Forty-four days before he assumed the office, Barack Obama went on Meet the Press and spoke of shovel ready projects that were supposedly awaiting a job stimulus plan:
When I met with the governors, all of them have projects that are shovel ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door, but they've already lined up the projects and they can make them work. And now, we're going to have to prioritize it and do it not in the old traditional politics first wave. What we need to do is examine what are the projects where we're going to get the most bang for the buck, how are we going to make sure taxpayers are protected.
From that interview, most Americans believed he was serious about creating jobs, an appraisal that undoubtedly helped his high approval numbers. They didn't realize that ten months later they'd still be waiting for the first ripple of jobs from the bill, or that "bang for the buck" meant demolishing the dollar, while "protecting taxpayers" meant painstakingly bleeding them dry, via national debt.
In that same interview he went on to insinuate that he would soon be implementing
... "the largest infrastructure program -- in roads and bridges and, and other traditional infrastructure -- since the building of the federal highway system in the 1950s."
Twice he used the word "immediate" when describing this and other proposed actions. Living in California, where numerous road improvement measures have been passed and squandered, I must admit to feeling the slightest tingle of hope...for a few seconds. Then I remembered who was making the promise: the same person who attended a church for 20 years without the slightest inkling of the poison spewing from its pulpit. In other words, either a liar or an imbecile was speaking. Considering his associations, and the infamous political grime of that city from which he'd emerged, I strongly suspected the former.
Ten months have passed since these promises were made, and, according to Rasmussen, Obama's monthly net approval index numbers have dipped 31 points. The question is, why? What does the American public want from our president? Do they want him to fight harder for healthcare reform? That's unlikely. A recent Gallup poll showed that more people are opposed to any new healthcare legislation than are for it. Besides, Obama is already obsessed with this issue. It is, no doubt, the proverbial dangling carrot to our aspiring despot. If he spends much more time mulling it over, he's going to develop a twitch. There is one thing that millions of Americans are asking from Barak Obama. Asking, pleading, demanding, or, like myself, daring him. They want the president to show them the shovels. Not an idle stockpile, but the ones that hundreds of thousands of American workers are using. In other words, show us the stimulus projects that have actually commenced. It's not hard to find lists of proposed projects for the stimulus plan. But finding a list of ongoing or completed projects, now that's another matter. Obama told us in January, back when trillion dollar measures were still an alarming novelty, that the stimulus plan was needed to keep unemployment under 8%. Now, in October, it's but 0.2% away from breaking the conspicuous 10% mark for the first time since June of 1984. And there's no logical reason to conclude that it will stop there, since the president has demonstrated an utter lack of concern in the matter. If Obama really wants to be the new and improved FDR, he needs to realize that the head of state must not delay in granting some tangible token of concern for Americans in urgent economic need. In the first 100 days of office, Roosevelt passed a barrage of economic measures, some of which actually employed people. In fact, from his inauguration on March 4, 1933, to the induction of the first Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee, only 37 days had elapsed. In contrast, what has Obama done? From all I can see, diddly-squat. When was the last time he even restated his commitment to create new jobs?
But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are huge infrastructure projects going on right now, that are just not being publicized. But why? Why wouldn't any of the big three networks take the time to showcase them? Let's consider the possibilities.
First, they might have decided that Americans no longer need to see enormous construction projects like Hoover Dam or the Golden Gate Bridge to soothe their worried minds. Maybe the networks have concluded that it's a lot more impressive and reassuring for citizens to watch a skinny guy in a suit, who bears a curious resemblance to Alfred E. Neuman, assure them that the stimulus bill has turned the economy around. In this and other claims, Obama is certainly as absurd as Mad Magazine's poster boy. I just wish he were as candid. Then, when he boasts that he's saved one million jobs, we could at least get the subsequent punch line: "Saved them for later, that is."
Another possibility is that the networks aren't showing these projects at the president's request. Obama is simply too modest to draw our attention to all the jobs he's created. The man who's accepted the Nobel Peace Prize based on two weeks in office is too humble to draw attention to himself. That doesn't jive, either.
Well then, maybe Bush has sabotaged Obama's efforts, by getting his flunkies to blow up every bridge and road that was being built. After all, if he could coax a super hurricane into New Orleans, what evil isn't he capable of?
Then again, maybe, just maybe, the problem is that the "mainstream" media has virtually nothing of substance to show us.
In that case, a burdened American public will know exactly what Obama's been shoveling all this time.