Joe Biden is coming to Cincinnati to tout the stimulus plan. A local TV station is thrilled.
If this is considered a good way to use stimulus money, we're in $800 billion worth of big trouble:
The entire nation is about to get a look at exactly how federal stimulus money is being spent in the Tri-State. Tomorrow morning, Vice-President Joe Biden will be in Northside to look at how that neighborhood and the city plan to use $1.6 million to help rehab the old American Can plant on Spring Grove Avenue. The huge building, which you can see from I-75, has been largely empty since the fifties, but not for much longer.
If you've even been in Northside, you've probably seen this building and wondered about it. Back in the days before aluminum cans, American Can made the machinery here that made the old pop cans in the days when cans had seams. Empty for decades, with a little luck, starting late this summer, this building's next life will get underway.
The first thing you notice about the American Can building is that it's really cool space... huge open areas, with 12-14 foot high ceilings. This massive entryway will actually be rentable space.
H. Richard Duval, Bloomfield/Schon: "This particular room we're in is going to be a reception area for weddings and business meetings. That crane will come halfway down and there will be a curtain that will hang from it so you can rent half this room or all this room."
Look, I'm all for people taking chances on real estate, even on long shots (anyone who knows the Northside area of Cincinnati knows that this project is a long shot; for starters, there are already a few acceptable meeting halls in the area that are very underutilized).
I'm NOT for people taking chances on real estate with the help of $1.6 million of our money. If the deal doesn't make sense without the money (the overwhelming odds are that it doesn't), it shouldn't be done.
I give the government's funding of this deal 16 probable Obamazebos, named after the worthless gazebo in the middle of a Chicago low-income neighborhood yours truly noted during the presidential election campaign. That gazebo forlornly sits there, while $100,000 in Illinois grant money that funded what was supposed to be the start of a beautification project Barack Obama said he would "work tirelessly" for has disappeared. Thus, the $1.6 million being spent on the American Can Building, divided by $100,000 per Obamazebo, could very well turn out to equal 16 Obamazebos -- assuming there isn't a second stimulus package.
Perhaps a Local 12 reporter will break away from ogling over how cool a building abandoned for 50 years is to ask the Vice President why his partisan pals did what they did to the economy during the past year. When you compare the tax-collection results for the past quarter to the second quarter of 2008 -- the last quarter before the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy took effect -- you realize that the government's collections have fallen short by over 2.53 million Obamazebos ($253.2 billion ÷ $100,000 = $2.53 million):
("Receipts from economic activity" do not include 2008's stimulus payments, which should have been treated as outlays.)
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.