Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Porkulus Bill to rear its ugly head in West Virginia?

The Charleston Daily Mail reported last week that the state of West Virginia stands to receive more than a half billion in federal dollars as part of President Obama's new stimulus package [i.e. Job creation bill]. $162 million is earmaked for teachers, police officers and firefighters.

However, the Daily Mail noted the following:
Some of the money that is supposed to go to teachers is meant to prevent layoffs. But West Virginia doesn't have any plans to lay off teachers.

"I'm not sure; would they just send us the money instead?" said state budget director Mike McKown.
Likewise, the West Virginia daily, The Intelligencer, notes:
When was the last time you heard of a school system in West Virginia laying off teachers because of a budget shortfall unrelated to lower enrollment? You probably don't recall such a situation because, for all intents and purposes, it doesn't exist in this state.

Yet if President Barack Obama's "jobs program" is approved by Congress, West Virginia will receive $162 million to pay teachers, police officers and firefighters. Other states, including some like ours where prudent fiscal management prevented layoffs of public employees, will get money, too. Some will receive billions of dollars...

The bottom line - as was the case with Obama's previous "stimulus" program - is that West Virginia doesn't need money to avoid laying off public-sector workers.

If we get the money and use it as the White House is likely to insist, hundreds of new educators, law enforcement officers and firefighters may be hired. Then, in a year or two when the federal funding runs out, local and state entities will have the choice of laying them off or raising our taxes to keep them on the payroll...

The White House plan, spending billions of dollars states don't need to create jobs that will disappear in, at most, a couple of years, is absurd...

If the president is determined to spend money on bigger government, a better idea would have been block grants the states could use as they see fit. But neither that nor job creation ever was Obama's plan.

The $457 billion "jobs plan" is nothing more than a political scheme to grow federal government and please Obama's supporters. Congress should reject it.