A hurricane, tornado or tsunami of sorts has hit Clinton County. Although not a natural disaster, the economic crisis that the community faces has a similar devastating impact. Like Wilmington, too many communities across the United States are in the path of a perfect economic storm brought on by sudden and extreme changes in the local economy at a time of national home foreclosure and credit crises and global recession.

That is why the initiative proposed by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and fellow senators is necessary and overdue. Brown is right in urging the incoming Obama administration to provide targeted economic development assistance for Wilmington and other communities facing massive job losses. The senators’ proposal is one that should be implemented as part of the economic stimulus package that the Obama administration will reportedly unveil shortly after he takes office.

During a public roundtable organized by Brown on Dec. 19 at Wilmington College, the senator compared the local economic crisis to a natural disaster. He correctly pointed out that the federal government routinely provides huge sums to communities impacted by natural disasters, and suggested that the same kind of assistance is needed for the type of economic disaster that Clinton County is experiencing.

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