Oh my, is this story embarassing:
Ten months into President Barack Obama's first economic stimulus plan, a surge in spending on roads and bridges has had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, an Associated Press analysis has found.
Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn't matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama's argument that more road money would address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."
What a surprise! Firstly by refusing to do anything on offshore outsourcing or manufacturing moving overseas, it's no surprise these few jobs could have any real impact in comparison to a plant or factory closing in a local area. A few construction crews when the main employer just laid off 12,000 and moved to China, I don't think so.
Construction spending would be a key part of the Jobs for Main Street Act, a $75 billion second stimulus to revive the nation's lethargic unemployment rate and improve the dismal job market for construction workers. The House approved the bill 217-212 last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., worked the floor for an hour; the Senate is expected to consider it later in January.
AP's analysis, which was reviewed by independent economists at five universities, showed that strategy hasn't affected unemployment rates so far. And there's concern it won't work the second time. For its analysis, the AP examined the effects of road and bridge spending in communities on local unemployment; it did not try to measure results of the broader aid that also was in the first stimulus like tax cuts, unemployment benefits or money for states.
I don't think $75 billion for the nation's roads is enough money, but frankly if the Obama administration really wanted to create jobs real fast, governments would simply cancel all of the state and federal contracts which are offshore outsourced and move those jobs back. That's a zero cost to the U.S. taxpayer as well since they already pay for those services.
Another key thing would be to require all materials used are American made.
Finally, there are around 1.5 million guest workers in this country, supposedly here because there is a worker shortage. Get real on this, defy the lobbyists and temporarily at least, suspend these programs. We have a U6 of 17.3%!