Signing the Stimulus

Feb 162009
Authors: Ryan Sheine

After the bill was voted through both the House and Senate, President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign his $787 billion economic stimulus plan in the presence of Colorado’s political leaders today in Denver at the Museum of Nature and Science.

During his visit to the Mile-High City, the President will tour the museum’s solar panel installation before signing the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, one of the largest economic recovery packages in the nation’s history, according to The Denver Post.

And while the motive behind Obama’s decision to sign the legislation in Denver remains somewhat elusive, one CSU professor believes the level of political support from voters in the West played a key role.

“Colorado and the West supported Obama and the Democrats during the election,” said John Straayer, a political science professor at CSU. “With where Denver is geographically, it’s logical he would come here.”

“There will be a lot of attention drawn into Colorado and to Denver.”

The last time Obama spoke in Colorado was at a campaign rally in Pueblo on Nov. 1. Following this appearance, he, and several other Democrats, including Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and 4th Congressional District Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., went on to win in Colorado.

When asked what she thought about the bill and its effects, Kelly Carnal, president of CSU’s Young Republicans said, “I don’t see what it’s stimulating. I don’t see it solving the economic crisis at all.

“The October bailout took some time to work out, but this one was rushed,” Carnal said.

Sophomore sociology major Chris Cocanougher said, “We need to do something but some things in this bailout don’t need to be done to jolt the economy.”

“It’s too broad,” Cocanougher said of the planned allocation of money, “but I think things could get worse without it.”

Straayer explained that even though the bailout is being signed in Denver, people should understand is not a precursor to Colorado getting special treatment from the bill.

“Per citizen basis we will not come out as well as other states,” said John Straayer, referring to the $1.97 billion Colorado will receive, according to The Denver Post. “It will be of some help, but it will benefit different people differently.”

“The money will be distributed through various ways,” he said. “Some of the money will go to K-12, some will go to higher-ed, some will go out as lump sums through tax relief, and some people will be given tax credits.”

Overall, Straayer said the economic stimulus is a necessary evil.

“Never a happy time when you add significantly to national debt, but it’s necessary,” he said. “It’s like taking an antibiotic when you’re sick.”

President Obama is scheduled to land in Denver at 11:30 a.m. according to The Denver Post and will arrive at the museum around noon.

After signing the bill, Obama will head to Phoenix to speak about the housing crisis.

Staff writer Ryan Sheine can be reached at

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