Before Americans buy President Obama's pitch for a $50 billion infrastructure stimulus and accompanying tax increase, they should take a closer look at what happened to the $70.6 billion “investment” under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University did, and what researchers found was no boom in new jobs. Instead, “stimulus dollars created more job shifting than actual new jobs.”
Moreover, “(W)e found no evidence that funds were successfully targeted at areas of the economy with high unemployment,” said Daniel Rothschild, co-author of the study.
And worse still, some states like Maryland took the federal cash and cut their infrastructure budgets, The Heritage Foundation reports. In other cases, stimulus dollars were used to cover general expenses.
And consider those instances in which stimulus spending actually stymied economic growth. Such as how federal money, with a raft of regulations, stalled the construction of two new fire stations in San Antonio, Texas. Subsequently, the private builder who had been hired for the job lost the contract — and ended up laying off employees.
And while Mr. Obama endorses more senseless taxing and spending, he sits steadfast on a guaranteed job creator: the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.
Repackaging and recycling the same failed ideas won't jump-start an economic policy that's out of gas.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.