Drive along Interstate 575 just northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, and you’ll see signs proclaiming proudly that you are driving on a “Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (”stimulus road project” would sound so prosaic by comparison). It’s almost like a religious experience — sightings of taxpayer dollars actually at work on projects for we the People who are paying billions for them.
It does get you thinking. For example, how much do these signs touting the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” cost? Here in Georgia, we are informed by the state Department of Transportation that each such road project requires not one but four signs (one on each side of the road and at each end point of the project); and that each individual sign costs an average of $1206. Thus, simply to inform the public that the “stimulus” money taken from us by the federal government is being used for a particular road project, $4824 of that money is spent on each project.
There are 203 “stimulus” road projects planned or underway just in Georgia, and at $4824 a pop for self-serving road signage, that comes to almost one million dollars — $979,272 to be more precise. The federal Department of Transportation does not have figures on how many such proclamation signs are in use or planned across the country, but if nearly $1.0 milliion is being spent on them in just one state (Georgia), well, you can do the math.
Is it any wonder that the current fiscal year federal deficit will be in the neighborhood of $1.6 to $1.8 trillion?