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He’s Been Selling You a Bridge

May 10, 2009

Just another story that illustrates how efficient is the ‘American Europeanisation and Indebtedness Recovery and Reinvestment Act’: In order to rush through tons of money that future generations will have to earn before Obama’s “use it or lose it” rule kicks in local administrations throw the ‘stimulus’ funds at projects by order of their ‘shovel-readiness’, not their urgency or usefulness. By tendency that means that small (tiny, to be more precise) infrastructure renovations are given priority over bigger, more complex ones that in return would actually serve more than just four persons and 27 cows and that – in Keynesian theory – could actually have a measurable impact on economic activity.

But according to a “spokeswoman for Rep. Tom Perriello, Virginia Democrat, whose district received $12 million of the $28 million of the bridge-replacement money distributed in Virginia” repairing a 30-foot bridge that leads to seven houses is just an example of the brilliance of government waste because what only appears to be inherent inefficiency is so totally going to help those hardest hit by the economic slump:

“This is another example of how the Recovery Act is working efficiently,” […] “Rural communities generally are the hardest hit in a budget crunch for these investments.”

Ah, maintenant the French Cowboy understands: the persons who are going to fix the bridge live just next to it and have recently lost their jobs because of the economic crisis and are either going to need 4 years for the bridge job or, should they finish while the economy isn’t booming, are going to get a second college degree on a Pell Grant, crossing the bridge each day as they go to class.

But, you know, the French Cowboy believes in the wisdom of the unaffected common-sense guy (or gal in this case) and this comment by Ann Baxter who really lives just next to our sample bridge in Cumberland County doesn’t seem to be convinced that Washington’s central planners have read her thoughts correctly when they allocated the ‘stimulus’ funds:

“I didn’t know it was broken, but I’m happy they’re spending the money if it needs to be fixed,” said Ann Baxter, who lives in the house closest to what she called the “little” bridge. “But I’d rather have the road paved.”

Beware, Madame Baxter, you are dangerously close to saying that you are “rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” and as we all know that makes you a ‘rightwing extremist’.

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