Jun 7, 2009

Stimulus aid favors social programs not shovel ready projects

An Associated Press article on Friday was titled, In states, stimulus aid favors social programs.

Remember the "shovel-ready" projects lined up for all that stimulus money? It turns out social spending, more than construction, is hitting pay dirt in the huge federal effort to turn the economy around.

The public face of the stimulus package has been the worker in a hard hat, getting back on the job to rebuild the nation's infrastructure.

It’t not working out that way.

The reality of how the vast majority of the stimulus money will be spent is quite different, and that raises questions about how much help the Recovery Act achieved by President Barack Obama will be to the economy in the long run.

Most of the roughly $300 billion coming directly to the states is being funneled through existing government programs for health care, education, unemployment benefits, food stamps and other social services.

If most of the stimulus money would have gone to “shovel-ready” projects as promised, we would not be reading about a 26 year high unemployment rate of 9.4%.