Never before in US history have dollars flowed from Washington to the states the way they currently are. The price tag: $350 billion for eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments via the American Rescue Plan.
Michigan’s legislature and Governor have to make decisions as to how to spend or not spend the $6,540,417,626.70 allocated by the federal government. The state of Michigan has only spent approximately $800,000 of those dollars.
The State isn’t alone – the city of Detroit was allocated $826 million and has only spent $78,225.
The lists of how the dollars should be spent are long – and the pressure is unrelenting from various interest groups.
There are big questions that need to be answered: what is the best way forward? What will benefit the most people, both now and in the future?
One answer that is clear: it would be irresponsible for government to create and fund with these one time dollars new programs that will require permanent investment.
The goal of the American Rescue Plan dollars is “to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery” – not create future burdens for local and state taxpayers.