President-elect Obama's economic recovery plan for the nation is breathtaking. For some, the expense -- perhaps more than $1 trillion -- promises a massive outpouring of federal funding for costly large-scale projects. Others are literally left breathless by how much this plan might cost.
Local and regional planning groups have been asked to come up with project lists. The six-county Southeast Missouri Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission has put together a $367 million wish list. And the six-county Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Development Commission has a $97 million list.
Most of the proposed projects are aimed at key infrastructure. Some quality-of-life projects are also on the lists.
With the federal deficit expected to top $1 trillion this year for the first time in history -- plus another trillion dollars for the stimulus plan -- you have to wonder how the nation can afford it all. If the money is going to be spent, it would seem prudent to focus on projects that meet the most basic needs.