Saturday, October 16, 2010


Second Thought of the Day

In interviews, job summits, and press conferences, it was shovel-ready this, shovel-ready that. Search the White House website for the term "shovel--ready" and you'll drown in press releases about all the shovels ready to shove shovel-ready projects into the 21st century, where no shovel is left behind.

Only now it turns out that the president was shoveling something all right when he was talking about shovel-ready jobs - a whole pile of steaming something.

In the current issue of The New York Times Magazine, Obama admits that there's "no such thing as shovel-ready" when it comes to public works.

It's not that Obama was lying when he said all that stuff. It's just that he didn't know what he was talking about. All it took was nearly a trillion dollars in stimulus money and 20-plus months of on-the-job training for him to discover that he was talking nonsense.


Meanwhile, Washington is now spending 23 percent more than it did two years ago. As the Washington Post recently editorialized, Congress's "emergency" bailout to avoid "a teachers crisis" was a fraud to simply transfer billions to the teachers' unions in advance of the midterms.

And then, of course, there's the stimulus that paid for all of those "shovel-ready jobs" that Obama now admits never existed. Los Angeles County deployed $111 million in stimulus money to "save" 55 jobs at the cost of $2 million apiece. The White House has spent $192 million on road signs that brag about how the construction delays ahead were paid for by the stimulus. Meanwhile, unemployment is a full three percentage points higher during Obama's "recovery" than it was during the "worst recession since the Great Depression."

Maybe it's unfair for people to think Obama is just another tax-and-spend Democrat. After all, some tax-and-spend Democrats are actually competent at it.

Jonah Goldberg


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