President Obama, late September 2010, to the New York Times: “[T]here’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works.
President Obama, about a year earlier (off the record to the Times’ David Brooks): “Shovel-ready jobs” don’t exist.
President Obama, June 13, 2011, at a meeting of his jobs council: “Shovel-ready was not as…uh…shovel-ready as we expected.”
CBS News, August 27, 2011, in a report on President Obama’s forthcoming plan to boost job creation:
The President wants to spend big on the nation’s roads and bridges, starting with a two-year, $109 billion spending package that’s been stalled between the House and the Senate — but which he argues — will put tens of thousands of people back to work quickly. (emphasis added)
How much is $109 billion over two years — and how much impact is it likely to have? Well, the 2009 stimulus has disbursed $20.9 billion toward infrastructure, with the number of jobs created as a result peaking at 30,597 in the third quarter of 2010, according to Recovery.gov. (It’s now at 23,109.)
Do you think the president will explain why the shovels are standing at the ready this time, or (my prediction) will he just act as if he never said all those things in the past?
Note: This post has been edited to correct the spending information from Recovery.gov.
– By Kyle Wingfield