Bridge Over Troubled Political Waters


President Obama made another million-dollar journey out of the White House at taxpayer expense to boost his 2012 re-election campaign today.  This time, he and his massive entourage settled at the Brent Spence Bridge, connecting Ohio and Kentucky. 

There the President tried to put pressure on House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who are from Ohio and Kentucky respectively, to pass his new $650 billion “stimulus” bill.  (Trust no media report that says $450 billion – they’re leaving out the “infrastructure bank” to make the price tag look less absurd.)

“They can either kill this jobs bill, or they can help pass this jobs bill,” declared the President, while hours of traffic were re-routed to facilitate his photo op.  “Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, help us rebuild this bridge.  Help us rebuild America!  Help us put this country back to work.  Pass this jobs bill right away!

Of course, the Pass This Bill bill would do absolutely nothing for the bridge Obama was gesticulating at, as the Cincinnati Enquirer explains:

First, there’s the president’s jobs bill, which is the reason for his trip. In his joint address to Congress on Sept. 8, Obama called on Congress to immediately pass his plan. But the bill has received a lukewarm reception on the Hill, where even Democrats haven’t rallied around it.

The bill itself contains no mention of the Brent Spence bridge, or any other specific projects. Even if the bill is passed, it’s not clear funding included in the bill for stimulus or the creation of a national infrastructure bank would ever reach the bridge.

That’s because if the point of the jobs bill is to create jobs now, then the Brent Spence Bridge may make a nice backdrop for a speech, but it’s not the best example of a shovel-ready project.

According to highway officials in Ohio and Kentucky, the bridge is still in the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase. In a best case scenario, the earliest that workers would be hired would be in 2013, but more likely 2015.

But you already knew it was a scam, because it’s Barack Obama talking.  By the way, if the Brent Spence Bridge was such a dangerously frayed bit of infrastructure, and such a potential fountain of job creation, why didn’t Obama deal with it the last time he grabbed $867 billion of our money for “job creation” and “infrastructure?” 

He should be compelled to answer that question every time he tries one of these stupid stunts.  If he was a private sector business manager, he’d be giving the answers during his exit interview, not showing up at bridges to demand another half-billion dollars.

Even if the President’s latest slab of pork actually had some direct relationship to the Brent Spence Bridge, there is no logical reason for the President of the United States to physically travel there.  It costs a lot of money for logistics and security when he leaves the White House, to say nothing of the massive inconvenience suffered by local residents.  The big-spending President who supposedly became a deficit hawk last month should not be roaming the land like itinerant royalty, pausing here and there to shower riches on the populace.  He should be sitting in his office and doing his job, not racking up unnecessary travel bills.  He’s always telling us we have to make do with less.

The express purpose of this little field trip was to apply political pressure to two congressional representatives, from the two states joined by the bridge, to make them vote in favor of a $650 billion bill that has nothing whatsoever to do with the bridge.  Those of you in the other 55 states didn’t show up on the radar screen today.

Nobody told Obama that his stupid “millionaires pay less tax than working stiffs” class-warfare talking point has been utterly and totally debunked, or he assumes his audiences are too dumb to know any better, so he keeps pushing them:

The Republicans in Congress call this class warfare. Well you know what? If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as plumber or teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I’ll wear that charge as a badge of honor. Because the only class warfare I’ve seen is the battle that’s been waged against the middle class in this country for a decade.

That’s tough talk, considering the guy delivering it blew piles of taxpayer money just to get a photo op in front of a bridge that his “stimulus” bill wouldn’t affect at all. 

I’ve got an idea: instead of bleating about how much millionaires are paying in taxes, let’s start asking tough questions about how much Barack Obama is costing us – not just through his ruinous policies, but through the tax money he burns on his re-election campaign and lavish lifestyle.  How many plumbers and teachers had to pony up the taxes it took to cover Michelle Obama’s vacations and Barack Obama’s campaign junkets?  At the very least, could the media build the total cost of his political stunts into the screen crawl when they broadcast the President’s speeches?