The proposed economic stimulus bill has many proposals that would create real tangible results as well as jobs. Motorists would witness new highway construction putting many thousands of idled construction workers back to work. Crumbling Veterans Administration hospitals would receive vital repairs as well as modernization. Veterans cemeteries would witness improved upkeep and maintenance.
In addition, new mass transit projects would be built around the country, providing many jobs as well as reducing urban traffic congestion problems such as pollution or lack of parking spaces. The nation's electrical grid could be modernized where some dirty burning coal fired electrical-generation plants could be retired in favor of some cleaner and better controlled new generation of nuclear power plants or other energy producing alternatives.
Local governments, of which at least 88% are in serious "red" ink problems, would get a portion of grants from a $40 billion dollar fund to prevent job layoffs and to keep vital city workers such as firemen or police on the job.
Some states like California or others with serious fire management safety problems would receive some funds to hire workers to clean up dangers that can result in fires that have the potential for great property damage or loss of life.
Local neighborhood elementary and secondary schools would witness an influx of new federal funds to renovate older buildings and to modernize so that the children can be trained to hold the jobs of the future. Some local school districts in large cities may receive around $20 million in actual grants to repair or upgrade crumbling schools, providing many local construction jobs.
In addition, workers will see a $500 withholding tax credit. And workers too poor to receive this credit will witness the $500 as a direct subsidy that they can spend on any of their family needs as they see fit.
Unemployed workers will also receive a $25 a week benefits increase as well as an extension of benefits while the Obama Administration and congress make any attempts to improve the economy and reduce the staggering recent unemployment numbers.
Blind and disabled persons would receive a special one-time "13th" month Social Security Supplemental Income Assistance check to spend as they wish to pay their living expenses or their bills.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Bonneville Power Administration which provides electricity to Oregon and Washington, and sometimes sells to neighboring states like California, would witness a $3.25 grant to build nine new electrical power generation projects that could not built without this funding. Oregon alone is expected to gain 1,000 construction jobs just as a result of this one program.
Many Republicans in congress no doubt want to see "trickle-down" tax cuts to big business as their one-note solution to the economy crisis. But past tax cuts during the Bush Administration failed to keep the American economy from slipping into this deep recession. The fact of the matter is that real construction projects at Veterans Administration hospitals, highway and school projects will provide an estimated 3 million jobs, and leave some real tangible results behind.
The price tag on the economic stimulus bill may be high. But it will actually provide real results such as improved, cleaner and more modern electrical service. Such improvements to the nation's electrical grid may be vital to the development of some extreme hybrid automobiles that can run up to 40 miles on electricity without using a single drop of gas.
On closer examination of this economic stimulus bill, it is actually providing a great deal of bang for the buck. The $700 billion Bush bail-out of the banks actually provided few new loans to buy homes or cars as it should have, and the taxpayer would be hard pressed to see any real tangible improvements as a result of that huge bail-out. But this bill is far different. It creates real jobs and funds real projects that should improve the lives of any American who uses schools, highways, veterans hospitals, or numerous other government services.
Some seek to demonize or misrepresent this bill by searching for some small provision that funds a strange little project somewhere. And certainly a few pet projects have slipped into this bill. But overall, the lion's share of this bill closely targets funding to real projects that have a high infrastructure worth to the quality of life in America. Certainly this bill is by no means a perfect bill. But it's certainly a far better bill than the $700 bank bail-out proposed by Bush which had far too few strings attached to require a wiser use of these taxpayer funds by the banks receiving this aid. With a few nips and tucks here and there, this economic stimulus bill deserves to pass the senate and congress and to start improving the nation's infrastructure and provide up to 3 million jobs.
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