Obama's Bridge to Nowhereby Gerri Willis
Every once in a while one of President Obama's speeches really comes home to you - that happened to me today.
The president is pushing his plan to grow jobs at a bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio - one that I have probably crossed hundreds of times - that links Ohio with Kentucky.
He says the bridge needs to be replaced - and should be fixed as part of his $447 billion plan to fix the country's deep jobs crisis.
Government dollars funding government jobs. And to be sure, the Brent Spence Bridge does need help - a driver died on it recently and needlessly. The feds long ago deemed the bridge functionally obsolete and Cincinnatians have known for a long time the bridge needs help.
In fact, there's a plan for fixing the bridge - but it's not anywhere near completion - it's also not ready for federal dollars - not by a long shot.
The supposed shovel-ready project won't be ready until 2015 - after the plans for it pass environmental analyses and regulatory hurdles. Let's face it - the bridge isn't a shovel-ready project languishing for Republicans' approval but a prop for a political campaign.
President Obama's programs for jobs and the economy is a lot like the Brent Spence Bridge: functionally obsolete!
Voters aren't buying the rhetoric. Recent polls show nearly two-thirds of the country disapproves of Obama's economic performance.
Maybe it's because the public is sick of hearing the same old solutions from this White House. They just keep throwing good money after bad and hoping for a different result. I don't know about you - but that sounds like the definition of insanity doesn't it?
This Administration - just in stimulus spending - has committed nearly two trillion dollars of taxpayer money. Two trillion! Add in all the other government handouts - it's more like eleven trillion!
Where did that money go? First, the big stimulus bill - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - signed into law in February of 2009. That tab was to be around $787 billion, but the Congressional Budget Office now anticipates the law will top $862 billion by 2019. It was supposed to keep unemployment under 8% when it was signed - we were just over that mark. Since then we've topped ten percent and now can't seem to break below nine percent.
Great use of tax dollars!
By the way that doesn't include the more than $83 billion dollars spent on extending unemployment benefits over and over again. This White House is also under the delusion that government can fix the housing crisis.
One of the ways they've done that - bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac... again - using our money. Officials say they're willing to increase the tab - already above $100 billion - to $400 billion if necessary!
And that $25 billion mortgage modification program? More homeowners were thrown out of the program than helped. And foreclosures - last month more than 228,000 homes received notices. That's up 7% percent from July.
We can't talk about this Administration's spending without talking about ObamaCare - the CBO predicts costs for this plan: $938 billion by 2019.
The Federal Reserve has also tried to step in and help fix the economy by spending $600 billion on bond purchasing programs (just a fraction of the $7 trillion they've set aside to bailout the economy).
These are just the big ticket items - this doesn't include the bailouts of the auto industry, AIG, Cash-for-Clunkers or FDIC bank takeovers.
Unfortunately the list goes on and on.
All of those taxpayer dollars virtually wasted.
No matter what sector of the economy you look at - nothing has gotten better in the last two and a half years.
This flood of government spending just hasn't worked. That's not a political statement - I've just given you the cold, hard facts.
The Brent Spence Bridge needs to be actually fixed and not a prop in a presidential campaign.