Governor Schwarzenegger's Stimulus Plans

Looking for guidance on how to spend California’s $50 billion in stimulus dollars, Gov. Schwarzenegger has asked the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, an organization of business leaders (including Google, the Gap and Safeway) for ideas.

It’s laudable on two counts: the Governor is asking for input, and participants plan to be transparent, making their requests part of a June 1 report. California also has put up a website to allow citizens to follow the money as the state decides what it will fund over the next two years.

But of course concerns remain the same. Will this group – with the best of intentions – really know how to spend the money? In the end, no more or less than anybody else.

The stimulus is simply a high-tech word for scatter-shot subsidization. Lobbyists and interest groups will be its most sustainable creation.