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  • Morning Bell: Debunking Obama's Latest Jobs Myth

    Imagine a high-speed train zooming down hundreds of miles of glistening train track stretching across sunny California, connecting Anaheim to San Francisco. It’s a bullet train dream, and it’s a prime example of President Barack Obama’s latest plan to create jobs in America. The trouble is that this dream is far from reality.

    The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033. Questions remain about where the funding will come from, whether the project is viable, and whether the projected ridership will even materialize.

    But projects like these are central to President Obama’s plan to put Americans back to work. Speaking yesterday from Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., Obama declared that his plan will “put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems.” And that is, of course, all at the expense of the American taxpayers.

    The President once called these projects “shovel ready,” meaning that as soon as money arrived from the federal government, workers could be on the job. He made it sound as easy as flipping a switch, but unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, America’s economy continues to languish with 14 million out of work and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The President joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Though he didn’t use the phrase “shovel-ready” in his remarks yesterday, the implication was still there. If Congress approves his jobs plan, he argued, all the construction workers sitting on the sidelines will be put back to work overnight.

    But that’s not the way things work in the real world. Associated Press and Congressional Research Service reports show that infrastructure spending does not create jobs and, in fact, can even have a negative effect. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains:

    Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

    First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth.

    And then there’s the President’s flawed argument that since others are doing it, the United States should be, too. “How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing?” he asks. It’s not a new line of argument from the President, and it leaves out some very important facts.

    Dating all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke of the need to “invest” in infrastructure in order to be competitive with the likes of China. At the time, Jim Geraghty reported at National Review Online that while Obama puts China on a pedestal, he entirely overlooks some serious problems with transportation in China–namely, stories of severe power shortages affecting the country’s exports, an episode where 500,000 train passengers were left stranded for days, and outbreaks of violence where airplane travelers were left grounded without accommodation. And that’s not to mention the working conditions under which China builds its infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Europe, which heavily subsidizes its passenger rail systems, receives a poor return on its investment. Heritage’s Ron Utt explains that despite massive spending, passengers are opting for more efficient transportation in the air:

    In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

    But to hear President Obama tell the story, building a European- or Chinese-style infrastructure is the key to the future–and to creating new jobs. Workers are ready to go, and all they need is your money to get started. But this is something we tried once already with the last stimulus, it didn’t work, and it’s not going to work this time, either. Obama’s infrastructure plan is a train that shouldn’t leave the station, headed for a bridge to nowhere, and jobs are the last thing that it will deliver.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    83 Responses to Morning Bell: Debunking Obama's Latest Jobs Myth

    1. Ken Jarvis says:

      I wish the HF would Tell us –
      What is the GOP Plan for Jobs?

      • Cliff says:

        Cut taxes and cut bureaucratic regulations. It needn't be a hell of a lot more complicated than that.

      • E J says:

        The GOP House has passed 16 jobs bills and the Dem. controlled Senate refuses to bring any of them to the floor, then the Pres runs around campaigning blaming Republicans. See if you can figure out where the blame lies.

      • Sandy Kramer says:

        Actually, there are several Republican plans for recovery. I suggest you Google "recovery plan" along with the candidate's name. You will be surprised at what you find.

      • DAXnTN says:

        You should watch the news more or check the congressional record for the last few years and you would see that many of the "GOP plans" for increasing employment have never made out of democratically controlled committees. Just the other day another fifteen GOP "jobs bills" were squashed in the Reid/democratically controlled senate. The short description of most of them is that they would decrease FEDERAL regulations, decrease the TAX burden. Essintially getting the FEDERAL government's boot off of the market forces that would naturally allow stimulation of economic growth.

    2. EON59 says:

      The transcontinental railroad took 6 years to build, why are all of the train projects in the country taking so long? Why is the cost of the planned bridge in Stillwater Minnesota going up by over 1million per month. Can we have a class action suit against the so-called environmental groups for increased costs brought on by delays they create in the building of bridges etc. ie: Stillwater Minnesota. The cost of the Stillwater bridge have gone up by over $600 million because of delays created by frivilous lawsuits.

      • Jon Lacey says:

        In my estimation the greatest accomplishment America did was in 1869 was building the Transcontinental Railroad, with it we went from 6 months to cross the U.S. to 70 hours, plus the telegraph, next came electricity, (around the turn of the century) man on moon (1969) than Gates, Jobs.
        With EPA, OSHA, FEMA, making the construction rules, nothing will get built, any contractor out there, would need only a short amount of time to set up and build, highways, dams, bridges, anything!
        The only people that seem to always belly-ack is our N/E tiny states, that will not allow anything to be built, that's why there never ready for calamity, mayhem, flood. .
        We all know builders that could do any job they have, but with so many rules/regulations, they have to bid twice what it's worth, and than they use their gov't engineers to slow it down more.
        I've never heard of a Democrat construction politician in congress or the Senate, every Democratic politicians has only worked in desk jobs, or gov. work, name one that has ever did real work, or owned a company.
        I bet that the majority of Republicans have worked in farming, ranching, construction, other.I know most of both parties have been lawyers.
        I have been around construction for 60 plus years, and don't think I ever meant a Elite Liberal Democrat construction guy, that wasn't a jerk, at that, I can count them on my one hand.
        But their fun to watch, thanks EON59 for bringing up something I know something about –Construction!

      • Bobbie says:

        you make an excellent point, EON59! Accountability of the government, to the people required!!

    3. Robert, TX says:

      Are the republicans (in Congress) upholding their sworn duty by sitting on their butts for another 12 months, while they wait for the next election? I would say they are not only derelict in their duties, but they are traitors to their sworn oath to defend the Constitution. To earn the votes of the republican sheep, would they not be better served by fighting Obama every minute of every day?

      • David says:

        They are trying to keep as much dirt in the hole that obama is digging for our country. At the rate obama is going, this country is headed for a collapse. His Jobs Bill is not so cut and dry as he makes it sound. Most of the Infrastructure jobs would be filled by illegals already working. More work, not new jobs.

      • mick_13 says:

        The republicans have a long history of speaking softly and, well, continuing to speak softly. This is reinforced by the Alinskyite tactics of the left and the mainstream media who will focus on any one of them that speaks up and destroy them. They need to go around the media and straight to the people like Reagan used to. Unfortunately too many in the old guard of the GOP didn't like Reagan and really are more than happy to go along to get along.

        • Robert, TX says:

          I understand, but it accomplishes nothing. Over 100 million American voters show more loyalty to their political party than to God; their family; or our Constitution. It is complete madness. I quit the republican party two years ago (22 years too late), and yet it was never higher than #5 on my priority list. The battle is working taxpayers against non-working tax receivers. Law-abiding citizens vs. criminals. Constitution-based patriots vs. communists/socialists, regardless of the labels.

      • Sandy Kramer says:

        Republican efforts to move the country in the right direction have been blocked every inch of the way by Obama's thugs in Congress. Add to that Obama's treasonous use of executive orders.

        • Robert, TX says:

          So, you blame the other team's defense because they are too good. Yet, you will not hold your own team accountable for their complete failure? What does that accomplish?

    4. oleo says:

      Under the Davis Bacon Act this is just another way to fund the donations from unions, If you want to put America back to work, open contracts to Right to Work jobs which do not require union wages and rules.

      • markos1120 says:

        You Sir are paying attention. The problem with HS Rail is the continuing cost to the tax payer in subsidies forever…All of this Presidents solutions are short term and mainly deal with Union employees. How about fixing roads, raise gas taxes (the users of the roads) and suspend Davis Bacon. The Dems wanted prevailing wage to paint schools….Why? Why not create jobs digging and filling in holes at prevailing wage?

    5. Pastori Balele says:

      President Obama has a jobs creation plan. Where is Republican job creation plan? None – other than cut tax for the wealthy. That is why we have OWS and other demonstrations. Once a human being becomes too rich he has no incentive to advance.

      • Tyler Ward says:

        It's not the Governments job to create jobs. That's the private sector's job. If you over regulate the private sector then it can't do it's job. In order to create jobs you need to let the private sector go to work. Lower taxes, remove the roadblocks to a path of success, stop trying to take over the private sector with Obama care, and other related Gov. programs. That is what the Republican jobs plan is. Lower taxes on businesses, right now Communist China has a 25% tax of businesses, Socialist Europe has an average of about 20%, Canada is lowering theirs to 15%. What are we taxing businesses? 50%! However, thanks to Obama's lousy tax plan, corporations like GE can take advantage of loopholes that leave them tax free! Republican's propose cutting loopholes, lowering taxes, while widening the tax bases. This would make our country much more open to having companies start-ups here, which would create jobs.

      • Edward says:

        Thanks for your remarks. Bingo–you got it exactly: the repubs are nothing but slaves–albeit well-paid slaves–to the wealthy. I congratulate and support OWS! At least they have their souls intact, which is more than I can say for the greedy one percent. That upper echelon in this country should do the right thing–pay extra taxes to rebuild the infrastructure they are currently exploiting to make their millions and billions!

        Ed Angelo

        • DAXnTN says:

          Edward, From what I have seen of the OWies I doubt that their souls are as intact as you would wish but I can tell that their morals (rape, theft, robbery and vandalism are every where they are) are as fried as their brains. The "right thing" for them to do is try to improve their own existence while improving the existence of everyone else. A good first step would be a bath.

      • DAXnTN says:

        Pastori, I would like to relate to you a quote from a former President,"A rising tide raises all the boats." (JFK) The lesson to be learned here is that if the economy gets crappy "the rich" will also suffer at sometime. The other thing that you might want to consider is that some of those "rich" folks actually have to WORK to get "rich". Maybe if we all paid attention to what they did we would learn something from them and we could be as wealthy and despised by the OWies as they are. One rhetorical question in closing; How many good jobs have you gotten from people who had no money?

    6. WRB says:

      Mike: You should have used Detroit's "People Mover" as an example of one big boondoggle. It was built with the same philosophy used by the Pres.

    7. B Avery says:

      It would behoove this administration to check the facts before proceeding blindly on projects that may not work neither in the short term nor long term for investment return

    8. Lawrence says:

      Give him a break. He isn't a economist, administrator or business person……..he is a COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. Look how successful he has been in organizing Oakland, Philadelphia, Washington and New York. He organized a bevy of "Czars", which he raised from obscurity and mediocrity to wealth and prominence. He even turned his wife from an annoying unsuccessful socialist lawyer into a travel agent.

    9. Barry Schmidt says:

      I have no idea what Obama is talking about re China's railway and air system. My wife and I just returned from a 3-week trip to China. We visited Beijing, Xian, Llasa (Tibet), Chengdu, Chongking and Hong Kong. The train we took was a mess. We were delayed several times, had to endure using a filthy toilet in the floor which was never cleaned up (hey—there is nothing like a pile of feces to see and smell in the middle of the night when you have to use this "toilet"), and the air conditioning didn't work.

      The aircraft we took were plagued by having to wait on the tarmac. One flight took 3 hours before takeoff, while the flight from Wuhan to Hong Kong took all day. We waited in the airport from 7:00 AM to noon, then were informed that the flight had been cancelled. They carted us back to our hotel for two hours, then informed us the flight had been rescheduled to leave at 7:00 PM. So….we boarded at 6:00 PM and had to wait until 9:00 PM before we finally left. Other flights were leaving, but not ours. No explanation, other than that it was "political"…whatever that meant.

      China is an overcrowded, smoggy dump….no thanks to the single-party Communist government…and traffic in the cities is a mess. People in the U.S. have no idea how good they have things, and Obama has no business trying to compare the U.S. to China. Unemployment there is rampant, and virtually every person living in the cities live in tall high-rise apartments. Single-family homes in cities are non-existent, with the exception of those little hovels that are 100 years old…and there are few of these. Construction of farm houses is shoddy, and there apparently are far too few inspectors. Construction trash is just left at the roadsides.

      No, Mr. Obama. Don't you dare even begin to compare our country with China.

    10. Gilbert Doan says:

      Are we surprised?


    11. Robert says:

      How about we dump the bullet train idea (leave that for those Communist countries) and get back into a launch vehicle that will prevent our being locked out in the Space department? (Come to think of it, California is flying toward being a Communist country on its own; how about dumping California as well?)

    12. Mary......WI says:

      Like so many other Americans I DON'T want the USA to become Europe but we are 80% there! If Obama is re-elected kiss the good old USA good-bye……his vision of "transforming" this country will be complete. Sad part is there are way too many people that STILL don't understand what's happening in this country under the "Obama Regime". He MUST be defeated in 2012!

      • DAXnTN says:

        Mary, I do not want to make you sadder but I have checked the laws and those uneducated people's vote counts just as much as yours and mine. That is why I try at every turn to educate people, even the ones that do not think they are conservative. They really are but are in denial.

        • Denise, Utah says:

          There should be a new law that if you don't pay Federal taxes you don't vote in National elections. That way, people who don't pay taxes can't decide how to spend mine.

    13. Richard A says:

      As usual, if you want something done wrong, let government do it.
      The only way high-speed rail systems and green energy projects survive at all is
      due to government subsidies and tax incentives. None of the proposed projects
      or those currently underway are economically realistic in the competitive private economy,
      the only engine that makes for true prosperity.

    14. Frank says:

      "…the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033." – The Foundry

      A $98 Billion boondoggle that both California & the Federal Government cannot afford in a land full of earthquakes! If it was economically viable, give a private company the right of way, allow them to sell bonds to private investors and let them build it privately and keep the profits. I bet nobody would do it because it makes no economic sense. Even if built, it will be an endless money pit that would soon go bust unless propped up by hugh amounts of ever more taxpayer money.

    15. Curt Krehbiel says:

      Beware of Obama's jobs bills. The hype of job creation will apply only to his unionized supporters. The non-union workers will only become the proletariat in his Marxist regime. Besides, the bullet train is failing in Europe as people are returning to air travel. They are not hampered and pampered by Homeland Security grabbers and feelers.

    16. victorbarney says:

      Just as long as the gatherers(women by biology and blacks by laziness) are happy! No? Watch! Especially in 2012!

    17. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      Shovel Ready…Yeah, Right!

      The only thing that starts with "the flip of a switch" in this Administration, is the Mouth of the Oval Office!

    18. FlaJim says:

      Commander Zero has no intention of reviving the economy and anyone thinking otherwise is deluded. This is simply another attempted power grab. This regime is interested only in gaining as much control of the economy as possible. In its mind, making workers dependent on infrastructure projects will help them recruit to the Democrat cause and demand more government spending for other projects, regardless of their feasability.

      In a country as large as ours, train service is simply impractical because the station will rarely be close to the ultimate destination or starting point of the traveler, regardless of whether it's high speed or normal speed. The only area that rail can possibly be profitable is the Northeast Corridor and that can't be high speed because of the numerous stops and crossings. Even air travel for distances of 200 to 250 miles is dismissed these days because of ridiculous airport regulations. That leaves us with buses and (preferably) cars. Buses are crowded and inconvenient; cars take us point to point.

    19. Girly Girl says:

      The high speed rail in California is all part of the United Nations Agenda 21 project that was signed by George Bush Sr. The Agenda 21 Blue Print is to put the farmer out of business in the Central Valley and put everyone in high rises. Take their cars away and put in the high speed rail. People need to be aware of this horrific United Nations and Agenda 21. Check out Agenda 21 for Dummies.

    20. Bernard P. Giroux says:

      It seems to me that the Highway Trust Fund and the other transportation funds, such as that for the FAA, were once the best funded trusts. Raiding by Congress, however, apparently destroyed that funding base, as it did Social Security. Time to stop this nonsense and put common sense back into government where it is serving the people and not the other way around, which is what Obama wants.

    21. Robert A Hirschmann says:

      How can anyone tolerate this jerk? He believes that it takes money to make money. That may be true, but first you have to have the money to invest. Doesn't this moron realize that this country is BROKE??? And most of it is HIS FAULT!!! If he would cut all the red tape from businesses that alone would spur the economy. Get the government out of the way and let us solve our own problems. WE THE PEOPLE can do it without big brothers HELP!!

    22. Carol Waltman says:

      I'm not sure how many "shovel ready" projects actually exist. Apparently most of the money is going to projects that are anything but. That said, there is one shovel ready project in my neighborhood. It is engineered, permitted, largely funded by the state and desperately needed. This project is literally a life and death matter for individuals as well as an entire community. The holdup? The Army Corps of Engineers, which has stalled, changed rules and thrown up barricades, withheld funding and lied for many months. The project I reference is the Grand Marais Breakwall, and if you'd like to know more you can find out readily by googling. .

    23. Al Connelly says:

      All educated voters are well aware that the president and his team are not deterred by facts. This is the most politically divisive power we have ever seen in Washington. The president has two focuses: (1) get re-elected at all cost (2) socialize the american way of life. All the rhetoric about the budget and curtailing costs fails to investigate the huge cost to taxpayers for benefits and services supplied to people illegally in the country or to programs that actually encourage people not to work. (Why take a job at Burger King or Starbucks when uncle Sugar provides a much better package for not working and you will be penalized by elimination or drastic reduction of those free services if you actually work! We are destroying what made this country great and creating a new society committed to figuring out how to get free services with no personal labor output!

      • mike says:

        Exactly why he will be re-elected if we are not careful. A majority is not educated, not paying attention, and concerned only about what is in it for them. Add to that an articulate man of color, incumbent, who promises Hope and Change while taxing Wall Street and millionaires and billionaires and promising health care to all! I spend my days with the masses and he is a sho-in if they show up at the polls.

      • DAXnTN says:

        I couldn't agree more Al (especially the two points). A wise fellow once told me, "You always get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax." The only thing that has surprised me is that it has taken this long for the split to get this close to 50/50.

    24. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Let's cut past the B.S. Obama's "Jobs Plan" is exactly what he intends it to be. A money laundering scheme
      to funnel payoffs to his political and union supporters.

    25. Captain Nathan says:

      Gosh, I'm shocked!! Something Obama proposes will cost twice as much and take much longer to complete. And they obviously aren't looking at (or care) about the statistical facts of train travel in Europe because that would be contrary to their conviction that Europe is at the Vanguard of all that is good and efficient…facts and events be damned. When, dear Lord, are Americans going to finally realize that EVERYTHING the Left in this country has gotten hold of has failed, is in the process of failing, and pushing America toward the results in Greece? They were responsible for the great expansion of entitlement programs…going bankrupt. and dealing with generations of minority Americans continuing to live in poverty….70% of children born to families with no fathers….they took over the education establishment…result…American children score below some third world countries despite our spending more per capita than all of them!. And we have a president and administration who think we should continue down that path. In most corners, it's called suicide.

    26. dam1953 says:

      Obama is a real piece of work. If he wants the USA to build mega projects like China all he has to do is lift all of the legal and regulatory hurdles that we have to jump over hear in the US. You can bet that China doesn't have the equivalent of PETA, Green Peace, Sierra Club, ACLU, just to name a few. China also doesn't have to worry about little things like OSHA, prevailing wage laws, union labor practices, strikes, etc.

      So, if Mr. Obama want's to call off his dogs we can build the hell of things here in the USA. Otherwise he needs to shut up. PS. It's time that Republican candidates take the offensive about these issues hammering these points incessantly and in detail.

    27. B. Lanham says:

      As a conservative, I am disturbed at the intellectual hypocrisy of this article. Facts are set aside in the interest of political agenda. There is overwhelming evidence that real infrastructure investment creates wealth. Improvements in road and bridge infrastructure as well as water and wastewater systems, spawns economic development. Property values are increased. Growth occurs. Quality of life is enhanced. There isn't anything more "republican" than infrastructure investment.

      • Tyler Ward says:

        your right, but obama is going about it the wrong way.

      • Bobbie says:

        real infrastructure investment creates wealth? so people are gaining wealth off tax payers? That's unjust! If it was worked by the private sector the wealth is genuine.

        But what I'd like to know is why these areas of safety within the responsibility of government have been neglected by the government in the first place? Tax dollars are appointed for these areas, where has and is the money going? Why are we forced to deal with a government that holds no accountability and is incompetent in all areas America struggles while the government elects and appointed, makes top dollar?

    28. Buffalo John says:

      This JOKE IN D.C.hasn't a clue what he's doing.He is a TOTAL FAILURE IN EVERYTHING he has tried.
      The only thing he has succeeded in is SPENDING THIS COUNTRY INTO OBLIVION on the citizens back.This analphabatic cretin shouldn't be allowed to go to the toilet by himself let alone run a country.If we still have a country left OUR great grand children will still be paying off this debt this lier-N-chief has bestowed upon this great nation.ovomit and administration are ILLEGAL incompetent and should be inprisoned for TREASON.

    29. TonyM says:

      I am on your side but would you explain how creating construction jobs eliminates jobs elsewhere? Do you have evidence for that statement? IS there an anlaysis available on the web? This is critical to understanding why the government should not be in the "Job Creation" business and for debating those who insist that creating these jobs is a good thing for government to do to "spur" the economy. Thanks.

    30. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      It is rather humorous, Heritage and numerous blogs, non-stop talkers on the radio and talking heads on television, are making a great living at stating the obvious. It's proven that Obama lies, is attempting to destroy the capitalistic system and promotes Socialism, unfortunately many people don't care. As long as the lifer-politicians keep their pensions, salary & perks, we just keep rolling along.

      It's not just Obama…it the whole bunch…

    31. Carol M Kite says:

      The frustration is great over the fantasies, speeding train systems, green energy fiascos, that might be a great thing, tho' definitely not the cheapest way to go, if everyone were working with a healthy economy but hello, not happening at this time!
      Now he's across the ocean observing the European countries in the worst financial trouble due to the very excessve government handouts to their citizens, the very Socialist program Obama espouses for America, but he won't vary from the same route.
      He's formed a Super Committee that touts cutting Social Security benefits irregardless of the fact that it is our hard-earned money not the gov't's, supposely kept, adding interest, for our retirements. It's bad enough the gov't 'borrowed' (that's spelled s-t-o-l-e) twice, that I know of. This better not take place–not theirs to threaten/play with. Who's comfortable with another 4 years? America would be sunk!

    32. Violet says:

      It never fails to amaze me that politicians can look at failed plan after failed plan and still point to them as a solution for this country. I can't figure out if it the deliberate desire on their part to destroy this country or if they are just blind to the outcomes.

    33. Al Metcalf says:

      None of your contributors at Heritage bothered to mention the main reason that Government supplied jobs do not create an economy is because 'the people doing the work are being paid by the taxpayer and it takes a minimum of seven taxpayers to support one Government Employee. Since we have some 15 million people out of work and not paying any taxes, then this Obama job thought is irrelevant because we do not have the money to pay for it.
      It is the old addage 'you cannot pick yourself up by pulling directly on the seat of your trousers'. You need leverage, and in this case the leverage in the 'Free Economic Market'.

    34. Leftshot says:

      There are so many holes in Obama's plan, it's a joke.
      If you really wanted to boost jobs you'd go after sectors with high unemployment. Obama targets almost all this money toward the public sector which has the lowest unemployment–below 5% which for decades has been considered full employment.
      If you really cared about creating an infrastructure that makes the U.S. more competitive and helps the economic engine, you'd be investing in power plants and energy independence, not repairing and replacing perfectly good roads and bridges, funding highway work the states already planned to do, and spending billions on highly speculative high speed trains that economically haven't panned out elsewhere.
      If you really wanted to boost jobs, you'd be looking for ways to boost the private sector where investments create jobs, that create profits that create more jobs; that doesn't happen in the public sector.

    35. hermanng says:

      How can we believe the words of a man who has never created a single job, but destroyed many as the community Organizer for ACORN.
      His idea of creating jobs is to create government jobs. or maybe the one he created for his wife, who got a 300,000 job from Univ. Hosp. of Chicago, after he helped pass a 1.2 Mio donation to the hospital.
      This job was not filled, after she moved into the W.H.

    36. jer says:

      Do individuals not realize that a new spending bill as proposed only provide work for those who are already working. Building roads and bridges did not take the unemployed out of the unemployment lines. Open up full energy exploration and you will begin to shorten the unemployment lines. Stop the incesent favoratizum that exists in todays policital contributions for political favors.

    37. Robert T. Mott says:

      "tBuilding and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

      "First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth."

      The first sentence in this statement is not exactly correct. It depends on whether labor resources are fully employed or not, and whether borrowed funds or deficit spending (i.e. new money) versus money transferred from the private sector pays for the work. Employment and economic output can expand as a result of the income multiplier effect, the duration of which depends on how long the additional net financial stimulus continues.

      • Leftshot says:

        In the first place, almost all President Obama's proposed spending is in the Public Sector, which has the lowest unemployment of any sector, below that considered as full employment. So even by your reasoning the first statement is correct.

        Second, the private sector competes for borrowed funds, so whether the funds come from borrowing or direct transfers, it's money that is no longer available for the private sector.

    38. Joe says:

      Shovel ready? Talk to Lisa Jackson about that. Try 5-10 years lead time

    39. Doug Philippa says:

      Another infasructure re-building fallacy is that 90% of this work will be performed by union contractors, next time you see a stimulus project going on in your town stop and ask for a job! they'll tell you you have to be in the union! since when has private organizations been able to tell the goverment how to spend our money? Isn't this a form of discrimination? The Liberals preach separation of church & state- isn't this on the same parallel?

    40. Ben C. says:

      Reminds me of the People Mover in Detroit championed by Coleman Young. Spent alot of money that is pretty much useless. And the definition of insanity is…………..

    41. Dwana townsend says:

      Investing in our infrastructure is very important, however in my experience in order to build a Bridge for example, first you need someone to design it, then the plans have to be approved, permits have to be issued, city planning commissions come into the picture, and then the contract bidding starts. Most of the time the contract is awarded to somone close to the inner circle of city, local, or federal level politicians!! Most large commercial construction companies have enough construction workers on their payroll already and are only going to look at their bottom line!!

      As far as High Speed Rail systems, I think the American people need to ask this question: What is the cost of building it, how much would you have to charge per passenger, for how long to just break even on the investment, will it ever make a profit? The real question is are we throwing good money after bad investment ideas? We do need to bring our transportation system into he 21st centry no doubt, but we are facing more pressing issues. There will be time to invest in these projects once our economy is healthy!!

    42. ChuckL says:

      And just what do you think the TSA is doing but promoting travel by RAIL?

      Of course, when this takes off, the TSA will appear in train stations also.

    43. ChuckL says:

      And just what do you think the TSA is doing but promoting travel by RAIL?

    44. Charles Nystrom says:

      This article correctly states the errors in Obama's message about jobs. But it misses the larger point that Obama has no intention of creating jobs that actually grow the economy. Rather, through his policies, it is quite clear he is intent on doing just the opposite. All his speeches are just fluff to divert us as deficits, debt, and growth in government power sink our ship.

      Future columns might serve the country better if they clearly make this larger point. It is time to state the facts.

    45. Ron Ceres says:

      Other than to clean the dirt of corruption from his finger nails,this excuse of a president has never known an honest day's work. How is anyone possibly able to take any of his job creating fairy tales seriously.

      • Edward says:

        Obama: Harvard Law School Grad, President of The Harvard Law Review, a self-made millionaire, state senator, then US Senator, and now President of the United States–yeah, genious, I guess he's just a lazy bum! Get over it–you've got a black President, something you should be proud of!

    46. BUBA says:

      If you want to see the bills for jobs from the repubs (16) they are in the senate and Harry Reied just lets them sit there

    47. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Reps have 8 or nine job bills that have passed the house as of this AM, where are they, ASK PRINCE Reid, he won't let them come to the floor, any bill authored by a REp. is tabled in the SEnate, Reid is a big obstructor. Also there is a stretch of road built to nowhere with stimulas money named for, you guessed it, Barach Obama, talk about wating money, loaning money to comanies that are going bust, WHY they contributed to his campaign, that's buying votes. We need an honest administration not this big farce we have now. The only thing BHO is good at is reading the telepromter, he doesn't write those words.

    48. Jon Lacey says:

      If President Obama were to do what Chris Mathews suggested, start another WPA, Conservation Corp, gov't run construction projects, like under FDR.
      Question- would more Conservatives want the work, or would more Liberals want the work?

    49. Voice of Reason says:

      Do you realize how loaded the language of this article is? Debunking a myth sounds like the article has already assumed its conclusion, making for a bad skewed biased argument.

    50. Jon Lacey says:

      If President Obama were to do what Chris Mathews suggested, start another WPA, Conservation Corp, gov't run construction projects, like under FDR.

    51. Bill says:

      GOP in the house along with the dems have passed 15 , count em…15 JOBS BILLS to help our economy and jobs, but Harry Reid has blocked the voting on each one in the Senate….easy available online…do some research…its there…

    52. NittanyJim says:

      Kind of reminds me of all the movies we used to watch as kids about the Bolshevik revolution. The Politburo puts the workers to work – "shovel ready" – while the politicians drink vodka and eat caviar. We are in the information age here and now, not trying to catch up to the industrial revolution.

    53. David says:

      Are there really that many Mexicans that want to travel between Anaheim and San Francisco at such a high rate of speed. Just doesn't seem feasible to me.

    54. 1600 Watch says:

      Obama, socialist Democrats and Establishment Republicans routinely promote "investing" in costs, that is' liabilities. Either they hate America and work toward her economic collapse or are financially illiterate. The only known way to sustain a cost incurring liability long term is by creating a wealth (income) producing asset to carry the cost burden.

      Kindergarten cash flow, income statement and balance sheet reading clearly demonstrate this elementary fact of life. Marxist Obama and our largely socialist Congress are either traitors to our country or are hopelessly ignorant of even the most basic financial matters.

      I hope you're all putting away food and supplies because a very rainy day is coming for America.

    55. Sharon says:

      Since he admires the communist countrys so much, maybe we should bring over some chinese and pay them $2.00 a day.

    56. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      That's all Obama's capable of. Telling lies. If you watch closely, you can see his nose growing every time he tells

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