McCollum addresses economy

By Staff
Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Boost consumer spending and alleviate state budgetary shortfalls are two proposals by the National League of Cities to address the nation's economic growth plan.
Madison City Council member Cynthia McCollum, a board member of the NLC, said the nation needs a realistic economic growth and job creation plan to boost consumer spending, fix the states budget problems and spur economic growth.
McCollum said the plan would boost consumer spending for low and moderate income Americans through a tax rebate and extension of unemployment benefits. She said the plan would alleviate the state fiscal crisis through funding for schools, homeland security, Medicare, and transportation, and spur economic growth through special emergency block grants targeted to the nation's social and infrastructure needs.
"What the NLC is proposing is a framework for a reasonable economic stimulus and growth plan that creates real jobs and promotes real growth in communities such as Madison," McCollum said. "The NLC recommends a federal economic growth plan that would boost consumer spending with $75.5 billion for short term stimulus measures, $10 billion for an extension of unemployment insurance benefits to those whose benefits have expired and $65 billion for a one-time tax rebate of 3.5 percent of the first $15,000 in wages."
"This would benefit 149 million workers and would amount to $525 for a single worker and $1,050 for two workers," McCollum said.
McCollum said the NLC recommends alleviating state budgetary shortfalls with $50 billion in immediate remedies such as $25 billion for school repairs and renovations; $10 billion to address unmet homeland security and infrastructure needs at airports, port security, bio-terrorism and security at chemical and nuclear facilities; $10 billion in one-time, one-year increase of federal Medicare payments; and $5 billion to states for highway and transportation funds.
"The NLC also proposes $7 billion for first responder grants to help local first responders hire, equip and train additional personnel," McCollum said.
Additional proposals include $5 billion to rehabilitate, replace and maintain the nation's aging water infrastructure network; $3 billion for local law enforcement projects that would increase jobs and spur economic activity; $1.5 billion in funding for the HOME program to increase affordable housing; reduce homelessness and fund the president's down-payment assistance initiative; and $1 billion for emergency school repairs and renovations.
"Many of these proposals by the NLC, if adopted, are funds that most cities in Alabama can and should apply for with great prospects for being successful," McCollum said. "I encourage our local residents to contact Sen. Bud Cramer and Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby to ask for their support in this proposal."
This is the first term for McCollum as a member of the NLC Board of Directors.

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