Your Stimulus Dollars at Work: Installing New Air Conditioners For Old Folks Who Question The Wisdom of Stimulus Dollars


Your stimulus/tax dollars at work, local edition. Keep in mind this sort of tale is playing out (or will be shortly) all over this sweet land of liberty.

One person who will likely benefit from the stimulus is Aileen Koelker, a 73-year old Ford retiree who lives in Golden View Acres, a retirement community for seniors built by the city of Sharonville [Ohio] in 1981.

Sharonville expects to get $93,000 to replace up to 33 heating and air conditioning units—many of which are now 28 years old—to more energy efficient models.

"It would be nice to have new air conditioning and a new furnace. I guess it will put some people to work," said Koelker, who spent nine years on a waiting list for the two-bedroom, rent controlled apartment.

"I don't think it's frivolous spending," she said. "On the other hand, I get tired of people thinking that the government needs to pay for everything. I just wonder how far into debt we can afford to go with this." [*: See answer below]

Note the lingo above; the project is not even to give people AC for the first time, but upgrade them to "more energy efficient models" (and what, one wonders, happens to the godforsaken electric company employees when demand goes down? Can we pass a law that the recipients need to leave the AC on high all the time?). More here, as The Cincinnati Enquirer tallies up "small" projects and notes:

It's a common complaint from local community development officials: the Obama Administration wants to see evidence that the stimulus is putting people to work, but hasn't given any guidance on how to count those jobs.

"It's totally a guess how many people it's going to take to do this," said [Butler County, Ohio administrator Donna] Everson. "That's our concern with all these project estimates coming down. The regulations and rules keep changing on us."

And that's not even considering exactly what impact this sort of spending, big or small, is likely to have on the actual real economy. Which is likely to be zero, or even less than zero.

[*] By the way, the answer to the question about how far into debt we're going with all this? Courtesy of Instapundit, a scarifying chart of federal budgets past and future: