“Why can we add tens of billions to the federal transportation program, but we cannot put a dent in the U.S. infrastructure problem?”
As a part of the stimulus package, the Obama Administration threw tens of billions of dollars into a variety of road and transportation infrastructure projects. Besides the fact that unemployment in the construction industry remained at all-time highs, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the increase in transportation spending is a giant waste, whether past, present, or future.
In 2008, the federal government spent $77 billion on transportation. In 2010, the federal government is projected to increase spending to about $107 billion. Interestingly enough, the Obama administration believes it can exercise the discretionary budget freeze in transportation.
If the massive stimulus spending spree created construction jobs, a decrease in federal spending would reduce those jobs, would it not? Do you believe that the construction unions will allow this to happen? The only reason the President and the construction union would allow this decrease to occur is if they acknowledge the fact that employment is not dependent on funding.
If the administration seriously believes this economic voodoo it has been spewing, look for the government to maintain the transportation budget over $100 billion over the next several years, using jobs as the primary excuse. I’m not sure how many jobs can be added with this increased funding between this year and 2014, but the increases will add $58 billion to the federal debt over the next 4 years.
Finally, before the recession, there were several studies conducted that revealed that the United States had a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure. This “infrastructure deficit” includes poor bridges, water/sewer, electrical, etc. A mayoral study on this massively growing problem can be found here. A second, more in-depth study can be found on BNet.
With the infrastructure problems we are having, that leaves one final question, why did we spend all that money to pave roadways?
The average taxpayer is spending $290 on transportation this year, which is up $72 annually from 2008. Taking in all the transportation increases over the next five years and the average taxpayer is looking a $144 increase. To date, the Budget BS series has exposed $192 in 2010 liability increases for the average taxpayer and $718 over the next five years as a result of the Obama Administration’s out of control spending.