Yes, everybody’s hurting and since these are unique times I don’t have a problem with setting aside some funds for leaders at the local level.
And, actually, it makes sense that mayors get money first because they have a better understanding of what’s actually happening on the ground in the places that need it most. But state infrastructure is crumbling too and we can’t ignore that.
A delegation of American mayors is meeting with Democratic congressional leaders today to ask for a piece of the economic stimulus package taking shape â€” and they met with the news media beforehand to emphasize they arenâ€™t seeking a bailout.
â€œWe are not here for a bailout but to present a recovery plan,â€ Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters.
â€œWe donâ€™t need a bailout,â€ Trenton, N.J., Mayor Douglas Palmer said. â€œWe need a buildout.â€
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used the dreaded B-word to refer to a competing part of the proposed stimulus package, money for states that need to close large budget gaps. Congress had a choice, he said, between â€œbailing out the statesâ€ and giving the money to mayors to â€œbuild the infrastructure that we need for tomorrow.â€
Long story short, this has to be a 360 degree stimulus plan, and I think Democrats realize that. Let’s hope Congressional Republicans do too and don’t try to block this just because they feel they have to oppose deficit spending.