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Desperate Scene in Detroit as Stimulus Comes to Crossroads

Today’s roundup of stimulus coverage:

The Obama administration's economic stimulus plan seems to be at a crossroads lately. It was only a month ago that Vice President Joe Biden highlighted the progress of the first 200 days and the Council of Economic Advisers reported that the stimulus had created or saved about 1 million jobs. But a slight uptick in the unemployment rate reported last week evinced just how far the recession's heels are dug into the economy. And that's prompted calls for a new stimu... (well, the Obama administration doesn't want to call it a stimulus) plan. Ideas include continuing unemployment and health care benefits, extending the new home tax credit and paying employers for creating a job.

If anyone needed a more poignant illustration of how hard times remain, a rush on a Detroit social service program provided it on Wednesday. The Detroit Free Press reports:

The economic tsunami washing over metro Detroit swept its casualties to the doors of Cobo Center on Wednesday in the form of 35,000 people so desperate for help with mortgage and utility bills that threats were made, fights broke out and people were nearly trampled.

The people mobbed the center in hopes of being one of the lucky 3,500 who will receive help from the stimulus to avoid foreclosure and prevent homelessness. The Free Press reports that some fainted after having camped out since Tuesday night.

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