about 45 miles north of Orlando to a distance about 9 miles south. CSX currently move freight and this last year had significant profits. Nevertheless the state wants to fund a portion of RR which will cost about 1.2billion dollars to move people: How many people are expected to use the rails? The best estimates are up to 2500 might use the rails each year! Do the math. How many cars, or buses, or luxury limosines could furnish transportation for 2500 people a year at that price? Commuter fares will never be enough to recoup the cost. Some people are for it claiming 'it'll provide jobs'. The question then is who for? For how long? And for what?..... So there will be a few jobs created to lay or repair or upgrade existing track. A few jobs may be created to fill the orders or bring into existance the commuter cars required. Then the engineers which will run them. Then what? What about the ongoing liability to the state? CSX is wanting a sovereignty clause or indemification clause in the contract plus the state to fund an upgrade on an existing dedicated 'S' track which will run freight during commuter times on a roughly parallel track: This means the state will assume or absorb or purchase liability insurance to cover any injuries or losses to property or lives on the commuter rail regardless of fault, but CSX will be responsible for manpower. Is this good use of government funds? O, I almost forgot: The state is hoping for matching federal dollars to help build the rail. How much help will Florida get from the stimulus for rail? About 300million dollars! So the people of Florida may be sold 900million obligation for a promise of matching funds which equal a fourth of the total cost. Do the rest of you want Florida to spend 300million of federal dollars which the best estimates would only benifit and subsidize the annual transport of 2500 fare paying people?
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    In a local school board district, the supervisor has stated that revenue cuts are so great that after cutting all that he can from an already lean budget, 30 teachers jobs must be cut. This representative visits a school where the prinicipal is also familiar with the budget and voiced his complaint. "Show me your problem?" The principal then produces the budget: He has $500,000 for books he says the school doesn't need. He doesn't have the money to cover the salaries of 30 teachers...... but there's money waiting to be spent for 6 new classrooms which aren't absolutely necessary: There's money for the building of a new sports field house when the old one will continue to do very nicely: Also there's money for building a new cafeteria, when most of the students choose the fast food to bag outside on the sunny grounds and neglect to fill the already existant one. Without having to spend this 'earmarked' money where it is't needed, he would have more than enough to fund the salaries of the 30 teachers jobs which must now be cut, and possibly enough in reserve to continue contracts or work with reducing and reorganizing other expenses for the next years budget.
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    If this does nothing else of interest to the members on this board, I hope it stirs some up to get involved in the local issues affecting their areas of the country and some ideas when considering cost effectiveness. Like it or not...... when the government spends money...... it is OUR money. When it is spent well, in or out of district...... we will all benefit. But money which is wasted is just as gone as though we threw it away or burned it......... except it still remains on the books as a debt..... until it is taken from our pocket or those of our children to repay it. Then it is a twice hurt...if not more. (Watch it.... interest has a way of mounting up into an expense of its own!)
     
  2. matt wade

    matt wade
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    Sorry...that's simply not true. Martial Law was not in effect.
     
  3. billreber

    billreber
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    The City of Spokane Fire Department (and many others, according to the local radio news people) have decided to refuse any "stimulus" money for the hiring of additional fire fighters, because there is a nasty rider to the funding. The funding is provided for the next 2 years, but the hired people must be kept on the payroll for 5 years! The funding for years 3 through 5 must be provided by local sources, which are already having problems raising enough money to fund existing fire fighters.

    I have not attempted to read the "stimulus" bill itself, but from what the radio news reporters say, there are many such riders in the bill. With the economy in a recession, a lot of people are not willing to commit to spending a lot of money in 3 to 5 years, when they cannot "guarantee" they will have that money!

    The Democratic-owned "stimulus" bill (only 3 Republicans voted for it out of ALL of the Senate and the House) may be doing even less than anybody expected! I personally think the bill will do more harm than it will help.

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  4. KenH

    KenH
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    Those governments that refuse the jobs bill money may have to answer to their citizens for doing so at the next election.
     
  5. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    And the ones that take it may have to as well.
     

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