Thursday, March 12, 2009

Stimulus Watch Officially Launched - Help Spread The Word is officially open for business, and we need your help spreading the word about it. Please tell your friends and family about it by emailing them, blogging about it, and posting it to your Facebook profile.

Stimulus Watch looks at the “shovel-ready” projects listed in the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ “MainStreet Economic Recovery Report.” The mayors and local officials around the country have asked that these projects be funded with federal money. However, once the stimulus bill passes, not every project will be funded. The agencies that administer the federal grant-making programs, which Congress will fund through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will have to decide which of these projects to fund.

While these funding decisions are largely made by formula, the Obama administration has promised to be smart about which projects it funds with stimulus money. In his address on economic recovery on January 8, President Obama said:

We have to make tough choices and smart investments today so that as the economy recovers, the deficit starts to come down. We cannot have a solid recovery if our people and our businesses don’t have confidence that we’re getting our fiscal house in order. That’s why our goal is not to create a slew of new government programs, but a foundation for long-term economic growth.

That also means an economic recovery plan that is free from earmarks and pet projects. I understand that every member of Congress has ideas on how to spend money. Many of these projects are worthy, and benefit local communities. But this emergency legislation must not be the vehicle for those aspirations. This must be a time when leaders in both parties put the urgent needs of our nation above our own narrow interests.

Stimulus Watch exist to help the President keep his pledge. Citizens around the country can judge for themselves the merits of the mayors’ proposed projects. Using this site they can voice their opinions and local knowledge of the projects letting everyone know which are worth an investment and which are not. Local government officials are also invited to join the conversation to give context for their requests.

We hope you enjoy the site, and we hope you will help us spread the word.

You can also visit the U.S. Budget Watch site for a the site that cover institutions, i.e. banks brokerage houses, consumer/tax stimulus as well as "projects". The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget runs the site.

US Budget Watch is a project designed to increase awareness of the important fiscal issues facing the country, through and beyond the election. The project seeks to bring attention to the presidential candidates’ tax and spending policies, to help the public become informed about these issues, and to track the new president’s fiscal policies after the election. US Budget Watch is a project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget at the New America Foundation and is supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts. None of these organizations support or oppose any candidate for office.

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