Broadband infrastructure is a need that doesn't always receive the attention of other issues like decaying roads or water lines, but in Western New York, it represents a bridge to a brighter future.
(TNS) — Winston Churchill was quoted as saying: "If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is
We share some of the reservations, but the money — greater in scope than the New Deal — has the potential to transform this region for the better. A
The federal plan goes far beyond checks to individuals, of course. The News reported this week that the bill will bring $775.41 million to counties, cities and towns in our region, including $350.05 million for the
The local aid comes with certain parameters. In addition to rebuilding aging sewer lines or water systems, the bill supports significant investment in broadband technology. That's a need that doesn't always receive the attention of infrastructure issues like decaying roads or water lines, but in Buffalo Niagara it represents a bridge to a brighter future.
A person living in
Between the aid coming to the city and the millions headed to the
M&T is creating a technology hub in
Once the holes in local budgets are filled and individuals given a reprieve from some of their financial worries, our broadband infrastructure stands as one of the best ways to invest in changing lives and extending the reach of
Critics of Biden's relief package argue that it will send money to people who don't need it, money that the government must borrow. While the pandemic put a crushing blow on many businesses in our region — particularly hotels, sports and cultural attractions, restaurants and bars, casinos and tourism-related businesses — there were plenty of Americans who did fine economically in the past year. Many white-collar workers were able to do their jobs remotely and save money on commuting and other expenses.
Individuals whose adjusted gross income is $75,000 or below, and married couples making $150,000 or below, are eligible for the full $1,400 benefit — $2,800 for couples. Those figures are a reasonable way to prime the economic pump for when enough Covid vaccinations are delivered to have most of society up and running.
The federal supplement to state unemployment benefits remains at $300, but was extended by 25 weeks, to
The American Rescue Plan achieves the new president's goal of "going big" to help America recover from the Covid recession. It also challenges local policymakers to stretch their imaginations on how to get the maximum returns on billion-dollar investments.
(c)2021 The Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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