It’s pretty frustrating when you elect a president based on his ideas and then they don’t get put into practice. Though the stimulus package was passed quite a while ago, it seems that the money is still stuck in transit. For example, the state of Massachusetts has only received $622 million of their promised $3.9 billion.
However, the government claims there’s a reason for the lag. Many of the stimulus funds need to be approved by the federal government before they’re dispersed to make sure the money is spent carefully. Much of it was set aside to be obtained competitively, which means applications must come in and be approved before the money can be sent out. The question is, is this a good or a bad thing?
On one hand, I’m glad that the money isn’t being thrown around lightly. With how upset people are about huge deficit spending, our government needs to watch where they’re putting their money. The way the budget is handled could make or break our economy.
However, the fact that most of the money is still in Washington D.C. makes me wonder why the package was passed in the first place. The point of a stimulus package is to pump money in the economy to help curb short-term economic distress. If we waited ten years and did absolutely nothing, the economy could take another dive (the dreaded “double-dip”), but it would eventually right itself. It seems that it’s going to take the next ten years to even get the money out there, and it’s increasing our deficit spending, which could have negative long-term effects.
Though I do believe that we should be careful in how we spend our money rather than just throwing it out there and expecting it to solve unemployment, it really needs to get out there. Soon. If it doesn’t, it serves absolutely no purpose.