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