Monday, February 2, 2009

Dazed and confused about the stimulus?

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are tossing around some staggering numbers these days. It’s no wonder that people are feeling frustrated or confused about the sheer size and intent behind the proposed economic stimulus package.

“Is this a bailout?” “Who gets the money?” and “Where’s mine?” are among the many questions received by OOIDA, Land Line Magazine and Land Line Now and we appreciate them.

While there is no direct money set aside for trucking, a stimulus package aimed at boosting construction, infrastructure, science and health care will lead to trucking loads that pay.

Some are wondering why the $819 billion stimulus bill contains “only $30 billion” for transportation infrastructure projects. These people are right in saying that is not nearly enough to address the problems at hand such as crumbling interstates and deficient bridges.

The short explanation is that the stimulus is not designed to fix the nation’s transportation infrastructure problems. That fix has to come in the form of a completely separate act of Congress.

By definition, the stimulus bill is a short-term proposal aimed at creating jobs and increasing the flow of money through the economy.

Anything longer-term, such as expanding lane capacity, rebuilding interstates and replacing deficient bridges falls under the definition of transportation funding reauthorization.

Congress is working on the reauthorization simultaneously with the stimulus talk, so it can get a bit confusing.

Just keep in mind that all large-scale funding issues for transportation are being tackled separately from the so-called stimulus.

A typical long-term reauthorization provides for approximately five years of transportation policy and funding.

The current reauthorization known as SAFETEA-LU became law in 2005 after a couple of years’ worth of debate, and it is set to expire Sept. 30.

Because the next reauthorization is likely to be massive and contain record amounts for highways and bridges, it could take time to hammer out.

Rep. James Oberstar, D-MN, chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has challenged his colleagues to hit the deadline, but time will tell.

If the reauthorization does not pass by the deadline, we would continue functioning under the provisions of SAFETEA-LU.

Stimulating, isn’t it?

3 comments:

  1. why do the banks and wall street get all the money when all our goods move on the roads at one point or another the roads and bridges are more inportant than the big fleeseing bank let them go under and only the strong make it.
    isn't that what happens to trucking company's?

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  2. Gosh, who could possibly be confused by the bailout package or the stimulus package - all you have to do is go on line and read all about the programs you tax dollars are going to support . . . if you can get thru all the legal B.S. But never fear, the President has promised "transparency and fiscal responsibility" so we need to just TRUST our elected officials to act on our behalf with NO questions asked. Because as we all know they are looking out for YOU - and if you believe that, I have a bridge in North Dakota to sell you!!!!

    Wake up you people . . . that is how we got into this mess! We have all sat back, not taking paying attention to the goings on in Washington and trusting our Senators and Representatives to do "the right thing." We just laid down on our couches and watched game shows on TV or slept.

    Now we have a MAJOR mess on our hands (remember it is YOUR money these idiots are spending), and few if any of these people are thinking about how these massive spending sprees are going to effect you and me, the poor dumb trucker who works hard every day, pays his taxes (apparently is not a requirement if you are valuable to the President)and tries to do the right thing.

    Folks, this reminds me of slavery only it is legal so get off your duff, write or call your people in Washington and let them know what YOU want. After all they work for YOU and are paid by your tax dollars. And if they don't do the things we pay them to do, then vote for someone else in the next election.

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  3. Here's a stimulating idea; Use only 1 billion dollars to put all the lawmakers and powerful social engineers on an island, give them all the "victims" who demand welfare and healthcare, for their servants, as well as the illegals who want to work, and let them live out their lives trying to make that all work. AND LEAVE THE REST OF US TO MAKE AMERICA WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO BE!! If the majority of people accept responsibility for themselves, and enact laws that work on our behalf instead of against us, we will thrive.

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