As a government employee, I get a lot of angry letters about the way tax dollars are spent. Most of the anger should be redirected.
There are two types of spending: Capital and Operating
Capital funds are used to buy things (Ex: telephones, cars, desk chairs, radios)
Operating funds are used to pay daily operating costs (Ex: salaries, electric bills, services)
Obama’s funds given to many government organizations in California are for capital expenditures only (I have no idea if it’s the same way for other states. I only know what our agency is dealing with).
You can imagine the hateful letters, calls, and personal visits we receive when fire/safety/teaching staff and public services are cut while a new 21.2 million dollar diamond encrusted ‘Welcome to San Diego’ sign goes up.
Last week, congress approved 10% of the stimulus funds to be redirected to operational costs. This makes somewhat of a difference but many firefighters, police officers, and teachers are still going without jobs. Public transportation has been sliced. The routes around my house are gone – yet new driverless buses are sitting in a bus yard growing a layer of dust.
I’m not saying I know how to spend the money better. I don’t agree with the stimulus plan at all. But for the love of everything – stop screaming at the people who have no choice on how the money is spent.