DOT misfired on requiring signs

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.

11 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

October 15th, 2009
10:42 am

Since you have such disdain for the stimulus signs, why haven’t you railed against all the state, county, and city signs that “advertise” the current elected officials names which have been placed in the city halls, county courthouses, airports, etc. Also, why haven’t you objected to the proliferation of memorial signs along state and local roads? These signs, once reserved for citizens and legislators who have passed, are now also based on live people’s “accomplishments.

The stimulus signs were proposed to put a “name” on the project that alerted the public of the funding use. I guess next you’ll complain (even though you are against the stimulus package) that there isn’t any transparency in showing how those funds are being spent.

Dunwoody Mike

October 15th, 2009
11:57 am

You are worried about this, Jim, while 45,000 people die every year in the U.S. due to lack of access to affordable health care and we are stuck in two wasteful wars. You need to readjust your priorities.


October 15th, 2009
12:45 pm

Two Left Loons all over this hot topic!

“Road” and “Mike” justify more wasteful spending with other wasteful spending. No wonder they voted for the “President of Peace”. When will Obama award himself the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Or will he simply change the rules so he can have the “Medal of Honor”?

Healthcare Reform became “Health Insurance Reform” when the prior term did not resonate with the people. The Loons believe by changing the nomenclature they have changed the subject, because their pollsters tell them so.

The Loons have no factual argument for the proposed Healthcare Reform, only the feeling we have 45,000 deaths as a result of lack of access to medical care. Is this the same argument that 45,000,000 are uninsured and Senator Baucus proposes spending $800 BILLION to reduce that number to 25,000,000? Why not simply add the uninsured to the Medicare System rather than build an entirely new bankrupt bureaucracy?

Also, why are those who are financially capable of buying insurance but choose not to do so, included in the calculation?

Because once those are eliminated, along with the illegal aliens, there is no argument for a total overhaul of the system. In fact, a “total overhaul” would include Tort Reform but the Left Loons will not make such a proposal and alienate the trial lawyers.

The whole healthcare argument for the Left Loons is about paying off their contributors and taking control of the economy – most certainly not about sick people without insurance or medical care.

Chris Broe

October 15th, 2009
1:06 pm

Here’s your sign.


October 15th, 2009
1:35 pm

I’m all in favor of the signs. The right does not like them because they are actually reminding people of where their money is being spent and the jobs created.

Road Scholar

October 15th, 2009
1:39 pm

JD: The purpose on my post was to show that existing signage issues exist at the state, county, city and other levels of government. Why should after each election the applicable government change the listing of elected officials shown on buildings? Why is this listing even needed? Why segregate the stimulus signs out? They are all wasteful; at least the stimulus signs have some value (obviously not for you or Jim) to inform the public.

As for calling names (loon), and since you are being childish, takes one to call one!


October 15th, 2009
1:49 pm

Government post-hole diggers? Now there’s a career to which someone should aspire. Before the state budget cuts there were….what?

One post-hole digger and 6?….7? assistant supervisors standing watch? Then there was the vehicle maintenance supervisor who remained in the truck to keep it from going airborne?

Hefty, Hefty, Hefty.

Life as we’re living it today has become one big joke on the American people.

Chris Broe

October 15th, 2009
2:11 pm

There will be signs in the heavens……


October 15th, 2009
3:03 pm

How’s it goin’ PoliFore? Blockage?

It’s the raw carrots.


October 15th, 2009
3:45 pm


The difference is local and state government have to balance their budgets o the wasteful signs are at leastm paid for. The federal signs are borrowed money.

J Wats

October 19th, 2009
1:41 pm

Facts – The GDOT included the signs in the highways road projects because the department actually believed it was in the best interest of the taxpayers to know how the project was being funded. And according to the GDOT, the signs will be up and used on all projects contracted through August, because those signs have been bought and paid for. They have cancelled FUTURE requirements for the signs due to the embarrsing price tag.

Opinion – I, personally, believe labeling government expenditures is worth the cost of a sign or two. For example, how about a sign out in front of:
-Every Bank of America. “This bank is currently being funded by the TARP bailout. Learn more at”
- The local GM dealer. “Your Tax Dollars hard at work, keeping us open.”
Or locally
-“NCR, brought to you with $90 million in tax breaks”
- Atlantic Station “Funded by your future tax revenues”

We need more, not less government transparency and maybe signs are the best way to educate the public on their tax dollars.