In the urban South Bronx where I work the economic engine is the Hunts Point Food, Produce, Meat and Fish Market. The one thing they have in common is that they are all private entrepreneurs. They employ thousands of persons, market workers, truck loaders, drivers, and pay taxes to the city. I really don’t know their political affiliation and could care less.
Another employer are the social assistance groups. Many good folks who provide, shelter, food, art, dance, social assistance, STD support, and health care clinics.They are generally tax exempt and don’t pay taxes as non for profits. These folks are sincere very nice and also loud, proud and activist members of the Democratic party.
President Obama in his piecemeal release of his ” economic stimulus” package seems to be selecting the later group ” social support” non for profit organizations. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/27/republican-leaders-raise-concerns-acorn-stimulus-dollars/
Fox is reporting that Acorn is being chosen to receive funds from the ” economic stimulus” package. Now Drudge is reporting that “STD” groups will receive monies. See http://drudgereport.com/flashsb.htm.
The pdf file is here http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hr1_text.pdf
In my opinion and from my direct experience with these folks, the proposed stimulus is really a defacto grant. A Grant is defined as Federal or State monies that don’t have to be repaid, and are generally given to people who need assistance. See http://www.teenanalyst.com/glossary/g/grant.html As such it defies logic that such monies are ” stimulus” they are social spending by Congress and the President. Humanistic, important and worthy but they will not stimulate the economy.
They will not create jobs , they are being made to sustain these organizations in anticipation of dwindling Federal, State and Local grants as the economy contracts. Obviously an argument can be made that such maintenance keeps folks employed. But they are not economic employment stimuli, which are critical to an economy.See ( http://faculty.washington.edu/krumme/systems/multiplier.html )
To be fair Obama is also looking to finance essential services generally provided for by the local and state budgets and property taxes (e.g. police and education ) See http://www.startribune.com/politics/37293954.html Senator Leahy a Democrat from New York stated ” “With unemployment on the rise, cities and towns are cutting budgets, including critical funding for police,” Leahy said. “We must act quickly and decisively to shore up state and local law enforcement, or face a reversal of the great strides we made to reduce crime in the 1990s.”
I’m not sure if “change” is coming I think it’s politics as normal. Obama is now backtracking on $200 million being proposed for ” family planning”. See http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/27/america/obama.4-417200.php
For all the proper outrage at the federally bailed out Citbank (http://www.nypost.com/seven/01262009/news/nationalnews/just_plane_despicable_152033.htm ) purchasing a plane for 50 million, Congress is much much worse.
The loser here is the nation, and just as the Democrats were proper to be critical of Bush and his ” religious ” litmus test for federal funds, the Democrats have a ” social ” litmus test for the funds. Neither is good for the nation and none of these funds are stimulus it’s pure pork. ( See http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/01/26/MNU515G2DD.DTL )
Worse, it demonstrates that Obama is not stepping up to take on the legislators like Regan going directly to the people. He has the popular opinion and the hope like Bush did after 911, but he appears to hesitant to apply this short lived populous power into true “change” and assist a needed economic recovery.