Friday, February 13, 2009

Disappointing Legislation

We have yet to meet one sensible person in all our contacts who have faith in the President, Congress and their proposal to help our economy with this bill today.

LuAnn printed off the 700 pages of the first published proposal and there is more pork in there than a ship headed for Europe in WWI.

Now the bill is up to 1,000 pages and no one has read or interpreted the whole thing. Congressmen admitted they were voting without reading it? The Democratic Senate is awaiting the arrival of Sherrod Brown from Ohio(after his mother's funeral) to vote yes for the 60 votes they need to pass the bill and send it to the President? Whoa....

I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime and doubt you have either.

Everyone talks about the legacy we are leaving to our grandchildren but I don't think it will take that long to feel the repercussions.

This economy is so shaky that no one feels that cranking up the printing presses again with "our good name" and nothing to back the debt is going to work.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is considered not effective by my friends and neighbors. You can't go anywhere without someone bringing it up. It is the talk of the town in southwest Ohio where jobs are ending faster than any Congress could start new ones.

I met another man losing his job soon at Airborne Express and he has no idea what he will do. He is trying hard to stay afloat and find new work but you could see his concern like the many I have talked to since this news hit last summer.

Will it work?

My Vocational Organizations have just listed the educational highlights of this bill:

"House Passes Economic Recovery Package, Senate to Follow

On Friday, February 13, 2009, the House passed the finalized version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The bill includes final funding allocations that were negotiated between the House and Senate earlier in the week and the Senate is expected to vote and approve the legislation late Friday night or over the weekend. President Obama will sign the bill into law once it is approved by the Senate.

The bill includes a total of $787.2 billion dollars for all programs, including approximately $130.2 billion for education programs and funding for numerous workforce-related initiatives. Almost $300 billion in tax cuts are included in the bill, while the rest of the package contains spending measures that are intended to stimulate the American economy and provide relief to states facing budget shortfalls. The Congressional Budget Office has stated that 74.2 percent of the bill’s funding and tax breaks will go out by the end of Fiscal Year 2010.

The legislation includes many provisions that are expected to positively impact education and workforce development. Among the provisions in the bill with a direct relationship to CTE programs and students are:

$3.95 billion for job training programs including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker and youth services through the Workforce Investment Act; $50 billion for YouthBuild; and $750 million for new competitive grants for worker training in high growth and emerging industry sectors (with priority consideration to “green” jobs).

At least $40 billion in state fiscal relief to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formula grants. Once these funds are awarded to local school districts, they may be used for any activities authorized under the Carl D. Perkins Act, IDEA, Title I of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the Adult and Family Literacy Act, or for school modernization, renovation, and repair of public school facilities. These funds are intended to address state budget shortfalls.

$500 million in grants to train primary health care workers.
Additional resources for Title I of NCLB ($10 billion), School Improvement grants in NCLB ($3 billion) and IDEA ($12.2 billion). These funds may not go directly to CTE programs, but will help fill gaps in state and federal budgets that have siphoned local resources from CTE programs.
$650 million for the Educational Technology program.
$15.8 billion for the Student Financial Assistance account in the Higher Education Act, including $15.6 billion for Pell Grants (a $500 increase in the maximum award per eligible recipient) and $200 million for federal work-study programs."

No one knows if this will work but no one thinks it is our salvation around here. I guess the best we can do is keep operating as smart as we can financially while positioning ourselves for even worse times.

This legislation looks like my 2007 crop in the picture above. It is off to a bad start. Click on my links above and look for yourself.

On a sad note our prayers to the souls and families affected by the air crash in Clarence NY last night. One of our friends is an air controller there and that was not his voice from the Buffalo Airport. I bet LuAnn knows someone affected by that crash.

That's the way it is here on the farm today.

What do you think?

Ed Winkle


  1. I think the country and perhaps the world is run by people who are so far removed from we would see as basic standards of common sense, morality and responsibility, as to be living on another planet. Kind of an alternate reality.
    My sister-in-law worked for the Oregon legislature. She said they were such nice and polite people. As asked her what that had to do with the moronic legislation they passed, and my wife told me to just be quiet.
    It is absolutely painful to watch. Just please, please, stop wasting money! Throwing good money after bad!
    You realize this is the sort of thing that made your ancestors and mine immigrate to this country?
    Were tdo we go?

  2. It is quite unsettling. The spending of money you don't have and no clear way of paying it back seems to have taken over our society. I have no idea where this will all end but it doesn't look good.