Saturday, January 10, 2009

Congress and Obama Have Their Shovels Ready to Start Doling-out More Debt and Deficit

‘Shovel ready’ projects just pile on the spending:
When did it become patriotic to propose that taxpayers pony up for every road project, ballpark, museum and sewage treatment plant? When did “shovel ready” become a description of projects that were able to put people to work lickety split?

When did “shovel ready” STOP being a description of a bloated stiff ready to be placed six feet under?

Probably somewhere between the bailout of AIG and the federal takeover of WaMu. Or maybe it happened sometime after rebate checks failed to restart the economy and sometime before layoffs moved from Wall Street to Main Street.

Suddenly our politicians stopped attacking wasteful spending driven by corrupt politics and began proposing jobs programs driven by the need to rebuild our infrastructure (even though, technically at least, they are the same thing.)

Last weekend, President-elect Barack Obama promised the largest public works program since the 1950s – roads and bridges as well as projects to spur green jobs that both reduce energy use and cut carbon emissions.

Even before this announcement, those who build such things have been lining up to do their part. Governors, mayors and transportation officials have offered to create millions of jobs. All they ask in return is billions from the federal government – money the feds don’t have but would borrow from investors foreign and domestic...

...About the same time, an association of state transportation officials said they could pitch in and spend $64 billion. And the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as part of their MainStreet Economic Recovery plan, said they have $73 billion in “ready to go” projects that would create 847,641 jobs.

Among these projects are $15 million to cut wheelchair ramps into Tacoma’s curbs, $7 million to put energy efficient bulbs in Qwest Field, $75 million for a new elementary and middle school in Lakewood and $6 million for Auburn Environmental Park.

Citizens Against Government Waste took the time to read through the entire 31,000-item, 805-page wish list. They found that Dayton, Ohio, wants $500,000 to make its golf courses more environmentally friendly and Ventura, Calif., asked for $6 million to improve Surfers Point Beach.

The total from the cities alone is four times the amount of pork contained in just the 2008 appropriations bill, the organization said...


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