Hope for success
It's interesting to note that all the buzz, pro and con, about the federal stimulus bill fades into the background as state officials begin to salivate over getting some of the money.
Even Republicans who opposed the spending bill are scampering around, trying to make sure they bring their share home. Big states like California and New York are counting on President Obama's stimulus package to help them balance their budgets.
In West Virginia, the House of Delegates has named a committee to look at how the state's share of nearly $1.4 billion will be used. Delegate Daryl Cowles provided us with a list of projects that are supposed to start within six months.
Morgan County could benefit directly from at least three items. Some $2 million is proposed for water and sewer improvements in Paw Paw. Another $361,388 will improve the heating, air conditioning and lighting at Berkeley Springs High School facilities. And $120,000 will be used to put a new roof on Cacapon Lodge.
You certainly can't attack any of these things as "pork barrel" spending. Sooner or later, the taxpayer was going to have to pay for them all, anyway.
While it's easy to criticize and fear the sheer size of the stimulus bill, everyone has to admit that something had to be done. Bush-style tax cuts alone were never going to get the national economy out of the deep ditch it had fallen into.
Those who are hoping the Obama Administration fails had better do some soul searching. If they fail at this high-stakes game, we are all big losers.