Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still Waiting on Stimulus Funds

            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.


  1. This is an interesting post- and i feel like you've addressed both sides pretty adequately. But i don't believe the government has any malicious intent - maybe the delays are more a facet of the under-resourced capacity of our bureaucratic apparatus.

  2. I agree with you, the purpose of the stimulus package was to stimulate the economy. the way to stimulate the economy is to pump more money into it. though this creates dramatic inflation and will probably weaken the dollar in the long run, i think it is one of our best options right now.

  3. There are so many things that are frustrating about the bureaucratic process. Unfortunately, things just don't happen as quickly as we'd all like. Simple things like just getting a street light at busy intersection where several people have been killed, can take years. Now think of the magnitude of something like the stimulus package, and extrapolate the necessary time for things to be processed, approved, and worked out appropriately. One of the biggest problems as Daniel mentioned in his comment, is that while we attempt to revive our economy, we don't have enough money to pay more politicians or even the ones we currently have to expedite these things, such as passing out more money. How ironic.