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for people who care about the West

Mo' Money...


I just took a gander at www.recovery.gov. It’s the website the new administration made so we could keep ourselves informed and hold the government accountable in light of the economic stimulus package.

On the site, there’s a section that estimates the amount of jobs that will either be saved or created in the next two years. In the West, estimates amount to 769,000 jobs. Here’s how it looks state-by-state:

Arizona: 70,000

California: 396,000
Colorado: 60,000
Idaho: 17,000
Montana: 11,000
Nevada: 34,000
New Mexico: 22,000
Oregon: 44,000
Utah: 32,000
Washington: 75,000
Wyoming: 8,000

At the same time, California will be warning 20,000 state employees that they might lose their jobs. Well, they might lose them first because the economy sucks, and then get them back once the stimulus package kicks in. Over the next few months, Federal agencies will report how their American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars will be spent, and soon after that, the American people will theoretically see the benefits. However, the bulk of the borrowed money won’t be seen until 2010.

The Denver Post reports that legislation signing is rarely done outside of Washington, but Colorado was chosen for its “green image” and to represent the package’s focus on clean-energy jobs. The state is projected to receive $48.3 million for renewable energy, out of $2.84 billion nationwide, which is (coincidentally? purposely?) actually proportionate to the state-to-nation population ratio.

Headwaters News rounded up some articles about how a few of the Western states will benefit from the package. Some potentials (pending application approval) in the West include $803 million to Arizona’s education system, $40 million to protect clean water in Montana, $49 million for rapid transit rail projects in Nevada, and a half-billion to Utah’s education system.

So in the coming weeks, state governments and small businesses will all scramble to get budget proposals out so they get a slice of pie. And for us, the American people, we’ll wait!

On the recovery.gov website, President Obama says, “The size and scale of this plan demand unprecedented efforts to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending.” But even with the emphasis on the West’s “green” promises, Obama still signed the package with ten pens. Isn’t that nine too many?