I didn't make it to the local Tea Party Wednesday, being a fair weather sort of complainer when it comes to budget deficits and nutty government spending, so I can't say there was grumbling there about $465,000 of stimulus money set aside for the COYOTE youth summer jobs program.
There should have been.
From my perspective, the problems start with the cash outlay and the guess on my part it might impact about 350 teens and young adults from Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City and La Paz County.
Second, you have to qualify financially. This program is not open for everyone on a first-come, first-served basis. If your family's income is $10 over what is acceptable, best of luck finding a summer job in hard economic times, particularly with the new and improved minimum wage.
There are a finite number of summer jobs out there, and you may not get one because of COYOTE.
And if COYOTE participants aren't really taking away summer jobs from others, then it's really a make-work program, not a work program.
For the uninformed, COYOTE recruits the kids, trains them and helps place them in summer jobs. This is an attractive program for businesses because they get a worker they don't have to pay.
All well and good if you believe getting a first job requires some government handholding and government funding. You're probably wondering how this republic survived for 200-plus years without programs such as COYOTE all over the country propped up by "stimulus" funding.
Here's a quick tutorial on how to get that first summer job, and it doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. Start applying for jobs now and express an eagerness to work weekends until school is out. Show up for your job interview on time, looking sharp and acting serious. No one owes you a job.
Does the interview require a resume? There's help for that on the Internet or at the library, or from Mom and Dad. A teacher at school could offer some advice in that regard.
And when you get that job, treat it just like the interview - be on time, dressed appropriately, ready to work and eager to learn.
And when you get that first paycheck, go ahead and spend some of it. Buy a CD or game, a shirt, a pair of shoes, a book. The beauty of this kind of "stimulus" is that's it's real - there's no one on the back end collecting taxes to pay you so some business doesn't have to.
And if you lost out on a summer job because some kid with COYOTE got it, at least you'll have time to go to the next Tea Party.
Did you see the good news in Thursday's Miner? I'm referring to the front-page story regarding the Public Interest Research Group lauding the Western Arizona Council of Government's push to establish bus routes between Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.
There is, WACOG reports, increasing demand for such a service.
I imagine we'll be hearing again from PIRG, probably to report it is engaged in an active search for investors willing to plunk down the bucks to make this tri-city express a reality. Or maybe PIRG will join hands with WACOG to expand on the feasibility study to make this proposal even more enticing to an entrepreneur.
In fact, I'm stunned that an established bus line hasn't seized on this idea if it's such a darn good one.
After all, there's money to be made - isn't there?