Mayor Hindman meets with Obama, top advisers

Friday, February 20, 2009 | 6:59 p.m. CST; updated 2:34 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — Mayor Darwin Hindman is among an exclusive group of 80 U.S. mayors to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Friday morning for the United States Conference of Mayors to discuss the recently signed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Hindman said in a press release that he had a pleasant meeting with the president.


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"The president said that he remembered his visit to Columbia last year and that it was one of his best stops," he said.

Following the meeting, Hindman and others had sessions with heads from the Department of Energy, Department of Energy Weatherization and the Department of Justice.

Hindman said that despite the uncertainties facing the economy today, Columbia is  ready to apply for any recovery assistance that is available. He also said he was impressed by the caliber of officials in this meeting.

"They're smart and aware people, and I think they're very interested in the issues that matter to cities," he said.

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John Lloyd Scharf February 21, 2009 | 2:12 p.m.

The $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is an extention of the National Debt by $2580 for every man, woman, and child.

Of that, President Obama claims $288 billion is "Tax Relief," or $944 per person. Then, he claims the "Tax Relief" includes $15 billion for infrastructure and science, $61 billion for "protecting the vulnerable," $25 billion for education and training, and $22 billion for "Energy."

So, after all those special tax cut programs are removed, that leaves $165 billion of more general "Tax Relief," for all of us not in those categories, or $540 per person. So, you are going into debt for investing $2580 for $540 in tax relief.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit.

Is the ARRA any less of a Ponzi Scheme when the Federal Government does this than when Charles Ponzi or Bernard Madoff does this? Does it matter whether Nicolas Cosmo, Allen Stanford, or Barack Obama does this?

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