Positive news from stimulus plan

Published 8:54 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

It’s nice to hear some positive news coming from a government stimulus plan.

Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a measure to add an additional $2 billion to the “Cash for Clunkers” program that has helped jumpstart the nation’s automobile market and prove that a stimulus program designed with consumers in mind can work.

While the country is in desperate need of infrastructure projects, those are slow to stimulate the economy at a time when stores need sales and local governments and states need tax revenues. And, the success of this program is additional proof that Americans themselves are the best ones to allocate stimulus dollars rather than lawmakers.

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Earlier this year, when Congress was debating the stimulus program, the hope was that investments in programs and state projects would trickle down to more jobs and needed sales. It hasn’t necessarily worked that way.

Now, to be honest, a majority of the approved stimulus funds have yet to be spent, but that in itself proves that the federal government is too inefficient and too tied up in red tape to react quickly to the demands of a sluggish economy.

The “Cash for Clunkers” program, which provides up to $4,500 for a trade-in of a low fuel economy, older car in exchange for a new, more fuel efficient replacement, is a huge success and one that is proving itself right here in Suffolk.

Local car dealers have reported a doubling or tripling of their weekly sales over the past week and are excited about what the coming weeks may hold as more stimulus dollars are approved.

If the nation’s economy needs a bailout, let’s start by giving the money to those who are best designed to spend it … the consumers.