Sunday, January 31, 2010

stimulus bill allocation of resources

President Obama’s stimulus project has endured a great deal of controversy since the bill was pushed through congress eleven months ago. One main purpose of the bill was to maintain and establish jobs to counteract America’s high unemployment rate. Just minutes after the bill was signed, the allocated funds to Missouri went into use. In the rural town of Tuscumbia, just three hours from Missouri’s biggest city, St. Louis, a $9 million bridge over the Osage River has been under construction. State and federal officials estimated that the bridge would not only create thirty new jobs, but the project would indirectly benefit another 220 jobs. While this all seems reasonable and beneficial, Missouri officials are calling the rural project an insult. Unfortunately, these state officials see more social gain coming from urban projects because a highly populated area could result in increased indirect assistance to workers in many industries. Since this was the first project to break ground under the new stimulus bill, the job has received national media coverage from day one in March 2009. Resentment toward where the project should have been located has settled, which now leads to the question of just how many jobs have been saved. The Missouri Recovery government, through time sheets, has determined that actually 24.69 jobs have been saved. This may be a misleading number due to the number of jobs created does not account for the number of jobs that have merely been transferred from another project. A plus is that at least people are able to keep working and stay of the unemployment line. Unfortunately, not everyone is benefiting from the stimulus job. The local restaurant near the bridge has seen little economic boost. Hopefully, when the bridge is completed in the summer a financial boost will occur on the small business. Small towns too need any economic activity occurring to battle through the poor economy. The University of Missouri agricultural economist said, “…the 240 spinoff jobs estimated at Tuscumbia are "nowhere near" the jobs that would have been indirectly created, even in a busy area like St. Louis” (Fitzpatrick 2010). While the new bridge was unquestionably necessary, the location and allocation of funds remains skeptical. I question whether the state or the national government should be able to decide how to use the stimulus bill most effectively.

Works Cited

Fitzpatrick, David. "First stimulus project nears completion, job questions remain." The Stimulus Package. CNN Politics. 29 Jan. 2010. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. .


  1. Although the stimulus package was, in my opinion, necessary for an economic turnaround, the state governments and citizens should have been considered when allocating money. The only stimulus projects I have heard of are ones that benefit few people and are not long term secure jobs. While that is good for short term recovery I thought the whole point of this package was to establish a path to long term economic security. If the state governments were allowed to allocate money within their own state I think more attention would be paid to details and where the money would really do the best help.

    The question of which level of government should decide the appropriate use of stimulus money is valid – but at some level, a decision needs to be made and action taken. If the bridge being built was needed, as mentioned, and the funds were previously unavailable, congratulations to the local government that applied for and received the stimulus funds as it was acting on behalf of the needs of its citizens. As mentioned, small towns need monies as well as the large metropolitan regions; though within a state governmental system, the larger metropolitan areas exert more power, via representation, and feel that their needs supercede those of the rural population. I am not sure that this is necessarily the case. Not enough federal stimulus money is available to keep everyone employed, create jobs or fund all of the necessary infrastructure improvements. Apparently, the small town of Tuscumbia was ready with its application and followed the wishes of their citizens.

  3. The citizens were part of the decision for constructing the bridge, as Judith mentioned, and the bridge was apparently needed. So maybe the funds from the bill were allocated as best as they could. FitzPatrick also only mentioned a local restaurant suffering from this project; are there any other businesses affected? Probably, but I'm sure all those local businesses will benefit from the constructed bridge.

  4. It seems that everyone should have a say in where the money goes from the stimulus package, all the way from federal down to community levels, since it ultimately effects everyone. Although this bridge did create other jobs indirectly, so do alot of other construction projects and I'm not sure if that should weigh as highly as directly created jobs. Overall, this bridge cost $9 billion and only about 25 direct jobs were created/saved. It seems to make the most sense to do future projects in more urban areas, where there is a more proportionate ratio of stimulus package spent to jobs created.

  5. I was under the impression that states had the ultimate decision about where the funding should be allocated. The biggest difficulty with the stimulus allocations is that there's a fight between efficiency and quality. Everyone wants jobs created immediately, but if there was more time to consider the allocations, maybe they could use the money for another effort that might create more jobs and help boost the economy more. It seems to me like the bridge might have been the quickest project but there might have been better projects to use the money for.


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