On September 27th the President told Peter Baker of The New York Times:

He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works.

Yet just three weeks earlier, in a speech to the LaborFest in Milwaukee, the President said:

So, that’s why, Milwaukee, today, I am announcing a new plan for rebuilding and modernizing America’s roads and rails and runways for the long term.

… But the bottom line is this, Milwaukee — this will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul.

Q1 for Team Obama: If there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects, how will the $50 B of new infrastructure spending create jobs immediately?

Q2: If shovel-ready projects do exist and are queued up to create jobs immediately, shouldn’t they have been funded already by the stimulus law enacted in early 2009, leaving only the slower-spending projects left to be funded with the new money?

Q3: Given the President’s admission, isn’t the President’s proposal simply a deficit-financed increase in government spending with no immediate macroeconomic benefit?

Election season should not excuse the Administration from justifying its proposals as sound policy.

(photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)