More on the Mayors’ Bailout

As I wrote on this site a few days ago, Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez is asking incoming President Barack Obama for a $1.6 billion bailout. Obama has already pledged to “invest” in infrastructure, so Mayor Marty is just getting his, right?
Unfortunately, as Kristina Rasmussen of the National Taxpayers Union points out in a recent article by columnist Cal Thomas: “Total cost of the wish list is $73,163,299,303. They claim this will create an estimated 847,641 jobs in 2009 and 2010. Divide that out, and you get a cost to taxpayers of $86,314 per job. Not exactly a great deal.” It seems like the plan simply shuffles the deck chairs on the Titanic rather than providing any “stimulus.”
As Mayor Marty has figured out, much of this spending represents nothing but pork and other projects, like the Albuquerque streetcar, that would not otherwise receive funding if the issue was left to local politicians and voters. Once Santa Clause (the feds) agree to pay, all restraint is abandoned.
As if to summarize the wrongheaded economic thinking associated with this money grab, Forbes recently named Albuquerque one of 5 “Obama Boomtowns” that are expected to benefit from the “stimulus.” Perhaps Forbes will raise a more important question next time “Which taxpayers and small businesses will lose out the most as massive amounts of their money is wasted on these boondoggles?” Unfortunately, I have a feeling this group includes all of us.

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