By Jim Wooten
It’s a small victory for common sense, but a victory nonetheless. The Georgia Department of Transportation, reacting to public dismay that borrowed money is being wasted on signs promoting stimulus spending, has reversed course.
No longer will road contractors and others working on projects funded through the larded-up $787 billion “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” be required to post political advertisements. That is what those signs were. “Putting America to work,” they declared. “Project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.” Signs and installation cost an average of $1,300.
In a sense, it’s hard to argue that if any sign-painters had, in fact, been called back to work, or if any new companies had been created to paint highway signs, the first statement would have been true. But there’s no indication jobs have been saved or created. And, while politicians routinely assign names that are either misleading, optimistic or downright dishonest to legislation, pork spending is not “reinvestment” and it’s debatable whether government spending contained in the bill promoted “recovery” or prolonged the recession.
In any event, the Georgia DOT misfired in requiring the signs. The feds “strongly encouraged” states to goose-up the stimulus marketing by purchasing them. Georgia did. Some states didn’t, or required only a limited number statewide. Thirteen hundred dollars per sign is penny-ante waste compared to the rest of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But it’s more than two months’ groceries for a family of four.
America’s unborn children will be taxed to repay borrowed money spent to remind this generation’s voters that a horrendously wasteful “stimulus” bill is funding “their” road improvement. And, if the signs change public opinion, the Democratic Congress might even give us a second wave of borrowing and spending.