Bernallio County for NMORR

Juan Mata, left, and Esqui Padilla (CQ) go over plans the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)Construction workers connect fresh water piping as part of the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)A construction laborer tamps dirt around a new fire hydrant as part of the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)A laborer gulps water after another day at work under the hot sun as part of the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on Friday August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)The construction crew walk down a hill to collect their pay after another week at work on the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on Friday August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)Juan Mata, right, passes out paychecks to employees after another week at work on the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project on Friday August 27, 2010. The $3.4 million project is supported by $2 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and will provide clean water to hundreds of Bernalillo County residents. (Steven St. John)

I’ve been trying to lash together some sort of wisdom for this final post about my work for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but I haven’t been feeling very wise. So, here they are – documentary photos of tax dollars at work. In this case, right here in my backyard – construction crews at work on the Carnuel Water Systems Improvement Project. The $3.4 million project was supported by $2 million from the ARRA and will provide clean water to hundreds of residents. Construction crews, real people hard at work.

There is a lot of debate going on in America about deficit spending. My analogy is this: It’s like we have known we were overweight for a while now, but we finally went to the doctor and she confirmed that we need to loose weight. So, should we starve ourselves? Should we cut off our arms and legs to get our weight down? No. It took years for us to become this badly out of shape, and it will take years fix. Many of the proposed budget cuts would destroy our ability to earn money as a state and a country. Yes, we need to control our budget, but cutting vital social services could cripple us. That’s just my two cents, and it will have to pass as wisdom for now.

One other note. I want to mention that one of the links I have listed below for Jake Schoellkopf has changed, so take a minute to visit Jake’s new site: jakeschoellkopf.com

In 2010, along with fellow photographers Michael J. Gallegos, Mark Holm and Jake Schoellkopf, I was commissioned by the New Mexico Office of Recovery and Reinvestment to document how some of the stimulus dollars were spent around New Mexico. This is the fifth post is a series of six on the work I did for NMORR.

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