The Audacity of Shovel-Ready

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BY CANNON BROOKE – Last week at a meeting of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, President Barack Obama was told that his administration briefed him on the challenges of the American Recovery Act. Subsequently, he then smirked and interjected saying, “shovel-ready was not as…uh… shovel-ready as we expected,” joking about the consequences of his administrations disastrous policy.


After nearly two year since President Obama signed the mammoth stimulus package assuring us that “shovel-ready” projects would lead us to a quick recovery, he and his administration seems to be changing their tune, acknowledging there is no such thing.

Despite this, he got a good laugh out of his audience. But it seems that not everyone is finding levity in the economic conditions – or at least those with the jobs found it funny. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) responded by noting how the 14 millions Americans that are unemployed do not find the joke very funny.

“He joked about the wildly mistaken predictions he and others at the White House made a couple of years back about the job-creating potential of the stimulus,” said McConnell.

If you remember, the notion of the shovel-ready projects was one of the driving forces behind the whole American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009. The administration proclaimed these projects would propel the economy and get everyone back to work.

The joke was made in bad taste illustrating the upmost arrogance in this administration, however, that’s not the real issue.

What’s more frightening is the overconfidence veiled as pragmatism. From the very beginning, President Obama and his team asserted they knew what to do and how to handle this situation.

To make matters worse, Obama’s real economic agenda is influenced by FDR’s failed Hundred Days and severely blinded by his ideology. His idea of getting Americans back to work is pushing for more overly bloated, sordid, public-works contracts that benefit politicians and the elite few. Jonah Goldberg touched on an interesting example in his post, noting how the jobs-council meeting took place at Cree Inc., a company under the jobs-boosting stimulus. Cree received $5.2 million of taxpayer money and created 3.02 jobs with it.

Obama’s poor jokes further illuminate how the reality is, he and his administration is disconnected from the rhetoric.

The failed stimulus is not a laughing a matter and Obama shouldn’t be making jokes about perpetuating the mess we are all in.