From Human Events:
Scandal: Less than 7% of Trillion-Dollar ‘Stimulus’ Spent on Infrastructure
by Connie Hair
President Obama is asking for even more tax dollars this week for his failed stimulus policies yet his first trillion-dollar stimulus already promised massive spending on infrastructure that would put people back to work.
Didn't happen. The massive spending on infrastructure or the putting people back to work.
Now Obama says putting the taxpayer on the hook for borrowing billions more and then spending those billions on infrastructure is the ticket to pulling the economy out of its Obamanomics nosedive.
“This will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul,” Obama said of his new borrowing and spending plan in his Labor Day speech to a Big Labor union audience.
Yet a senior White House official told reporters on a conference call the very same day, “We’re not like trying to put out an idea today that in October 2010, this is going to create a lot of jobs. This is not what this is.”
So which is it? Will borrowing and spending billions more on the president’s Big Labor union leadership buddies “create jobs immediately,” as Obama said? Or is that “not what this is”?
And will anyone in the Obama administration ever tell us what it really is without the doublespeak?
Judging by history, it’s not likely.
The first stimulus bill was sold as spending on “shovel ready” projects to provide the jobs that would put millions of people back to work.
According to Recovery.gov, the President’s own website which accounts for the stimulus funding (ahem), of the first $787 billion stimulus bill, a full $275 billion has gone un-spent as of August 27, 2010. And of the $512 billion of stimulus already spent, only $18.5 billion (less than seven percent) has been paid out by the Department of Transportation on these “shovel ready” jobs.
Let me repeat that: less than seven percent has gone for the promised transportation infrastructure.
(h/t to Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Staff)
Yet let’s take a look at what Democrats said about the massive $787 billion in so-called stimulus funding. Wasn’t that first trillion dollars supposed to be about bridges and roads and infrastructure?
President-Elect Obama -- November 28, 2008 Press Conference: “We are going to have to make sure that we are investing in roads, bridges, other infrastructure investments that lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth. A lot of that goes through our states and our local governments. And one of the things that we're going to also want to make sure of is that as part of our economic plan, that we are fast-tracking some of these projects."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- January 7, 2009 Forum on Economic Recovery: “While there are many components to this economic recovery and jobs package. Make no mistake: this is not your grandfather’s public works bill.
Associated Press -- January 11, 2009: “Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn't matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama's argument that more road money would address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."
President-Elect Obama -- January 16, 2009 in Ohio: “We’ll put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure – our crumbling roads, bridges and schools. And we’ll build the new infrastructure we need to succeed in this new century, investing in science and technology, and laying down miles of new broadband lines so that businesses across our nation can compete with their counterparts around the world.
Vice President Biden -- February 17, 2009, Signing of Stimulus: “Starting today, our administration will be working day and night to provide more aid for the unemployed, create immediate jobs building our roads and our bridges, make long-term investments in a smarter energy grid, and so much more.”
President Obama -- February 17, 2009, Signing of Stimulus: “Because of this investment, nearly 400,000 men and women will go to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our faulty dams and levees, bringing critical broadband connections to businesses and homes in nearly every community in America, upgrading mass transit, building high-speed rail lines that will improve travel and commerce throughout our nation.”
Of the over half-trillion dollars Democrats have already spent, only $18.5 billion has been paid out by the Department of Transportation for infrastructure. (How much of that was spent on the propaganda road signs?)
There remains $275 billion of the first "stimulus" money allotment unspent. The President has yet to explain why we need to borrow billions more to spend on infrastructure.
Connie Hair writes daily as HUMAN EVENTS' Congressional correspondent. She is a former speechwriter for Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and a former media and coalitions advisor to the Senate Republican Conference. You can follow Connie on Twitter @ConnieHair.