Thursday, July 16, 2009

“You Can Either Be For the Recovery Act or Against It”

Echoing the infamous Bushian challenge “You’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists.”

But these were the words of a senior Obama Administration official, aimed squarely at Republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, and via 4 cabinet members, toward Republican Governor Jan Brewer also of Arizona.

But in this case, being against the recovery act has consequences.

521 billion of them.

In a letter to Brewer from Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood, Politico reveals how the Obama Administration is not above playing a little hardball.

“‘If you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Sen. Kyl suggests, please let me know,’ wrote Transportation

Secretary Ray LaHood. For good measure, he attached a three-page addendum listing each of the Arizona projects paid for by the $521 million the state is getting.”

So Arizona is slated to receive $521 billion in Recovery Act funds, but given the harsh criticism of these funds from Senator Kyl, Obama’s people are perfectly correct in asking whether or not they want the money.

After all, when Rick Perry just said “No” to $555 billion, well the state didn’t get that money. And that means that in two weeks, 15,000 Texans will have exhausted their unemployment benefit. A benefit that would have been extended had Perry accepted the funding.

So, what’s it going to be? Take the money, or don’t take it. But if you take it, don’t grumble about it. If it’s such a bad idea, leave the funds to be distributed to states that are more amenable to accepting a helping hand.


Anonymous said...

Do the taxpayers then get the withheld funds returned because they didn't get used as advertised or does it get sent back to india, china or wherever they are borrowing the recovery funds from these days?

Anonymous said...

Looking down the road toward two weeks from now, this is not going to be good for Texas; in fact it will be a very bad scene.

Nothing becomes a reality until it happens so although we knew it was bad news when Perry cut off his nose to spite his face by refusing to accept the Stimulus money; however when the consequence of his act plays out in reality--it is going to be "real bad".

Texas already has too many people languishing in jail for soft and non-violent crimes, but with people not able to have access to their unemployment checks and are still out of work, crimes will, without a doubt rise, because people who would not ordinarily commit crimes may be tempted to in order to feed their children; fortunately, most of us have never had our backs against the wall to be faced with what we would do if we could not feed our kids.

And so since Texas in a couple of weeks will no longer be able to extend unemployment compensation to the unemployed and with that fact in mind, the probability of crimes will escalate even more so, and the cost of jailing folks will continue to rise in Texas; which is another cost that Texas cannot “really” afford. Yet, the Governor thought Texas could not afford to take the Government’s Stimulus Money.

Now, maybe I have misread this situation. If my thinking is not on target, please help me make sense of this most ill-fated situation.