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How my state will be helped by the Economic Recovery Plan!

The White House has put out a 102-page "fact sheet" (PDF), which includes a state-by-state breakdown for the estimated economic impact.  Here's New Jersey's share:

  • Creating or saving 106,000 jobs over the next two years. Jobs created will be in a range of industries from clean energy to health care, with over 90% in the private sector.

  • Providing a making work pay tax cut of up to $1,000 for 3,150,000 workers and their families.

  • Making 77,000 families eligible for a new American Opportunity Tax Credit to make college affordable.

  • Offering an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to 731,000 workers in New Jersey who have lost their jobs in this recession, and providing extended unemployment benefits to an additional 148,000 laid-off workers.

  • Providing funding sufficient to modernize at least 205 schools in New Jersey so our children have the labs, classrooms and libraries they need to compete in the 21st century economy.

    There's also a White House guest blog post to explain the estimates and give sources.


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    Modernizing Schools?

    How is that an "economic stimulus"? Are the kids going to see their sweet new Mac Pros at school and decide to pump money into the economy?

    How is sending more people to college an "economic stimulus"? If they're cloistered in a four-year school, they're not going to be pumping money into the economy, they're going to be putting money back into colleges' weakened endowments.

    It's stuff like this that gave the Republicans ammunition in their opposition to this "stimulus package"... a stimulus package is about solving a short-term issue, and neither of these to do anything in that regard.

    Re: Modernizing Schools?

    As far as college affordability, I think it falls under the broader category of Things that Keep Things From Getting Worse. If you've got a senior in high school and the college fund was in the stock market, then you need a hand to keep from skipping school next year. And you bet that's a national economic priority; if there is a dropoff in enrollment, then there is going to be a shortage of professionals entering the business world in 2013. To say nothing of colleges needing to lay off staff to accommodate their smaller footprint. To say nothing of the amount of free research that our university system provides to promoting our general welfare and strengthening our economic base. Education and research are the long-neglected incubators of American prosperity, and I can only hope that this is the first of a long series of steps to promote them.

    And if you can't see how buying a bunch of computers and paying for electricians to rewire the classrooms they will go into isn't economic stimulus, then you need to find a simpler person than me to explain it to you.

    Re: Modernizing Schools?

    So we're going to stimulate the national economy by hiring some wiring-monkeys? C'mon, seriously, THAT'S the answer?!?!

    We could reach a broader scope of national economy stimulation by giving everyone $20 in McDonald's Gift Cards for crying out loud!

    Re: Modernizing Schools?

    In fairness, though, I've been against every economic stimulus from both sides of the aisle. Because I think "we reap what we sow" so to speak, and we as a nation deserve to have a time of economic woe for allowing things to get the way they did.

    You don't solve a crisis fueled by bad debt by creating trillions more debt and throwing it on the backs of your kids.

    Re: Modernizing Schools?

    You also don't solve being overweight by fasting. There are lots of solutions, but mine was actually eating more (and healthier) and exercising my ass off. There were a lot of bad decisions that took place from 1929-33 to devastate the fundamentals of the American economy, but many find it hard to overlook the fact that the government didn't step up to replace the precipitous drop in consumer confidence. (I'll agree to the point that it was lousy fiscal policy to run up deficits during good times; a large part of our problem is that we were already underground when we fell into the pit.)

    Now, that being said, I want the government to have something to show for spending money that it doesn't have. With one-time tax cuts and extended unemployment benefits, that's pretty much nothing. I suppose widespread McDonald's gift cards would help McDonald's and the angioplasty industries. I choose to prefer having wireless-ready classrooms, bridges that are less likely to collapse, and an electrical grid that is capable of handling twenty-first century demands. And, of course, electricians and employees of Home Depot and Apple having enough money and confidence to eat at McDonald's and vacation in Las Vegas and buy a new car. If that's a naive view of how to get out of recession, then at least I've got a lot of good company in it.

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