Pennsylvania has $102 million dollars in federal dollars coming its way to promote energy efficient technologies as a result of the $787 billion dollar stimulus package. How much of that will Schuylkill County see? ZERO. Yes, that’s right. A county with a abundance of coal reserves, plans for coal to oil plants, and over 10% of its citizens unemployed, was stiffed by President Barack Obama’s department of energy.
Governor Ed Rendell has said that money was allocated based on a “population formula”. US Rep. Tim Holden (D-17) stated that Schuylkill was blanked because he wasn’t permitted to attach earmarks to the bill (which doesn’t make sense considering that over 9000 earmarks actually passed) But, the plain truth of the matter is that both of those excuses are BS. The REAL reason that Schuylkill County received a big fat goose egg is that not enough of our residents voted for Obama in November.
Yes, much like every other piece of legislation to come out of Washington since the inauguration, the “stimulus” is one large patronage package for staunch Obama supporters. And since Schuylkill County went for Sen. John McCain during the election, we were not allowed to dip our fingers in the federal honey pot.
You don’t believe me? Just look at the cash allocation:
Philadelphia: $14.1 million–Obama 83%, McCain 16%
Allegheny Co. (includes Pittsburgh):$11.4 million–Obama 57%, McCain 42%
Luzerne Co. (includes Wilkes-Barre):$2.6 million–Obama 54%, McCain 45%
Lehigh Co. (includes Bethlehem):$3 million–Obama 57%, McCain 42%
Chester Co.: $4.6 million–Obama 54%, McCain 45%
Montgomery Co. (includes Chelteham and Lower Merion): $6.3 million–Obama 60%, McCain 39%
Delaware Co. (includes Chester, UpperDarby, & Middletown): $4.7 million–Obama 60%, McCain 39%
Bucks Co. $3.9 million–Obama 54%, McCain 45%
Lackawanna Co. (includes Scranton):$720,000–Obama 63%, McCain 36%
Berks Co. (includes Reading):$3.6 million–Obama 54%, McCain 35%
Erie (city):$1 million–Obama 59%, McCain 40%
Northhampton Co.: $2.5 million–Obama 56%, McCain 43%
Only four counties that went for McCain, out of the 50 he won statewide, received stimulus money. Typically, all of them have metropolitan or suburban areas that went heavily for Obama. Meanwhile, only four Obama counties were left off the funding list (I’m sure he will get them back in some other portion of the massive stimulus, you watch).
What this adds up to is politics at its worst. If your community dared to vote for the Republican candidate, you are SOL for at least the next four years when it comes to federal dollars. Under this new regime of “change”, the people of Schuylkill County better get used to being snubbed.