• August 12, 2020

NAX: For a while, money really will be growing on trees - Odessa American: Columnists

e-Edition Subscribe

NAX: For a while, money really will be growing on trees

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 12:00 am

Who says the Tooth Fairy isn’t real? Santa’s not just a symbolic Christmas creature. And, by golly, the Easter Bunny might have more in that basket than eggs and candy.

In fact, all three might get pressed into full-time employment with the federal government. After all, there’s a whole lot of giving away to be done now that the $787 billion stimulus package has been finalized.

And it really feels like Christmas in February as everybody starts jockeying for a piece of the pie.

Yep, Uncle Sam is the biggest sugar daddy of them all. He can peel off a million bucks from that massive roll of bills and never feel a twinge. You can’t say the same for the taxpayers who eventually will foot the bill.

Already the attitude is forming across the land. It won’t hurt to ask, they’re all saying.

Naturally, there’s a rush to get requests on the bureaucratic assembly line. Yeah, there’s an early hand in the air for a handout in these parts. The EZ Rider bus system is seeking $4.7 million for more vehicles, including five paratransit vans in both Odessa and Midland for door-to-door service for disabled riders. Also, more than $2 million would be used for laying groundwork for a new administration and maintenance facility for EZ Rider

And, for good measure, there’s a secondary wish list of long-term projects that would total $28.5 million. This would include $10 million for actual construction of the administration facility.

Shoot, we’re not only going for the immediate handout, we’re coming back for seconds.

Meanwhile, Texas has some similar thoughts.

Seems the state is expecting $3.2 billion to $3.9 billion from a pot of “fiscal stabilization” money for education (not to mention another $2 billion split between programs for economically disadvantaged students and special education students).

So the State Board of Education is thinking that stimulus money might take care of the $913 million needed for textbooks. That tab isn’t exactly being looked upon favorably by the Legislature. Make no mistake, such wish lists have already been prepared all across the land. From state Capitols to small city halls, politicians and bureaucrats just can’t wait to get their hands on some of that cold hard cash.

Plus you can bet that they all know how the game is played. You always ask for more than you really want, which means you’re still getting quite a booty when the request is pared down.

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if the requests far outweigh the stimulus amount. But we’ll probably never know even a ballyard figure on the total requests because there are so many of them. Under standard operating procedures, it’s probably safe to say that 20 stimulus packages like the one signed Tuesday would not fill all the stockings that have been placed above the figurative chimneys in hopes that St. Nick will soon be there.

So you can bet that it won’t be long before those who only got a pittance, or those who got turned down altogether, will be griping about the way all this free money was distributed.

In fact, the Easter Bunny, Santa and the Tooth Fairy might just want to keep their day jobs and forget the government gig. At least in their traditional roles, they’re appreciated. And that’s not even close in government work.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 26%
Winds: SSE at 16mph
Feels Like: 93°

Your Extended Forecast


High 104°/Low 76°
Clear. Lows overnight in the mid 70s.


High 105°/Low 77°
Abundant sunshine. Highs 103 to 107F and lows in the upper 70s.


High 107°/Low 77°
Plenty of sun. Highs 105 to 109F and lows in the upper 70s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.