A newspaper analysis shows Texas has been approved for about $12.9 billion in stimulus grants and contracts.Î¾ That's about $533 per person, according to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.Î¾ Economist Barton Smith says lawmakers have been distributing money on a state-by-state basis.
"Unlike a lot of federal programs based on population, or based on income and so forth, I think the rush to get into the stimulus package and get it implemented was not thought out in terms of 'how do we evenly distribute it?'Î¾ Part of it, I think, is also — and I can't, Ed, I can't guarantee you that this is correct — but I believe that there was some inclination to funnel monies to states that had the worst problems."Î¾Î¾Î¾Î¾
Smith says Texas was viewed, at the time of the passage of the stimulus package, as a state with less need.Î¾ Texas didn't really start to shed jobs until the spring.Î¾ Smith says the past couple of years have been pretty interesting.
"We haven't had a situation like this.Î¾ This dwarfs completely the so-called S&L crisis in the early nineties.Î¾ The only modern-day crisis that came similar to this for a nation was not us, but was for Japan during the 1990s.Î¾ It took that country a decade to get back on its feet.Î¾ Japan was so slow in responding, that I think policymakers — whether it was the Bush administration or now the Obama administration — were determined to act, and act quickly."Î¾
Smith is preparing his upcoming fall symposium on the Houston economy.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.