Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bella Vista Bypass From Obama Stimulus

I was looking over the various government boon-doggles from Arkansas' share of Resident Obama's 2009 "Stimulus" program.   They weren't all terrible ideas, but most all of them were a mis-allocation of resources.  Most of it fell into the "nice to have if you can afford it" category- which we can't.

A couple of things stuck out at me looking at the highway spending.   It re-emphasized how much we did not need to roll over the bond issue that 5% of the voters approved in a special election while the rest of us were looking elsewhere (I believe it was an example of manufactured consent).   There were tens of millions, nay hundreds of millions, of dollars in projects very similar to what the bond debt was supposed to do.    That was a program the Highway Commission could not have known about in 1999 when they planned their road maintenance program.   So how could they have misjudged things so badly that even $235 million in unplanned federal money falling from the sky still left them needing (they claimed) to borrow just as much money as they needed before?

The other thing that stuck out was that even though over 90% of all 2009 "Stimulus" money was spent, there was one big project was left until last on the list.   That was the Bella Vista Bypass.    That project had over 93% of its budget left to spend, while all other projects had already spent about 93% of their budget.  NWA, where the car traffic is the most dense, gets put at the end of the line.   Just remember NWA, when they start work in earnest on that bypass, it is NOT the result of the bond issue.   The money came from Obama's stimulus program (borrowed against our national credit card), and our wonderful State Highway Commission decided to keep you on hold for three years.

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