It's Huge, I Tell Ya

Reader Rich pointed out the attachment [excel spreadsheet] to this press release, which details the stimulus targeted at the 29th.

The breath and depth of the money that will be poured into the 29th by the current stimulus bill makes your average list of earmarks look like chump change. Here are a few that caught my eye:

  • Half a billion dollars for electronic medical records in New York State.
  • $7.1 million for an East Rochester school construction project.
  • $30 million for Monroe County water treatment.

The list goes on and on. The national media is treating us to a diffuse and ill-defined discussion of "pork". The list that Massa's office released is nothing but real money for important projects, and after all the fussing and fighting is done, I think it will play well in the 29th district.



One of the biggest mistakes made by opponents of the Stimulus was to label it as pork. It is not pork it is spending that might very well be "nothing but real money for important projects" however the question remains are they the best stimulus we could get, and are they as efficient as possible. Also will the spending happen this year as quickly as possible.

There will be some stimulus bill passed no doubt. I am more interested in how it works than how it plays or how well the appearance is to get someone re-elected. If it works then those who advocated for it will deserve re-election. If it fails and it appears it was wasted or not used timely. Then those who passed it will deserve scorn and to be voted out. As has often been said "This is too important to fail"

Curious what is the total amount to come to the 29th, to be fair and to really credit Massa it should be around $2 billion dollars. I called his office and they could only tell me of about $750 million. I will hold judgement until all the figures come out though.

The total amount might be $2 billion, but as you know it's hard to separate it out with Monroe County divided between 4 CDs.

I assume that spreadsheet was an initial stab at what might touch the 29th. For example, the $500 million on medical records is marked as "upstate". Certainly some fraction will be spent in the 29th, but who knows how much.

Consider the WPA projects of the 30's. Were they effective stimulus? I don't know. But in my home town, for example, I can still walk into a post office that was built in the mid-30s with WPA money. Something tangible and lasting came from that spending.

I'm looking for the same thing from this bill. For example, if we're paying for an electronic medical record then we better get functioning electronic medical records. If we're paying for an addition to the East Rochester school, then that addition should be well-built and serve the needs of the school.