Shovel-Ready 2.0? Obama Recycles the Same Old Hype

The speeches are about “getting our fiscal house in order.” But the real agenda is the relentless accumulation of government power.

After the Labor Department published a truly grim jobs report on Friday President Obama stepped to the microphones and made a brief statement including:

There are some things we can do, right now...Right now there are over a million construction workers out of work after the housing boom went bust, just as a lot of America needs rebuilding.  We connect the two by investing in rebuilding our roads and our bridges, our railways and our infrastructure.  And we could put back to work right now some of those construction workers who lost their jobs when the housing boom went bust.

This echoes the hype we heard for the big “stimulus” program back at the beginning of the Obama Administration. Remember all those thousands of “shovel ready projects” the President and his acolytes assured us would immediately employ millions?

Remember the White House economic report promising unemployment would not exceed 8% and that by the end of 2010 there would be 4.7 million more jobs than there were at the beginning of 2009?  Obama told us several times that the stimulus would, in his words,

immediately jumpstart job creation and long term growth.

Back in February, 2009, the day the President signed the stimulus into law, Liberty Works exploded the myth that there were infrastructure projects were “ready to go” or “shovel ready.”   We noted that the first step in a government infrastructure project is to appropriate the funds to pay for it.  Only After funding is secured the following steps begin

  1. Complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR): 6 to 24 months.
  2. Respond to protests and lawsuits from so-called “environmental groups” that always attempt to derail every construction project before it gets started: months to years.
  3. Complete planning and engineering and in some cases acquire land:  Months to years.
  4. Conduct the convoluted government bid process to select a contractor to do the work: Up to a year.

Steps 1 – 4 cannot possibly be completed in less than 24 months and usually take a lot longer.  These steps don’t begin until Congress appropriates funds for the project because there is no money to pay for them before the appropriation.

Last fall Obama admitted in a New York Times interview that he had recently learned what millions of Americans already knew, “there is no such thing as a shovel ready project.”   At a meeting of Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness members erupted in laughter when he joked that “Shovel-ready was not as … uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.”

So why should we believe that, given another round of borrowing and spending, and even more debt there will be jobs for a million construction workers “right now?”

The Bottom Line

Obama’s guiding principle is still “don’t let a crisis go to waste.”  Use each crisis as a pretext to accomplish more of your agenda.  The current crisis is the debt ceiling deadline of August 2.  Recently he’s made several speeches about “getting our fiscal house in order.”  But his real mission continues to be relentless accumulation power in the federal government.

2 Comments so far

  1. Drew on July 11th, 2011

    I think you are completely and totally off base here Boomer. They are shovel ready allright…………you just don’t want to know what’s in the shovels…..

  2. spectricide on July 11th, 2011

    The administration was told that there was “shovel ready projects” and moneys where distributed. Who said those ignorant things and cashed the checks?