Down on Capital Hill our public officials are deliberating a $838 billion stimulus package that some believe will save our country and others believe will bury it.
Here on our level, $838 billion is a lot of money to comprehend. Most people would be happy hitting Lotto for half a million. How many half a millions are in $838 billion?
Where will it come from? And who will it help?
A few goals of the plan is to provide funding for infrastructure projects, to provide grants for education, to bring medical assistance to people who have lost their medical benefits due to unemployment, and to put a little spending money in taxpayers pockets with tax credits aimed at stimulating new car and house purchases.
Meanwhile, in case you havenít noticed, gas prices are slowly creeping upwards again, a few cents every few days. Just prior to the November elections gas cost less than $1.50 per gallon for regular unleaded, compared to over $4 a gallon in June. Once again the prices are rising, with local prices already topping over $2 a gallon.
And yet, despite national problems resulting in layoffs, or possible layoffs, cost of living expenses rising, loss of medical benefits, increased gas prices, locals still manage to hunker down and pull together when asked to support their friends and neighbors.
While public officials are fighting one another over who should do without, many of those doing without are pitching in to help one another make do.
Fundraisers, community gatherings, dinners, breakfasts, tournaments, all in the name of fun and fundraising and helping one another, have kept this community busy all winter. And before the snows began to settle, similar programs kept the community busy all fall, and before that all summer.
Itís a never ending circle and it seems the circle is completed by everyone holding hands.
The Lions Clubís winter carnival has kept residents young and old alike busy these last few dreary weeks of winter. A donkey basketball game has residents anxiously awaiting the event.
Everywhere there are signs of people helping people.
This is the real stimulus package.
Small town America doesnít need men in three piece suits sitting on Capitol Hill debating a stimulus package. Maybe the suits in Washington need a good dose of reality. Maybe what they need is to connect to a community, a bunch of friends and neighbors, a few organizations willing to work together.
Does Barack Obama and all of our representatives have what it takes to create a stimulus package?
Let us hope so. If this package passes and succeeds it could mean the end of a dark winter.
If this proposal is enacted and fails, things will only get harder.
Why canít they resolve things over a nice spaghetti dinner, or over a pancake breakfast?
Maybe the public officials should take Obama and Sean Hannityís lead and settle the whole thing over a couple of beers.
At this rate, it couldnít hurt.