Thursday, October 1, 2009

Secretary LaHood Doesn't Understand The Meaning Of "Out The Door"

In testimony today before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood swore that the Obama administration is spending the stimulus appropriations for highway, transit, rail and maritime infrastructure as fast as it can, testifying that $29.4 billion of the $48.1 billion appropriated is "obligated" as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires. "We've followed every guideline," LaHood testified. "The money is out the door."

While Secretary LaHood's testimolny probably would not subject him to a perjury prosecution, he is dead wrong if he believes what he said. Most of the money is still in Treasury Department vaults. Only $1.4 billion, or a little less than 5.1% of the money, has actually been spent, finding its way into the hands of contractors and material suppliers. So far, very little of it is actually in the hands of the tradespeople and plant workers on their payrolls. LaHood was challenged to do better by Congressman John Mica, who pointed out that in the 10 states with the highest rates of unemployment, the numbers of jobless have either stayed the same or increased since the stimulus legislation was passed.

If you are wondering where your share of the stimulus appropriations is, call Secretary LaHood and ask him.
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