Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Highway Signs As Political Propaganda

We have a campaigner-in-chief in the White House, not a leader. This does not serve our country well.

President Obama keeps a busy travel schedule and favors the 'blue' states. He is determined to wage a strong re-election bid in 2012. With the state of our nation, one would think he would show different priorities.

An interesting expenditure used to further the Obama spending/stimulus agenda has surfaced, due to its wasteful nature. Along highways using federal stimulus monies for new projects, signs proclaiming "Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" spread the word. In an article by Michael Cooper in The New York Times, he writes, "The use of signs for stimulus projects was strongly encouraged by the Federal Highway Administration, but not required." We know what that means coming from an administration deeply rooted in Chicago politics.

The interesting part of the article, though, was the mention of states no agreeing to abide by the "encouragement" of the FHA. Senator Judd Gregg, R-NH, a budget hawk and briefly in the Obama administration before he came to his senses said, "These signs are simply for political self-interest, and it's high time we stop using stimulus dollars to fund them, and instead use these dollars for their intended purpose of creating economic activity." He voted against the stimulus and trying, unsuccessfully, to prohibit the use of the signs.

Team Obama may think the signs are good propaganda for its agenda. As voters realize the stimulus spending is failing on a large scale, as was predicted by economists across the country, with unemployment just short of 10% though we were told it would reach 8% if the stimulus was not passed (as a scare tactic), the marketing of the Obama agenda is crucial to re-election.

Jill Zuckman, another former journalist who joined the Obama administration, now with the Department of Transportation as director of public affairs, said,"We think the signs promote transparency and accountability - so taxpayers can know where their money is being spent, and on what." Well, Ms. Zuckman, transparency is good. I would like to see it in the legislative process as promised by candidate Obama. But, these signs are a waste of money and simply a vanity prop.

At least six states have decided to not use the signage along highways. Texas is one of those states who conclude it is a waste of money and not necessary. Georgia, Florida Virginia, and even New York have come to the same conclusion. Florida is led by Gov. Crist, who was supportive of the stimulus bill. Virginia is led by Gov. Kaine, now also chairman of the DNC. New York, is well, New York. Some contractors were asking for $4,000 for those NY signs.

Common sense is good. Non-stop campaigning from the leader of the free world is not good. This is the result of electing a candidate who has never accomplished anything other than running for office in his professional life.

No comments: