Thursday, January 29, 2009
Somehow it doesn't seem right that the states with the biggest housing bubbles are going to be the recipients of the biggest bailouts from Washington. As shown below from this article at CNN/Money, California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona are the worst of the bunch.
You'd almost think that, with the Democrats now running the whole show in Washington, all the lawmakers in Sacramento have to do is sit and wait for the money to arrive. They've been wrangling for months now trying to come up with a solution to the state's growing budget shortfall which is now closing in on $50 billion.
Some $91 billion of the $819 billion stimulus package is said to be for plugging state budget holes and an outsized portion of that is undoubtedly destined for the Golden State.
According to this report in the Los Angeles Times, a total of $63 billion in federal funds is headed to Sacramento to be used for all sorts of things - tax cuts, unemployment benefits, health care, and infrastructure projects.
Some of the possible projects are:
Bell Gardens is asking for $1.5 million to build a running track made from recycled materials, and Huntington Beach wants $3.5 million to install more energy-efficient street lights.After having been conditioned to think of "billion" as an incomprehensibly large number and "million" as just a very large one, you can already see the shift toward "trillion" being the former and "billion" being the latter.
Caltrans has listed among its priorities a $53-million carpool lane project on the 10 Freeway from the 605 interchange east to Puente Avenue. Los Angeles County's wish list includes $8 million to dredge the waters off Marina del Rey. And Beverly Hills officials hope to snag $10 million for street resurfacing.
Officials at Los Angeles International Airport hope to secure about $200 million to fund a cross-field taxiway, which a spokesman said would be the first major project toward the airport's modernization.
Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which expects to receive more than $600 million under the House measure, is drawing up a list of possible projects, but is likely to use a piece of the money to expand its fleet of lower-polluting buses and share a portion with cities for street repairs.
California is projected to receive $400 million for job training, including $181 million for creating summer youth jobs; and $45 million to help low-income families pay home heating and air-conditioning bills.
And an estimated 2.4 million Californians would receive increased food stamp benefits to help pay rising food costs.
The state also is likely to receive a substantial piece of the $850 million allocated nationwide to reduce wildfire risks.
Where does that leave "million"?
Dunno - it just doesn't seem all that large anymore.