Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Obama Stimulus Slow to Buoy ‘Real Economy’ as Marin Awaits Cash

Pity poor Marin. Caught between Sonoma and San Francisco.
Scraping by on a median income of $83,870 (highest in Cali.).
The squalor of Sausalito:

tiny small medium large original
Image from Geoffrey Mainland

Okay, sarc off. Here's the story from Bloomberg:
California public-works official Bob Beaumont says the $2.1 million he may get from President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan “isn’t going to make a lot of difference” in a county with $40 million in “shovel-ready” projects.

“It seems like the federal stimulus is trickling down very slowly,” says Beaumont, chief assistant director of public works for Marin County, north of San Francisco. “My feeling is it’s not finding its way into the economy as quickly as it should.”

The $787 billion package Congress passed in February is having less impact than economists expected in pulling the U.S. out of the worst recession in at least 50 years. About $111 billion in planned infrastructure spending is arriving so slowly that recovery in the final six months of 2009 may be weak.

“Most of the stimulus still hasn’t yet reached the real economy,” says Robert Solow, professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who won the 1987 Nobel Prize for economics. “It will help us a lot in the second half of the year. But given the collapse in consumer spending, business investment and state and local government spending, I think it’s premature to be getting optimistic.”

In Marin County, which ranked fifth in the nation in per- capita personal income in 2007, Beaumont says he expects to hear this week about final approval for the $2.1 million from Washington for road improvements. “It has been a difficult process,” he says. “The paperwork to get the money is voluminous and time-consuming.”

Not Seen Yet

Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of W.W. Grainger Inc., a Lake Forest, Illinois-based distributor of building-maintenance supplies, isn’t being carried away by the stimulus either....MORE

Truth be told, Marin is one of the most gorgeous areas of the country. The idea of an area as wild as the headlands just a couple miles from the city has always amazed me:

Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, San Francisco, California