President Obama has proposed $50 billion more in deficit spending after his original $800 billion stimulus package failed. Federal domestic spending already increased by a record 16 percent this year due to the stimulus package.
The $50 billion Obama proposes is supposedly for infrastructure spending, but his administration defines “infrastructure” so broadly that the money could be used for all sorts of boondoggles that do not improve transportation. The Obama administration’s real goal seems to be to subsidize wasteful union-controlled construction projects, thanks to Obama’s executive order mandating unionized Project Labor Agreements in construction.
Some commentators claim the original stimulus package had a lot of infrastructure spending in it. But it didn’t. To most people, infrastructure means things like roads and bridges. The stimulus package classified things like $10 billion in spending on housing as “infrastructure.” It spent only about $48 billion — or 6 percent of its total spending — on transportation, and that included rail boondoggles that will do little improve transportation. Money was also wasted on things like an abandoned railroad bridge. More than 79 percent of the stimulus package’s green-jobs funding went to foreign firms.
Economists who drafted Obama’s original stimulus proposal did try to include substantial infrastructure spending in it. But much of that spending was removed from the stimulus package by the Obama administration after feminist leaders complained that such spending would result in jobs for men, rather than women (they derided transportation spending as a “macho stimulus“). The stimulus package was then revised by the Obama administration to focus on subsidizing state-government welfare and social-service agencies, whose employees are heavily female, rather than transportation and construction, where employees are mostly male. (Nearly 80 percent of those who lost their jobs in the recession were male.) As wasteful as federal transportation spending often is (like the Bridge to Nowhere), it is still far better for the economy than the welfare paid for by the stimulus package.