Where’s the hard part?

J’ai mis tes moccasins, walk a mile in my moccasins, my son is a Republican, he’s learned nothing all these years, I’m to blame, that’s the way it is, he’s always said empathy is difficult…

Microphone jockeys and pulpits and ideologues are against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 because ‘the people spend money better than the government’. “What?”, they say, “Do we want silver haired, gold in the teeth, lead in the ass bureaucrats deciding where God wants to spend his money?”

Believing in a mystic market policy – how dare this be called capitalism? – where corrupt tax relief and unfunded regulation and fanatic greed is as foolish as America has ever dared. We wait for the rich to gild the umbrella until it showers wages upon we poor souls awaiting for trickles to rain down. Republicans. Bah. Rush Lim-Bah.

There’s nothing but hand-to-hand monetary exchange in Obama’s stimulus. That’s getting up in the morning and that’s economic policy.

Let’s get rolling. There’s work to do.

  1. For Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways: $19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments;
  2. Energy Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions: $1.5 billion for energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans to help school districts, institutes of higher education, local governments, and municipal utilities implement projects that will make them more energy efficient.
  3. Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $6 billion for loans to help communities upgrade wastewater treatment systems. EPA estimates a $388 billion funding gap. The Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators found that 26 states have $10 billion in approved water projects.
  4. Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $2 billion for loans for drinking water infrastructure. EPA estimates there is a $274 billion funding gap. The National Governors Association reported that there are $6 billion in ready-to-go projects, which could quickly be obligated.
  5. Rural Water and Waste Disposal: $1.5 billion to support $3.8 billion in grants and loans to help communities fund drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. In 2008, there were $2.4 billion in requests for water and waste loans and $990 million for water and waste grants went unfunded.
  6. Corps of Engineers: $4.5 billion for environmental restoration, flood protection, hydropower, and navigation infrastructure critical to the economy. The Corps has a construction backlog of $61 billion.
  7. Bureau of Reclamation: $500 million to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure adequate water supply to western localities impacted by drought. The Bureau has backlogs of more than $1 billion in rural water projects and water reuse and recycling projects.
  8. Watershed Infrastructure: $400 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service watershed improvement programs to design and build flood protection and water quality projects, repair aging dams, and purchase and restore conservation easements in river flood zones.
  9. International Boundary and Water Commission: $224 million to repair flood control systems along the international segment of the Rio Grande damaged by hurricane Katrina and other serious storms.

And that’s just a summary of water and environment activity – millions of us sweeping up the mess of the poor poor policies of the last 30 years. Neglect is not economic policy. Poor maintenance over the years has left cracks in our infrastructure as coddled brigands have pailed away the cash.