Today President Obama arrives in Ohio to champion his Stimulus 2.0.
The focus of an undoubtedly campaign-style speech will be Brent Spence Bridge, a "functionally obsolete" structure that he claims he can repair if only Congress will "pass this bill now."
But the President should really fact-check his speeches.
The truth is, there are already plans well under way to rebuild Brent Spence Bridge. That's rebuild -- not repair. There's even a whole website explaining the project. Public hearings are set to begin in a few months, but bureaucratic and environmental hurdles mean that construction can't start until 2015. In other words, this is no shovel-ready project. It cannot begin for another four years. The unemployed really can't wait till 2015 for their stimulus-funded jobs.
And if it were shovel-ready, why wasn't it a part of the first stimulus? The bridge was already "obsolete" then. Was it not worthy of any of the $825 billion of Stimulus 1?
So why does the President travel to Ohio to this particular bridge? Probably because it's near Speaker John Boehner's district. And that makes for good politics -- provided no one looks at the facts.
And that raises another point: the President will be speaking at a concrete facility with the bridge in the background. What’s awkward about that? The administration recently finalized new government regulations on cement—regulations that will destroy jobs. In short, the site of Obama’s “jobs bill” photo-op is a place where many workers will lose jobs as a direct result of his policies.
This is all too typical for this President. Politics first, facts later. It was true with the first stimulus when the President ultimately admitted that "shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected."
Looks like the same is true with this one.