Circumnetting Infrastructure

Wall Street Journal, White House Under Fire for Unspent Infrastructure Cash“: “The Obama administration has paid out less than a third of the nearly $230 billion allocated to big infrastructure projects in the economic-stimulus program.”

Michael Barone, The Examiner, “Big government forgets how to build big projects,” comparing the construction of the Pentagon in WWII to a little bridge being rebuilt over an inlet on the Potomac. Both, 18 months: “Big government has become a big, waddling, sluggish beast, ever ready to boss you around, but not able to perform useful functions at anything but a plodding pace. It needs to be slimmed down and streamlined, so it can get useful things done fast.”

Washington Post editorial, “Stimulus programs hobbled by regulations“: “[Lawmakers] could carefully exempt projects in any future stimulus from burdensome regulatory requirements, even if those requirements make more sense in calmer times.” Even? It’s also possible they don’t make sense at any time.

Harold Meyerson, Washington Post, “Rebuilding the Democratic brand with jobs, “If the Democrats focused on boosting manufacturing, with a corollary upgrade to our infrastructure, they’d tap into the only area in which the public wants a more activist government.” Trouble is, an activist government tends to make manufacturing less competitive globally.

White House blog, “Obama Administration Officials Continue to Visit State Fairs,” announcing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s attendance at the Illinois State Fair Friday, Aug. 20, “As part of the Illinois State Fair ‘Futures for Kids Day,’ Secretary LaHood will join law enforcement and traffic safety advocates for the 2010 kickoff of Operation Teen Safe Driving Illinois. Secretary Lahood will tour agricultural exhibits, visit the Illinois State Police Tent, and meet with high school students who have been helping to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving.” We begrudge no one a trip to the state fair.

Wichita Eagle, “Grant may pay for bike lanes downtown“: “A federal grant that the city is poised to apply for could add miles of bike paths to the downtown area and convert four one-way streets downtown to two-way streets. Under the proposed grant application, the city would pay $10.5 million to leverage $24.5 million in federal money that is part of the TIGER II program.” What federal hand or eye could fund this fearful symmetry?, “White House Directive: Erect Signs at All Stimulus Projects as ‘Symbol of President Obama’s Commitment to American People’“: “The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration also issued guidance to ARRA [stimulus] recipients encouraging but not requiring that signs be posted at job sites.”

CBC News, “Feds flexible on stimulus funding deadline“: “The [Canadian] federal government is giving municipalities a bit of wiggle room on its deadline to receive infrastructure stimulus funding. The $4-billion federal program provides cash to shovel-ready provincial and municipal projects — provided they can be completed before March 31, 2011.”

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