Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Harold Meyerson has a column this morning in which he howls at the slow pace of spending of the 2009 "stimulus", pointing to a recent story that showed only a quarter of the money Los Angeles received had actually been spent. What had been spent represented a good bit of the payoff to Democratic constituencies that much of the stimulus actually consisted of, you know, those things that kept "gubment" workers in jobs created during flush times that SHOULD have been cut in lean times. What remained to be spent? "Shovel ready" project money--you know, the kinds of things folks on the right said were not stimulative at all because of how long they took to start and complete. Meyerson grants this, citing "good government" restrictions as contributing to the pace (economic and environmental impact studies, fair wage restrictions, you name it--a cornucopia of liberal nannying). The problem here is that folks on the right KNEW THIS, and folks on the left should have known it also. Of course we cannot mobilize labor and make things happen like we did in the the 30's. The lawsuits questioning the destruction of yellow-breasted gob-warbler mating grounds, or the demanding a "living" wage for the (union) workers on the site (which would of course NOT be the prevailing market wage) would be enormous. No, shovel ready ain't what it used to be, which is one of the reasons the stimulus was a bad deal from the start.