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Lobbyists lining up for Obama-dollars

Bloomberg reports that machinery lobbyists are coming out of the woodwork in Washington, hoping for slice of the proposed stimulus package. Lobbyists, being by nature devoid of shame, are untroubled by the fact that Obama is not actually president yet.

With President-elect Barack Obama promising the biggest government investment in public works since the interstate highway system began in 1956, transportation officials and the companies that design and build the projects are pressing hard to get their priorities into the package.

They’re carrying out a lobbying blitz as Obama and Congress decide on an economic-stimulus plan that some senators say may top $700 billion. By comparison, Congress earmarked $287 billion over six years on roads and transit in 2005, the last time it passed a transportation bill.

This is how it works: When the new bridge crosses your river, it’s essential infrastructure investment. When it’s built in the town down the river, it’s wasteful pork spending.

Wisecracks aside, the money won’t be poured down a rathole: it’ll be spent all over the country, and the multiplier effect will ripple throughout the economy. Taking on all this debt is a bit worrisome, but debt you can afford to pay off is just another expense like the light bill. People need jobs to keep the lights on.

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Tom Mangan posted at 8:14 am December 16th, 2008 |

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