President Obama described his 2009 stimulus law as providing jobs — shovel-ready jobs. He was right. There were some jobs. They were a tad expensive, however.
The Department of Transportation awarded some of these jobs. Cost to taxpayers: $738,000 per job.
The Secretary of Transportation says he thinks these were a good deal for America.
He is a former Republican Congressman. In a spirit of bipartisanship, Obama appointed him.
The DoT got $48 billion. It hired 65,000 workers.
They shoveled dirt. The government shoveled money. Read what the Secretary shovels.
“Yeah, we spent $48 billion and we put 65,000 people to work in 15,000 projects in two years with no problems. I’m very proud of that. I know that the governors can spend this money because over two years we gave them $48 billion, they created 65,000 jobs in 15,000 projects. This is doable. We’re going to get the money out and get people to work.”
But wait! There’s more! Another $473 million in unspent funds. This will go to states as “earmarks.”
The Secretary had these observations.
“You know what? These are old earmarks. There are earmarks that were set aside by members of Congress going back several years. We’re in the no earmark era. There are no more earmarks. This money needs to be spent because we need to get people to work.
“We’re going to send this money back to the governors and say, ‘put people to work now, during the construction season. Build the roads, build the bridges, build these projects’ and let us know how you’re going to spend the money so we’re sending an e-mail out to governors all over the country and we’re saying to them, this is money that was earmarked for a project, spend it now, get people to work and get this project finished. . . .
“I want to see projects where people can go to work now. We know that this money was allocated to roads and bridges and other projects and we’re going to send it back. My goal, which is the president’s goal, is let’s get people to work.”
This is the bipartisan spirit.
Do you think the federal budget will be balanced soon?