Feb 172009
 
Authors: Ryan Sheine

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Though Colorado is slated to receive about $2 billion for job creation and renewable energy sources from the $787 billion stimulus bill that was signed by President Obama in Denver on Tuesday, Fort Collins community members remained divided on its intended impacts.

Citing the frivolity of the $700 billion bailout passed on Oct. 2, which was a federal bailout of banks and financial institutions, CSU economics professor Jessie Gastelle said that with the pending increases in government spending will send the country’s deficit soaring.

“The tax cuts are good, but not with increased spending,” Gastelle said. “The government should cut taxes while also decreasing spending.”

“Even with tax cuts now, an increase in spending and the budget deficit is really another tax,” he added. “. Future generations will have to pay for it later.”

The economic recovery package Obama signed today will cut taxes across the nation and closer to home, and local politicians said a portion of the stimulus is slotted to improve the dwindling state of Colorado employment.

Ben Marter, a spokesperson for 4th Congressional District Rep. Betsy Markey, a Democrat, said the money the state gets will go toward either the creation or salvation of about 8,400 jobs in northern and eastern Colorado alone.

“People are worried about their jobs, paying their bills and if they’re going to be able to send their kids to college,” he said.

But he assured that “59,000 jobs will be created across Colorado” with the stimulus.

Marter also noted that the state government plans to make immediate investments in transportation systems and infrastructure.

“People are hurting in this country,” Obama said today in a speech to a collection of Colorado’s prominent energy and political leaders.

“What makes this recovery plan so important is not just that it will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years, including 60,000-plus here in Colorado,” he said. “It’s that we’re putting Americans to work . work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come.”

Gastelle, however, said he is less optimistic because after Congress passed the October bailout more than four months ago, the economy continued on a downward spiral and more than 600,000 jobs nationally were lost this past month alone.

“The government has to reconsider what they’re doing now,” he said. “The economy will be better off sooner without the stimulus.”

When asked if he thought the stimulus package would benefit the economy at all, Gastelle said, “Yes, there are some benefits, but not enough worth $800 billion.”

Staff writer Ryan Sheine can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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