Tag Archive: Stimulus

Another Place to Do Stimulus in NJ: Trenton

Last month I wrote about how Democrats at a local level could work together to do a distributed stimulus, and this month I want to talk about another major investment we could make that would improve our infrastructure, benefit business and stimulate our economy.

Fix Trenton.

Trenton is six miles away from Princeton, NJ, the former capital of the United States of America, home to one of the most elite colleges in the United States, locale of some seriously rich people and host to Drumthwacket – the Governor’s mansion.

Trenton is … the capital of New Jersey, and a pit.  Seriously.   Even the Trenton Makes, the World Takes bridge is dilapidated. Today in the roundup we see that the capital building is falling apart.  The Mayor is indicted, the roads are crap, crime is rampant, jobs are scarce even near the capital, most state workers live elsewhere, etc., etc., etc.  Pit.

A state as wealthy as New Jersey should not have a capital city that looks, feels and lives like this.

So let’s put a .1% (or something, since it’s made up) surcharge on income over $100,000 to infrastructure improvements dedicated towards infrastructure and business growth in our state’s capital.  Long term improvements, employment opportunities, entrepreneurial opportunities, and more.  For pennies from rich folks.

Stimulus should not only help the economy, but build our infrastructure.  Let’s do it.  

Local Governments Can Do Distributed Stimulus

promoted by Rosi

Here’s the thing: the United States still needs more stimulus.  

And here’s a fact to keep in mind: Private industry payrolls have grown dramatically over the past three years, but the unemployment rate has remained high because public payrolls at the state, local and school levels have fallen significantly.

Here’s another thing: Even after Democrats won the popular and electoral vote for President, won two additional seats in the US Senate despite defending more than twice the incumbents, and won as many as seven additional seats in the US House despite partisan post-census redistricting the GOP is not going to let additional stimulus pass.

So if we’re not likely to get federal help, how do we get stimulus?  

A Stimulating Shovel Ready Project

Just sayin’:

For every cracked pipe buried below the surface, for each main choked by mineral deposits and for every failure that spins into an emergency, there is a message: the state’s water infrastructure is in dire need of billions of dollars – possibly a trillion nationally – in the next two decades.

Then there’s the electricity grid that crapped out on us a few years back.  And the bridges that are falling over.  

And a tunnel project.

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

Shovel Ready Stimulus

This post got torpedoed by the morning news roundup, because it was posted right before it. I’m repromoting it back up for it’s own time up top – Rosi

OK, so there are roughly two million people without power today, all because of a few inches of wet snow.  According to PSE&G they’ll “resolve your outage issue (by) Wednesday, 11:59 p.m. when we will call you.”

In the summer we had a similar experience with hundreds of thousands out of power after a hurricane.  Some folks were out of juice for four days, some even more.

Back in 2003 much of the Eastern Seaboard lost power thanks to, well, a crappy electrical grid that needed immediate upgrading or the terrorists win!

How about if the electric industry gets off its collective asses and upgrade the grid so that if one or more of substations go out we can redirect the power and get it online quickly?  Or how about getting rid of the “just in time” mentality and having some backup systems in a warehouse in case this kind of crap happens again.

America’s infrastructure is crumbling, both the public and private sides.  We’re rapidly becoming a joke simply so that investors can make an extra tenth of a percent this quarter.  

Chris Christie: Economic Genius

Welcome back, Ian. – promoted by Rosi

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lack of understanding of economics appears to approach the level of John McCain.

Christie, like many Republicans, claims to believe in fiscal responsibility, and says that government shouldn’t spend more than it has, just like real families. (I’d like to meet these families). The problem is, these ideas don’t work for families and they don’t work for our government.

On Meet The Press this past Sunday, Christie said,

I mean, we made real hard decisions, and I cut some programs that we would’ve liked to have kept…But we’re broke. We don’t have the money anymore.

more below the fold

Got Beer?????

Those who know me know that beer is my other big passion, besides politics. So why am I discussing beer on a politics board. Well, as James Carville says, its the economy, stupid!!!

I’m sure many people here like to buy Jersey Fresh, but I think that with regards to suds, we should be promoting our own beer industry as a stimulus to the state’s faltering economy.

We have some great breweries in the Garden State that are far too often ignored:

Jon Runyan launches campaign by condemning Reagan-Bush economics

I thought I would share something with you I posted at Jon Runyan Watch.

I have the feeling the Republicans may regret forcing Jon Runyan’s opponents out of the primary. The GOP has posted the video of his first appearance and here are the highlights:

He “thinks” he is qualified because “he cares.”

He tells us how bad the economy was in the late 1980s. Hmmm… first Ronald Reagan and then George H. W. Bush were President then.

He does have a good, moving story about growing up in Flint, Michigan, and how the family had just $100 for Christmas. His father couldn’t find a job for three years when the factories closed.

He’s not naming any issues, and admits he doesn’t know about any issues, except perhaps wanting “change,” opposing “big government,” and wanting to let “the people” fix the recession with tax cuts.  

But what will happen when he has to answer questions? President Barack Obama and Representative John Adler’s stimulus package cut taxes for the working middle class. It extended unemployment benefits for those who, like his father, couldn’t get a new job. How can Runyan be against this after his story? When he’s asked about Chris Christie’s plan to take $50 a week from the unemployed, will he answer with a story about how much $100 meant to his unemployed father? How is he going to run on Reagan’s greatness when his hometown’s economy and his family’s prosperity was destroyed under Reagan? I just don’t see where this campaign is going.

One Year Anniversary of Stimulus Bill: Democrats Were Right

It’s the one-year anniversary of the stimulus bill, aka American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which every New Jersey Republican Congressman opposed and every Democrat supported. Rush Holt says “Everyone in Central New Jersey, whether they realize it or not, knows someone who would be out of job without the investments made in the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Frank Pallone says “The Recovery Act is putting New Jerseyans to work who have lost their jobs and continued to employ those, who without it, would have lost their jobs.” The New York Times talked to independent economists and concludes “the stimulus package, flaws and all, deserves a big heaping of credit.”

But to me, we can see how a recovery has started — and how far we have to go — in this graph of job losses put out by Organizing for America:

Jobs Graph

On the one hand, you can see how the jobs losses stabilized and then improved under the Obama Administration. The problem is that to bring unemployment back down, we need years of positive job growth.

So when our Representatives follow through on their promises to continue fighting for us, they should look at this conclusion from the Times article:

The last year has shown – just as economists have long said – that aid to states and cities may be the single most effective form of stimulus.

It’s too bad so much of the stimulus went to tax cuts that most people don’t even realize they got. Still, all in all, the stimulus is a success and we have averted an even worse disaster.

Garrett vs. 1.4 million Home Buyers

Live in the 5th congressional district? You can get reporting at Blog the Fifth you won’t find in your newspaper, plus context on some of the nutty, nutty things your congressman does, plus opportunities to join up with efforts to make a change there. – – – Promoted from the diaries by Rosi.

Cross posted from Blog the Fifth

Representative Scott Garrett finally explained why he voted against extending unemployment benefits and the first time home buyer tax credit:

So, in sum, we have a program rampant with fraud, which gives taxpayer dollars to people who don’t legitimately qualify, and fails to appropriately credit the individuals that do qualify. It’s clear that employees of the IRS were aware of the problems with claims process for this program, as the inspector general found 53 cases of IRS employees filing “illegal or inappropriate” claims for the credit. In its current form, this program costs taxpayer about $1 billion a month and is expected to cost $15 billion for the year. Rather than terminate this program, Congress voted on November 5 to expand the program to homeowners looking to buy a replacement principle residence. How many more four-year olds will fraudulently receive taxpayer money under this program before Congress realizes this is a terrible idea?

Voting to expand this program would have been irresponsible of me, and an abdication of my responsibility as a guardian of taxpayer dollars. The Homebuyer Tax Credit Program was a poison pill to otherwise well-intended legislation.

It bears repeating that Garrett was one of 2.7% of the House to vote no on this bill, so it hardly was a poison pill.