On top of the other failures of President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus plan you can now add this: It didn’t even fulfill the simple promise of creating more highway jobs and improving roadways.
Shortly after getting the gargantuan program through Congress, Obama heralded the stimulus’ $28 billion in new highway money, calling it “the largest new investment in America’s infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System” and promising that it would “help states create a 21st-century infrastructure.”
Obama also said that the extra highway money would “create or save” 150,000 jobs by the end of 2010.
Well, the results are in.
A new study by economists Timothy Conley of the University of Western Ontario and Bill Dupor of Ohio State found that despite the influx of all that federal money, highway construction jobs actually plunged by nearly 70,000 between 2008 and 2010.
As the authors explain, many states simply took the free federal money and shifted their own highway funds to meet other needs. In fact, in some states, highway spending dropped, even with the added federal money.