July 8th, 2009
01:34 PM ET
5 years ago

Stimulus propping up cash-strapped states

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Fiscally-stressed states are using their stimulus dollars to satisfy immediate needs rather than undertake longer-term reforms, according to a government report released Wednesday.

For example, states are spending education funds to prevent layoffs and maintain programs, a Government Accountability Office report found.

Trying to survive one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression, state and school district officials say they don't have the money to undertake projects such as building new schools and expanding early-childhood education.

Similarly, states are using nearly half their infrastructure funds for pavement improvements, which can be implemented quickly and don't require environmental clearances and in-depth design work.

The $787 billion recovery act walks a fine line between trying to get funds out quickly to stimulate the economy and spurring longer-term initiatives.

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Susie

    This Stimulus Un-Plan seems to be working Only for Nobama – You keep on FLYING – around the globe, boy, with family and keep SKEERING those Iranians!!!! Betcha they'e quivering with your new non-bowing ?strategy????

    July 8, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Jon in CA

    Hey Liberals –

    Idiotic California Democrats have dug my state into a $30 Billion deficit ... but I want YOU to pay for it with your tax dollars!!

    Bhaaaa ha haaaaa

    I can't WAIT until the moment Universal Healthcare is dead – because there isn't enough money due to the fact mismanaged states (NY, CA, etc) had to be bailed out.

    Priceless!!

    July 8, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. J.P.

    How about cutting spending?

    At my house, when we're out of money, we not only cut additional spending, we cut back existing expenditures, too... often eliminating them.

    July 8, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    What is so economically "stimulating" about using taxpayer money to fund business as usual? And wasn't the republican governor of some state chastized for suggesting that he used the stimulus funds to address shortfalls in his state budget?

    What has changed?????

    July 8, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. Enough

    Is this the excuse they are trying to pass off as to why their pork filled spending project didn't do anything to stimulate the economy? Nice try, we're not falling for it!

    July 8, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    No doubt the stimulus money will be mis-used. Predictable. It will wind up in the hands of ACORN, Unions, and George Soros.

    July 8, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. demwit

    Hasn't done California much good has it. Need more TARP funds Arnold??

    July 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  8. flybyshoeing

    There is an easy fix for this....just pull the money back, they didn't want it anyway.

    July 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  9. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    America now has a government of the politicians, by the politicians, for the politicians.

    July 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. ProgressivelyMinded

    Time for stimulous package 2. And quick! So we can stop unemployment at 10%!!

    July 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Debbie

    Hmm, had they did this the way I told them to do this, we would not be having this problem. I knew I should have run for President. LOL. You have to bail the middle class working American people out. We are the ones who spend the money that matters. We can pay mortgages because none of the programs work for me, or probably any of us, we can pay home equity loans that we should not have been approved for, we could pay those sky-rocketing gas and electric bills, etc. You bailed out companies that failed, with some bullcrap that the American people own now. We don't want that crap. We the American people want some money so we can get our heads above water, we are trying to keep what we have.

    July 8, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. RealityKing

    How about we take back the unspent money and pay down the National Debt thats reached 80% of the GDP!??

    July 8, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. Erik S.

    Well, duh here folks. When you give people handouts, they are going to misuse it, look at Welfare. I'm sorry, but if the Dems allow another stimulus, they are kicking them selves out of Congress.

    July 8, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Well libs, where are you now? You bashed Bush for no oversight on TARP, now the Democratic Congress and Democratic president (small 'p' on purpose) rushed a flawed bill through and failed to provide any oversight. Where is your outrage? Republicans warned you but were branded the party of 'no'. Now there's no one except yourselves to blame. Stimulus 2, NO WAY! And these are the people you want to run health care?

    July 8, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. UNHAPPY DEM

    These states need to trim their own budgets and quit wasting our money. We did not need early education, head start, pre k and all the other bloated programs, (some of which amount to nothing more than free babysitting and lunches) when we were in school to succede in life.
    On the Rahm thread that got cut off quickly, maybe he has some sense after all, leave healthcare alone you idiots

    July 8, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  16. Patty in the CA mountains

    Okay, wait a minute, you are actually reporting that the stimulus is WORKING!!! There must be some mistake.....

    In response to those that blame the states/Governors of those states, here's some basic information. Most states (maybe all by now) MUST work with balanced budget. They make their yearly budget assuming that a certain amount of money will come from within the state and a certain amount will come from the feds.....when the president (bush) cuts back on money going to the states to fund a lie (war), and runs the country into ground in every other way possible, the monies counted on by the states, therefore their individual budgets, go into the toilet.

    Sorry to disappoint with factual information

    July 8, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Zero.

    Well that is easly solved. Take now, let the other guy pay later. Most of them wont be i office

    July 8, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Bosworth

    Really? For how long? Do we keep just shoveling money until we bankrupt 10 generations of our posterity? How about a real solution?

    July 8, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. TCM

    This isn't surprising....receiving the money for one thing, and then stuffing entitlement coffers under the cloak of deception.....the best part is yet to come; when the bulk of the money, scheduled for release in the latter part of Obama's term, is released to "communities," and then the "community organizers," get to divvy up the loot...

    in other words, OBama's going to be buying votes for himself with our tax dollars come 2011-2012. The stimulus money was for stimulating his campaign....liberals are so easily fooled. ACORN, Center for American Progess, all the cronies will have their hands stuck out, and will receive funds under some bogus charter like "community improvement projects..." then, as with the first election, they'll but votes for Obama...the only difference this time is it will be OUR money buying the white house instead of Soros' money.

    July 8, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Which states, which governors? Detail matters, CNN.

    July 8, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Marc

    Jon in CA – Idiotic, powergrabber and completely stupid CALIFORNIAN politicians have put their, and yours, state in the mess it is now. Don't blame just the Dems. and besides, still wishing that we go deeper and deeper into the hole GWBush put us instead of suggesting anything that is at least remotely possible to be done? You betcha!!!!

    July 8, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Larry

    @ Trade Freedom for Security

    It's been a government for the politicians for the last 50 years.

    I'd forgotten what it was like to be a government for the people. Look at the wars between Dems and Reps, all so they can secure their reelections.

    Politicians haven't represented the people in a long,long time. It's all about them padding their pockets and their connections with special interests and lobbyists in Washington.

    July 8, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    Obama is running up very small deficits compared to Reagan and Bush. Reagan tripled the national debt ($1 trillion to $3 trillion). Bush1 increased it by another $1.5 trillion. Bush increased it by $5 trillion. Now the debt is about $11 trillion. About 75% of that amount was run up during good economic times under "fiscally responsible" Republican administrations. Obama is now spending money trying to stimulate the economy, during bad times, which makes sense.

    Conservatives are like the teenager who took the family car on an unauthorized joy ride. Now the car is under 4 feet of water in the neighbor's swimming pool. The teenager says to his parents, "This is all your fault. If you had hidden the car keys where I coudn't find them, you wouldn't have gotten us into this mess!"

    July 8, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Indigo

    Keep watching Repubs, and see what is going to happen with the economy and with president Obama and the democrats that work with him. Without a doubt God is in control and no matter how you view it. "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose" So just keep watching and you will soon see how things will be worked out. but the glory will go to God who will work thru our president. If God is for you, He's worth more than the whole world against you.

    July 8, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Stop believing every thing you read. It is a straight lie. In our state, the money is being spending on infrastuctions projects and our just starting the bidding process. How I know, is becasue I work in our Economic Development office where the money have been filter. Lies, LIes, and more Lies.

    July 8, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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