Stimulus Funds: Not at all a wasteful failure 2012.08.08

Written by David Green.

I’m not much of a television watcher which means that I’m generally not up to date on celebrities and what they’re doing, nor do I know the disturbing news accounts from Toledo that people enjoy discussing. On the flip side, I never see any TV advertising, so it’s a pretty good tradeoff.

Twice in the last week, however, I was out visiting and watched some Olympic competition—along with the endless flow of political ads.

At my first visit, I watched an ad about the wasteful American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and I got a little laugh out of it. Billions of dollars blown, no jobs created, etc. I knew better than that.

At my next visit, the same ad played again and this time it got a little annoying. It wasn’t just the ridiculous claims about overseas investments and billions of dollars wasted—claims that have been proven to be extremely misleading and in some cases incorrect—but the entire notion that the the so-called “stimulus program” was a wasteful failure.

Don’t tell that to the Fulton County Commissioners who gladly took $3.1 million in stimulus funds for the construction of a waterline to Metamora, Lyons and the northeast portion of the county. I doubt if they see that money going to waste, and the many construction workers involved in the project would likely agree.

It’s the same story in Fayette where stimulus funds covered badly needed repairs to the sewage treatment system lift station, and the same story in Morenci where federal funding covered most of the parking lot project. In both cases, the projects help keep workers on the job during tough economic times.

Road work was completed in Archbold and in Waldron, an energy efficiency program was undertaken at Sauder Woodworking, law enforcement in Wauseon benefitted, the Fulton County Health Department used funding for its Infants and Families program. Morenci’s Stair Public Library will soon receive new made-in-America computers.

Every school district in the area benefitted from stimulus money for “fiscal stabilization”—funds to prevent layoffs and keep teachers in the classrooms as state funding plummeted.

There’s no question that many stimulus projects did not create jobs, but that wasn’t always the intent and it certainly doesn’t equate to failure. 

Take away the politics and the misleading advertisements and you’ll find many grateful municipal and school leaders who have plenty of good to say about the President’s effort to keep the country moving when it seemed to be on the brink of financial collapse.

The criticism that many leading economists make is that the stimulus program ended where it did. They’re disappointed there wasn’t even more spending to stimulate a shaky economy.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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