« | »

AP: ‘Road Projects’ Don’t Help Jobless

From an unaccountably surprised Associated Press:

AP IMPACT: Road projects don’t help unemployment

By Matt Apuzzo And Brett J. Blackledge, Associated Press Writers

January 11, 2010

WASHINGTON – Ten months into President Barack Obama’s first economic stimulus plan, a surge in spending on roads and bridges has had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, an Associated Press analysis has found.

Has there even been a “surge in spending on roads and bridges”? We thought only about 3% of the stimulus money had been spent on ‘infrastructure.’

And the last we heard, what little money was going towards infrastructure was being used to fill potholes, not to rebuild roads and bridges, which of course is what Mr. Obama had promised.

Luckily, it doesn’t matter one way or the other:

Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn’t matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama’s argument that more road money would address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."

Obama wants a second stimulus bill from Congress that relies in part on more road and bridge spending, projects the president said are "at the heart of our effort to accelerate job growth."

Construction spending would be a key part of the Jobs for Main Street Act, a $75 billion second stimulus to revive the nation’s lethargic unemployment rate and improve the dismal job market for construction workers. The House approved the bill 217-212 last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked the floor for an hour; the Senate is expected to consider it later in January.

AP’s analysis, which was reviewed by independent economists at five universities, showed that strategy hasn’t affected unemployment rates so far. And there’s concern it won’t work the second time. For its analysis, the AP examined the effects of road and bridge spending in communities on local unemployment; it did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus like tax cuts, unemployment benefits or money for states…

Even within the construction industry, which stood to benefit most from transportation money, the AP’s analysis found there was nearly no connection between stimulus money and the number of construction workers hired or fired since Congress passed the recovery program. The effect was so small, one economist compared it to trying to move the Empire State Building by pushing against it

And if any jobs in construction were created, let’s hope they were not jobs for whites.

For its analysis, the AP reviewed Transportation Department data on more than $21 billion in stimulus projects in every state and Washington, D.C., and the Labor Department’s monthly unemployment data. Working with economists and statisticians, the AP performed statistical tests to gauge the effect of transportation spending on employment activity.

There was no difference in unemployment trends between the group of counties that received the most stimulus money and the group that received none, the analysis found.

Despite the disconnect, Congress is moving quickly to give Obama the road money he requested. The Senate will soon consider a proposal that would direct nearly $28 billion more on roads and bridges, programs that are popular with politicians, lobbyists and voters. The overall price tag on the bill, which also would pay for water projects, school repairs and jobs for teachers, firefighters and police officers, would be $75 billion

Imagine, when a few years from now the Associated Press quietly publishes its searing ‘impact’ analysis of Mr. Obama’s healthcare reform.

When they will finally notice, that even after spending trillions of taxpayers’ dollars, healthcare costs have soared, millions remain uninsured, and the ‘healthcare system’ is more broken than ever.

Of course, then it will be too late.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, January 11th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “AP: ‘Road Projects’ Don’t Help Jobless”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    They are also spending money to shore up green businesses and their ‘training’ programs will likely train people to work in ‘green’ industry. They have to know that the efforts they are making are just window dressing and the economy will not be helped at all by them.
    It’s freezing and they are buying ice.

  2. proreason says:

    Obamy is paying off his criminal co-conspirators with $790 Billion of our money.

    Not a dime is being spent for anything other than a political payoff.

    Next to the cratering the world economy in 2008 (preceded of course by the Free Houses for Deadbeats Program), it’s the biggest economic crime of all time.

  3. CSconservative says:

    Who would like to know why this has failed?
    Quite simply, most of these projects would have happened anyway. All this money did was help the states meet their budgetary shortfalls and gaps.
    Secondly, the requirements to do government work for a beleaguered small business is not cost beneficial. You basically have to hire 1 person to do nothing but handle the paperwork for a government project. Then there are the added expense (especially for sub-contractors) to purchase bid, payment and performance bonds. Then there are a lot of these projects that are prevailing wage projects.. which means they tell you how much you have to pay your people. Then there is the required borrowing provisions which state, you must have availability to a $25,000.00 credit line. A lot of this gets waved if you are a minority contractor..(which was who they were really trying to help in the first place.)
    Then you look at the company market in your area… Most road construction jobs in my area are done by one of 3 or 4 companies. Most of these companies do nothing but these types of jobs… so cutting into that market is a long shot at best. Not to mention most of them only experienced a little bit of a slow down during this time, so they didn’t really have to lay anyone off… so all this does is assure the ones who have a job that they will be able to work more hours.. Because, did I mention…. these same companies aren’t hiring either…
    This was a bad idea to start with… This economy could have easily been fixed by making the Bush tax cuts permanent, vowing to not raise the taxes on all the small business ( LLC’s, DBA’s and Sub chapter S corps) who report their earnings on their personal tax filings, and by pledging not to attempt to pass cap and trade and socialized medicine.
    As with the depression…. socialism has done nothing but prolong the recession. Which, by all accounts… may be what they wanted in the first place… After all, “we can’t let a good crisis go to waste!”

  4. bill says:

    Next they discover — Money from one pocket to the other doesn’t effect the total wealth you have.

  5. mr_bill says:

    Everyday I see stories like this one, which are perfect I-told-you-so moments for those of us that knew these programs were a bad idea from the start. The problem is that these moments go unnoticed by mainstream medial outlets and are consequently unseen by the ‘consumers’ of the mainstream version of ‘news.’ Until more prople learn how to educate themselves and stop relying on the version of ‘truth’ spoonfed to them by a liberal-compliant media, things can get no better, only worse.

  6. BillK says:

    It’s never been about jobs, it’s been about union payrolls.

    Even if jobs were created, you don’t add union dues paying concrete workers, heavy equipment operators, etc. overnight, especially with various trades’ apprenticeship programs.

    We have only just begun to see the payoffs.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »