With the monumental failure of Obama's "jobs" bill (actually just a checklist of liberal agenda items under the pretense of jobs), Democrats have decided to break the bill out into a few separate smaller spending measures. First on the list: direct bailouts of mismanaged state budgets.
The new measure is a $35 billion aid package to state and local governments to help them avoid layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters. It's virtually certain to be blocked by Republicans opposed to spending money to boost the economy.
Direct aid to the states is a very popular measure, but it's unlikely to do much good and amounts to little more than a way to use taxpayer money to preserve government union jobs. Moreover, as the Wall Street Journal reports, spending at the state level has done little good.
Remember how $200 billion in federal stimulus cash was supposed to save the states from fiscal calamity? Well, hold on to your paychecks, because a big story of 2010 will be how all that free money has set the states up for an even bigger mess this year and into the future... Ten states have a deficit, relative to the size of their expenditures, as bleak as that of near-bankrupt California. The Golden State starts the year another $6 billion in arrears despite a large income and sales tax hike last year. New York is literally down to its last dollar. Revenues are down, to be sure, but in several ways the stimulus has also made things worse.
Hold on to your wallets, folks. As the Democrats parse out their spending bill into smaller, more popular legislation, there's a greater chance your money will be thrown down the giant money hole of useless federal spending.
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