Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nah, just the one basket for these eggs

When Republicans ran the show on Capitol Hill, Alabama had no trouble raking in the federal dollars from a GOP-led Congress that, by the end, stopped paying even lip service to that whole fiscal responsibility thing. But now that Democrats have taken the reins, the flip side of one-party dominance of a state's congressional delegation -- the famine following the feast -- is rearing what Alabamians hungry for federal funds must see as an ugly head.

Examples abound, but two should be enough to illustrate. First is the news that Alabama and other Sun Belt states stand to be hammered by cuts to a low-income energy aid program due to a funding formula that favors snowier Northern states at the Bush administration's proposed allocation of $1.78 billion. (The program would need an extra $1.42 billion to match its 2006 funding.) Second is the revelation that the University of Alabama's work to expand its science facilities is essentially at a standstill after the loss of a $30 million federal earmark that it expected to get before the voting public left U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., in the minority party after the November midterms.

Pertinent to nothing in particular, I'll note that at the current estimated rate of spending, the extra $1.42 billion for the energy aid program is roughly equal to what we spend on the Iraq war every five days. Three hours' worth of Iraq spending would be more than enough to cover the UA projects' needs.


Blogger The Alabama Moderate said...

When the University of Alabama can pony up $40 million for a football coach, I have little sympathy for them losing some federal pocket change here and there. They have the money, they just don't want to pay it themselves.

10:29 PM  

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