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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Filling Gaps in the White House Website, Part 52: Shovel-Ready

Peter Baker interviews the president in The New York Times:

Infrastructure has the benefit of for every dollar you spend on infrastructure, you get a dollar and a half in stimulus because there are ripple effects from building roads or bridges or sewer lines. But the problem is, is that spending it out takes a long time, because there’s really nothing -- there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects.

This acknowledgement is inconsistent with past statements:
  • Press release, December 16, 2009: These broadband awards are what the Recovery Act is all about – not just rescuing the economy by providing immediate job opportunities through shovel-ready projects, but also rebuilding better by laying a new foundation for economic growth in communities across the country.
  • Remarks by the president at Q&A, December 3, 2009: We got some good, hardheaded feedback from people like Doug Holtz-Eakin and others about how we have to do this more effectively -- how can we measure the costs and benefits of infrastructure investment; how can we make sure that shovel ready actually means shovel ready; how can there be more effective coordination between federal, state, and local governments in order to maximize the benefits of our infrastructure spending.
  • Press release, November 12, 2009: DOT agencies have been doing their part to make Recovery Act funds available to states as quickly as possible for local shovel-ready transportation projects.
  • Remarks by the president, August 15, 2009: There are almost 100 shovel-ready transportation projects already approved in Colorado which are beginning to create jobs.
  • Press release, June 8, 2009: The ambitious effort follows an initial 100 day period of the Recovery Act focused on providing immediate relief to hard-hit families and communities, jump-starting shovel-ready projects and laying the foundation for large-scale infrastructure improvement programs.
  • Comments on "Meet the Press" as president-elect, December 7, 2008: When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door, but they've already lined up the projects and they can make them work.