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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Parks Boost Community Job Recruitment; Stimulus Will Pass

In my arts post earlier today, I blipped on the Coburn Amendment prohibiting stimulus money for parks. Building and restoring parks has to be good for the economy, doesn't it?

One Republican mayor in a well-to-do Republican Indiana town agrees with me that greenspace can bring in green:

James Brainard is a Republican mayor whose city sits in a Republican county carried comfortably by Sen. John McCain in last year's presidential race. But at the moment, he is rooting for President Obama.

"Government should be investing in infrastructure," the Carmel mayor said in his City Hall office. "That is what government is meant to do. It creates long-term value. I think the stimulus plan is a good one."

... His wish list runs several pages and costs a combined $428 million. Brainard says his priorities would create more than 12,000 jobs.

His list includes several new roads and roundabout projects, which he says not only ease congestion but save fuel by replacing red lights. There is a parking garage for downtown, a couple of fire engines.

And, yes, the mayor is unapologetic in seeking federal funding for a pool with a water slide.

"Someone has to construct that amenity," the mayor said before taking us on a drive around the city. "We believe in parks, we believe in greenspace, because that makes our community more competitive for jobs, for high-paying jobs [John King, "Indiana Mayor Says He'd Put Stimulus Money to Good Use," CNN.com, 2009.02.06].

Now there could be a little zero-sum paradox there: build one park, and you boost that town's economy at everyone else's expense; build parks everywhere, and no one has a competitive advantage.

But I'll still take my parks, and so will every mayor in the country, if the Coburn Amendment doesn't stop them. That's why, for better or worse, this stimulus bill will pass. Rush and his radio legion layabouts can whine "porkulus!" all they want, but the folks with pull, the mayors and governors, will all tell their Congressional delegations, "We'll take that money."


  1. If the Stimulus Funds get to the State and City levels, it can be productive and jobs will be created. When one goes through the list of pork-a-potamus spending, it makes you wonder if the Dems thought of anything new or if they just dusted off their old wish list the night of November 4th.

  2. "Someone has to construct that amenity"!!!!!

    How about that well-to-do Indiana town pay for its own swimming pool and waterslide? Sorry if this someone doesn't want to build it for them.

    This is the problem with the new mentality in this nation. Even SD is holding out its hand for all those "free" federal dollars. WAKE UP! Those dollars aren't free - they come from our children's mortgated futures. And they will come with strings attached. But most of all, these dollars aren't free - you, I, our kids and grandkids are paying for all this "stimulus."

    I am SO sick of all this. Did you hear today that the housing market was starting to come back? And there were other signs of a recovering economy starting. How about not mortgaging our futures, and how about a little positive media coverage instead of all "the sky is falling."

    We are all urged to read the fine print before signing any contract. It is much more important that the fine print be read by everyone signing this bill, and it definitely is not possible to have read all the pages of this porky pig bill in this short time. What's the hurry when most of the money isn't even going to be spent right away? Basically O is afraid of losing face and favor and wants this pushed thru before it can be read. I am seriously scared for our country if this passes.

  3. Just say NO to all stupid gov't handouts. Our communities need to depend on ourselves and not the feds.

  4. Anon 10:43:

    Well said. If you think you're sick of all this "stimulus" now, just wait until, oh, say, late 2010 or early 2011 when hyperinflation sets in. It'll be like the Carter years in the late 1970s. Maybe we'll get really lucky and have gas lines, singing advertisements telling us to set our thermostats at the threshold of agony to be "patriotic," etc. etc. Of course, I could be wrong.

  5. Anon 10:45: "NO to all stupid gov't handouts" -- o.k. Now is it possible there are some smart government handouts?

  6. Stan, I assume the hyperinflation comes from the stimulus working and demand increasing -- correct?

    If so, are we better off sticking a long-term recession fueled by rediscovered frugality? I could live with that.

  7. Well, I'm going to be sticking more money in CD's etc and NOT spending it. This way when the hyperinflation sets in, I'll re-invest the money at the sky high interest rates and maybe be able to save some of the deflated value of my money that way.

  8. Cory, my theory is that the hyperinflation will result mainly from the debt we're racking up, which, to be honest, got started under the watch of our previous President. Interest rates will go up too.

    To some extent, inflation will also come from increased demand. In my college economics course, they called that "demand pull."

    I guess the inflation will be better than 25 percent unemployment. One has to wonder, though, whether income tax brackets will be indexed for the inflation. If not, then all of us will be treated as if we were "rich." That'll include you and me, Cory!


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