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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Old 11-16-2010, 09:28 PM   #1
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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

As I peddle my bike through town I see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in action...paving roads that are already in good condition. They're building us a new 134 million dollar police headquarters. The old one looks great. My city hall is being completely renovated over the next couple of years. The old one was in great shape. Is this money well spent? Is this kind of stuff happening in your neighborhood too?
Give me something I can use...some good public transportation or maybe incentives to put in solar, ....
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #2
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or maybe incentives to put in solar, ....
Your incentive to put in solar should be when solar makes sense for you to do it on your own. If it doesn't make sense for you with your own money, how does having a group of people paying for your solar make sense for the group?

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Old 11-17-2010, 12:38 AM   #3
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Your incentive to put in solar should be when solar makes sense for you to do it on your own. If it doesn't make sense for you with your own money, how does having a group of people paying for your solar make sense for the group?-ERD50
There are a lot of things that work well, and are now cost effective, that initially had to be subsidized or madated by gov't. Low flow toilets and shower heads, low watt lights, and numerous car safety devices to name a few. If the gov't can subsidize oil and coal, why not solar? It's just something better than re-paving good roads...infrastucture spending that pays dividends.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:25 AM   #4
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Is this money well spent? ...
Is this the start of a conversation similar to what one could have with any woman about Cosmetics? Save your breath.
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:28 AM   #5
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As I peddle my bike through town I see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in action...paving roads that are already in good condition. They're building us a new 134 million dollar police headquarters. The old one looks great. My city hall is being completely renovated over the next couple of years. The old one was in great shape. Is this money well spent? Is this kind of stuff happening in your neighborhood too?
Give me something I can use...some good public transportation or maybe incentives to put in solar, ....

Govt pissing away our tax dollars by a giving it away to govt to spend on the govt.

Otherwise known as the vortex in a toilet when flushed.

.... looking for anything to spend it on.
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:22 AM   #6
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Paving roads that are already in "good" condition is called preventive maintenance. Rather than let go too long and take 5x the money to do a total reconstruction, it may be more cost effective to pave it when it's still in fair condition. Obviously, I'm speaking in generalities, but that's been the change in philosophy in some locales. There's still a damn good chance that there's a total waste of cash out there somewhere. It comes down to the Feds saying "here's 10 million, want it?". You'd be bitching if they turned it down because the roads are in good shape. Perhaps they improved the decent road and used the regular funds to reconstruct the bad one.

Edit: I should add that I don't think ARRA/Stimulus is the best gov't. policy by any means as far as highway funding. SAFETEA-LU has expired and been "extended". But, a real solution would be to develop an infrastructure program for the next 6 years, to allow a planning/design/construction process that takes many years and not just throw money at the problem one time, with no long-term fix. The long term program has been the procedure in place, in the past (they were called Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)). But, instead, 535-ish congress critters, and the like are bickering about raising gas tax or not, fighting over earmarks, and how to split the baby (revenue collected).

-CC
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:50 AM   #7
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The latest ?? from ARRA came this morning. The local news site has a story about how the state is offering $500 rebates for anyone who buys an Energy Star compliant manufactured home. The article went on to tout the other advantages of Energy Star compliant manufactured homes, among which are saving over $800 a year in utility bills. It really makes me wonder, in a rational world, why the $500 rebate is necessary if there are already $800 a year in savings coming your way. The slight added cost for energy star homes vs non energy star homes should be weighed against the savings. Is this just another version of "Cash for Clunky _______"?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:57 AM   #8
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I haven't studied this in any fashion, but I'd hazard a guess that a fair amount of the stimulus money was pissed away spent sub-optimally.

On the other hand, the money, as a stimulus, had to hit the economy running, not be dribbled out over ten years. One would assume that government at all levels has a wish list of "shovel ready" projects, and that some of the money was spent wisely, but the hogs lined up at the trough, as they do anytime brazillions of dollars are being dropped from a helicopter at stake...
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:07 AM   #9
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they are creating a a 2-1/4 mile bike path near where i live (opposite direction to be of any use to me) at the tune of almost $2 million/mile.

i could go on and on and on. good thing ol' joey and obama dislike TX.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:08 AM   #10
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I thought this was a creative use of stimulus money:

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The International Accordion Festival, a three day event in downtown San Antonio, was awarded $25,000 in stimulus money.
Also this:

Quote:
The Southwest Research Institute was awarded $298,534 to study the weather on the planet Venus...
But it wasn't all 'wasted'...

I-Team: $432 million in stimulus money creates 785 S.A. jobs
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:09 AM   #11
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The "fun" stuff going on in my area. They repaved one of the major city roads in the area. It is nice having three lanes each way. It runs north/south. Now they are repaving a minor road going north/south that is within 100 yards of the nice road. They have repaved two roads that run east/west. Both roads are 5-10 miles from the "built up" area and were in decent condition before being repaved. There are two main roads going east/west closer to the built up area. The roads are weight limited to a max of 40k. The roads are so narrow that full sized pickups have trouble staying in the lane. A one ton truck or cargo van cannot maintain their lane. Off these roads are several nicer subdivisions where the primary occupants are military. It is not uncommon for moving trucks to fall of the side of the road and land in the ditch. If the government would have saved the money for repaving the two roads out in the sticks and the one minor road, they would have been able to widen at least one of the main roads and upgraded them to allow for expansion in that part of the city/county increasing tax revenues.

There is a truck route directly into our seaport here that was recently repaved. The big problem is the truck route has a weight limited bridge. Instead of upgrading the bridge it was paved over. The weight limit on the truck route means most of the truckers go through the business section of town where they are currently shrinking the size and number of the lanes. The result has been more people are driving on the truck route and side residential streets and more trucks are driving through the business district. The exact opposite of what was desired.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:16 AM   #12
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I have an ARRA project right outside our house. There was money to repair sidewalks - deal was the homeowners paid for material and ARRA paid labor. I got our whole side of the block on board and our terrible torn-up condition 60+ year old sidewalk got done. There was one contractor ramrod who had aspirations of being a minister and doing child outreach programs. There was one old mason who knew how to work with concrete. There were half a dozen kids, nearly all of whom had had run ins with the law.

I thought what I saw looked great. A couple working people got jobs and 6 mini thugs got to learn either what manual labor was like, urging them toward a more cerebral path, or a useful introduction to a trade. All the kids seemed proud of the work they were doing - at one point my gal saw some of their peers slouching down the road and giving them some cr*p as they went by. The working kids pointed out that THEY were making money, which led to the slouchers asking how to get on the program. Mnoey spent to pay for the kid's labor was spent, as far as i could tell, fast and locally - a lot of sodas and such from the local stores got bought. Local concrete plant sold concrete. Local rental companies rented some gear.

Result: kids going to school ride on the sidewalk rather than in the street, our block looks much better, the neighbors had a bonding experience and ended up with a good looking sidewalk at about a third the regular cost. A couple building tradesmen had work, 6 delinquents made money and were probably too tired to go out and do some crimes. Local stores had some money flow through their tills. I'm sure as with any big dollar program there is waste - but my direct contact with ARRA was totally positive and I was impressed.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:18 AM   #13
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Heck, if you guys in SA are spending a half million bucks a piece to create a temporary job, you can pay DW and I for our jobs and we'll just retire!

I guess my current job is partially paid for by ARRA money. But a few years ago it would have just been called regular government spending. They didn't used to have all the staff they do now that keep track of how many temporary jobs they have created.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:23 AM   #14
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..........my direct contact with ARRA was totally positive and I was impressed.
What a wet blanket you are. Are you trying to ruin a perfectly good one note piano concert?
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:39 AM   #15
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I thought this was a creative use of stimulus money:
Quote:
The International Accordion Festival, a three day event in downtown San Antonio, was awarded $25,000 in stimulus money.
Maybe they paid them to go bowling instead? Could have been money well spent (actually, I like a well played accordion, and no, that's not an oxymoron - but it is pretty rare I guess).


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If the gov't can subsidize oil and coal, why not solar?
Things I learned in Kindergarten: Two wrongs don't make a right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete
There are a lot of things that work well, and are now cost effective, that initially had to be subsidized or madated by gov't. Low flow toilets and shower heads, low watt lights, and numerous car safety devices to name a few.

...infrastructure spending that pays dividends.
There are a few things that fall into the "Tragedy of the Commons" that have benefited from govt mandates (some pollution and safety regs), but that doesn't make every/all govt reg a good one, and the others you mention I think are questionable, and solar definitely is. Just like EVs, I'm totally in favor of them when they make economic sense - at that point they don't need subsidies. In fact, I think subsidies can be more likely to hurt the advancement of the technology than to help it.


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Old 11-17-2010, 11:57 AM   #16
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As I peddle my bike through town I see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in action...paving roads that are already in good condition. They're building us a new 134 million dollar police headquarters. The old one looks great. My city hall is being completely renovated over the next couple of years. The old one was in great shape. Is this money well spent? Is this kind of stuff happening in your neighborhood too?
Give me something I can use...some good public transportation or maybe incentives to put in solar, ....
It's money well spent if what you are trying to do is pay off unions.

Ha
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:17 PM   #17
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Things I learned in Kindergarten: Two wrongs don't make a right. -ERD50
But three rights do make a left.

I'm surprised this discussion isn't in the politics forum...
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