Happy stimulus day?
It’s not easy to get excited about the stimulus bill President Obama will sign in Denver today. For many Americans, the attempted cure is as baffling as the disease it aims to fix. How, we wonder, does spending a trillion or so dollars we don’t have make up for an economy wrecked on the rocks of greed, lack of oversight and rampant indebtedness both personal and commercial?
On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t appear to be a very appealing option, either. (This predicated on the fact that, for government, doing “something” means spending money.) Republicans in Washington turned their noses up at the stimulus package, but offered little by way of alternative other than more tax cuts. And it’s hard to imagine that the Democrats who put together his enormous package so quickly can assure us all that all those taxpayer dollars will be well spent.
It is now, however, a done deal once today’s signing ceremony is concluded. Now comes the mad scramble by the states to get their piece of the action, and we can only hope that the $3 billion or so aimed at Colorado will be the shot in the arm we need. Certainly we’re eager to see what the proposed $403 million for transportation can do for our battered and congested lifeline – I-70 – and if the $900 million earmarked for education will make a difference. If White House projections are correct, the stimulus package will save or create 59,000 jobs in our state.
But we should not rest on the expectation that Uncle Sam will bail us all out completely. After all, adversity breeds opportunity, and the current climate can provide the fertile ground that leads to innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits. For Summit County in particular, even the housing downturn could result in a more diversified and sustainable economy not so reliant on real estate. With an eye on this cloud’s potential silver linings, may the stimulus bill be just that: a catalyst ” not a crutch ” to help Colorado and the rest of America get going again.
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