Skip to comments.Where's The Stimulus Funding For Infrastructure?
Posted on 06/07/2016 12:19:07 PM PDT by Kaslin
While traveling across the country with your kids this summer, be sure to buckle-up and do your best to overlook all the potholes and crumbling bridges out there. Even if funding was available, things will probably remain in disrepair until your kids are grown, thanks to big government regulations and red tape.
Former Obama administration's U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray Lahood told CNN's Rene Marsh during a recent four-part investigative report that America is "like a Third World country" when it comes to infrastructure and said, "The reason we have 57,000 deficient bridges is because we have not made the investment as a national government."
Apparently Mr. LaHood forgot about all the money taxpayers were forced to "invest" when the $831 billion Stimulus Bill was passed in 2009. We were told it would quickly lower unemployment with the creation of "shovel-ready" construction jobs intended to repair failing infrastructure across the country.
In fact, the promise of "shovel-ready" jobs was the big selling point President Obama used to urge Congress to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [ARRA]. Of course, he later admitted, "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected."
Apparently, shovel-ready jobs weren't shovel-ready because government couldn't get out of its own way, thanks to its own regulations and red tape. (Yet another reason why this blond columnist is a fan of small government.)
While the White House's final report to Congress in 2014 stated the stimulus "initiated more than 15,000 transportation projects," they obviously weren't completed, given the numbers in Table 8 on page 34 of the report reflects just $30 billion, or around 3 percent, was spent on infrastructure.
In her CNN report, Ms. Marsh said the Memorial Bridge near the nation's capital "will be shut down in five years if it doesn't get the $250 million needed for repairs." So why wasn't it fixed with stimulus funds?
Where's the $105.3 billion the ARRA allotted for infrastructure investment, with approximately $48.1 billion earmarked for transportation?
We do know that the Clintons reportedly received a slice of the stimulus pie. According to the Wall Street Journal, Bill Clinton's presidential center received $2.5 million in federal stimulus money to build a "historic bridge." We also know that $1.3 million was wasted on all those annoying ARRA signs the Obama administration planted on roads and highways across the country.
Another $3 million was "invested" for a turtle tunnel in north Florida, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Washington Free Beacon reported some of the "most outrageous" ARRA spending included: $152,000 to prepare lesbians for adoptive parenthood; $600,000 to plant trees in rich neighborhoods; $384,949 to study duck penises; $1.2 million to study erectile dysfunction in overweight men; $100,000 for anti-capitalism puppet shows and $535 million on the now famously defunct solar company, Solyndra.
In fact, the Washington Times reports: "Taxpayers are on the hook for more than $2.2 billion in expected costs from the federal government's energy loan guarantee programs."
Moreover, Obama's original stimulus bill envisioned several high-speed trains bulleting across the country, but only California bit the boondoggle bait, finally breaking ground last year. Californians forged ahead despite losing public support because they wanted to avoid returning billions in stimulus money. So they began the first segment in the middle; essentially building "a train from nowhere to nowhere, ridden by almost no one," National Review reports.
So here we are, America's infrastructure is Third World-ish with roads jarred by potholes, crumbling bridges, antiquated railways and subpar airports. And as always, Washington's big government red-tape political elites delight in spending hard-earned taxpayer dollars like drunken sailors on liberty, funding pet projects like studying duck penises and building Clinton bridges, turtle tunnels and trains to nowhere.
So-called stimulus programs are used to pay back campaign supporters. Period. Bill Clinton demanded one when he got elected to “improve” an economy he helped destroy. The issue with respect to infrastructure isn’t so much that its funds were wasted in any stimulus program, it is that it is only mentioned when Republicans are in charge. When the rat party is in charge, much more “important” things are necessary like socialized medicine.
The money is in connected cronies bank accounts.
I drive by the Honolulu federal building all the time. They STILL have a proud “Brought to you by Barack Obama’s Stimulus Package” in progress signs hanging on the fences while there is no construction going on.
“”We also know that $1.3 million was wasted on all those annoying ARRA signs the Obama administration planted on roads and highways across the country.””
We had those signs here on GA highways when not a shovel of dirt was being moved. The signs came down in a few years and THEN some construction was done...
This job was given to Joe Biden and he was to report on every single dime spent of the stimulus fund. Why isn’t he held accountable for this by Congress? Is there anyone in DC doing the jobs they get paychecks to do?
Another notch in the belt for Trump to zero in on.
They keep talking about “taxpayer dollars” but there are no taxpayers involved. If the government had to fund its projects with money collected at the time, taxpayers would be up in arms over how high their taxes would be. Deficit spending de-couples taxing and spending. It gives government a source of funding outside of tax collection and spares the immediate pain, with the hope that any pain will be dealt with by future generations.
It really is a crappy way to treat our great-grandchildren. But there are a lot of childless liberals who will be quite OK as long as they can eat at nice restaurants and compare different kinds of red wine.
The federal government is not the only entity at fault. Local governments have been wasting money on more parks than any city could use and so-called economic development, which is central planning in disguise. These local buffoons use tax money to take their families and cronies on nice trips to schmooze with other pols and to bribe businesses to come to their towns. It’s a con job, and the streets, bridges, and water systems are left to rot.
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