RAY CHARLES: Busted
[Dir. by SCOTT COLAN]
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Requests for federal emergency funding are piling up, with the latest requests coming from cash-strapped cities seeking help to shore up budgets strained by sinking revenue, pension-plan losses and difficulty getting financing amid the credit crisis. On Friday, the mayors of Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta asked the Treasury Department to set aside $50 billion of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to spur infrastructure investment to create jobs and lift local economies. The mayors also asked for loans to cover short-term borrowing needs and to meet payroll.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the mayors warned that their dire fiscal situations would result in layoffs and tax increases that would place another drag on the economy as the country tries to climb out of a recession. The chances of getting TARP funding appear remote, however. On Wednesday, Mr. Paulson reiterated that the focus of the program is “to stabilize financial institutions and strengthen the financial system,” rather than to provide assistance to state and local governments.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is leading the campaign for federal help, said the mayors are targeting TARP because it has already been approved by Congress. “If our federal partners have a better source of funding, that’s fine with me,” he said. MORE