Friday, November 12, 2010

The Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming!

Today's Boston Globe sounds the alarm that Massachusetts could lose $200 million in federal funding for projects here in the Bay State as Congress fills up with fiscally-conservative Republicans.

But when you look deeper in the article, you see that this coveted federal money is not intended for job creation, schools, or some of the other things you'd expect the government to invest in with a national unemployment rate over nine percent and a $13 trillion national debt.

Here's some of what's actually on the list:

  • Renovations for a new visitor's center abutting the Paul Revere House and new restroom facilities. Is this really a priority? We're sure Paul Revere would have liked more bathroom facilities in his house, too, but he didn't have the money for it either.
  • A $10 million cash infusion for the Edward Kennedy Institute for the US Senate. Isn't the $38.3 million federal funding already reserved for the project enough? The Globe says the facility "is scheduled to open in 2013 and is meant to serve as an educational facility and research center for students, academics, and elected officials." Isn't there another worthy education cause that would benefit everyone?
  • A $300,000 grant to replace a 911 communications tower in Newton. Newton just spent $200 million for a new high school. Could the community possibly have scrimped and saved a little bit to cover public safety costs?

This brings up two interesting issues related to last week's electoral results.

First, if Democrats in the Massachusetts Delegation lose their chairmanships and become less able to bring home the bacon for the Bay State with Republicans in charge of Congress, will they lose credibility going into the next election?

Second, with only a few weeks of Democratic hegemony left on Capitol Hill, what last-minute legislation will Democrats force through while they still have the chance? President Obama has two years left in his first term, but only two months left to accomplish his agenda without Republican interference.

Projects like the Paul Revere House and the Kennedy Institute both rely in part on private funding, but in times like these, maybe they need to rely on private funds even more. The Paul Revere House has been standing there for hundreds of years. Waiting an extra year or two until we can afford to put new bathrooms in isn't that long a wait, relatively speaking.

What do you think? Please post a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. Earmarks are GONE !!! And they are going to be GONE on chairmanships. The lame duct session should be a real hog fest. The key for everything is finding ways to create JOBS....NOW! Yes, the Republicans are coming and thank god...none to soon. BTW..keep up this great blog..good luck with it !!


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