Ohio is going to be the keystone to any Presidential strategy. And as such, we will be seeing a lot of this President, and the Republican nominee, over the next 14 months.
But we have already seen that this President has little or nothing to offer the great state of Ohio.
Obama last week, in what can only be defined as a political stunt, went to the Brent Spence Bridge spanning the Ohio River near Cincinnati. The choice of Cincinnati was not random, as it is the home of Speaker of the House John Boehner, and lies acrosss the Ohio River from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky.
So Obama, in his usual arrogant and condescending manner, proclaimed the bridge as a perfect example of why Republicans, and all Ohioans, heck, all Americans should support his jobs plan. He stated that bridges like the Spence Bridge need to be fixed to prevent them from falling, and America could create jobs by immediately supporting his bill. In fact, Obama specifically pointed to the bridge and said it was crumbling, and we should infer that Republicans are basically putting lives at risk by not supporting the funding.
Great story. One problem: there is virtually nothing factual about Obama’s argument.
First and foremost, the Brent Spence Bridge is 48 years old. According to the Department of Transportation, and the website for the bridge repair or replacement that can be seen here, the bridge in fact is in such good repair, it could function for decades more. In fact, by the websites own analysis, it is not crumbling at all. According to the DOT, the bridge could last another 50 years with basic improvements.
There is one caveat. People are pushing for funding…to replace the bridge in its entirety. This is not because it is crumbling, or at risk of falling down. It is because business leaders argue that it is functionally obsolete. This means that the bridge, initially designed to carry approximately 85,000 cars and trucks a day, now carries almost twice that number. The problem is not structural, so much as capacity, as the bridge is a common cause of backups and delays.
So Mr. Obama’s statement of a ‘crumbling bridge’ is totally and completely a misstatement.
Furthermore, the project to replace the Spence Bridge is nowhere ready to move any time soon. According to supporters of replacing the bridge, the earliest work could even begin on a replacement is…2015. In other words, Obama would be in the third year of his second term in office before a single job was created in either Ohio or Kentucky. In fact, the project was considered so unworthy of ‘shovel ready’ status, that it was not provided funding in the first Obama stimulus specifically for that reason.
There are, of course, a multitude of problems with this. First and foremost is Obama’s ability to try to use people’s vulnerabilities, such as fear of the bridge falling down and of course the larger issue of the lack of jobs, to scare them into supporting his plan. But it gets even more fundamental than that. Obama’s jobs bill specifically states that projects must be started no less than 2 years after passage of the bill…thus making the Brent Spence Bridge ineligible for funds from the Jobs bill he is promoting, while standing in front of said bridge.
Another obvious problem is more basic with Obama’s, and most liberals, solution for economic growth. Nothing they do today will have virtually anything other than a minimal effect for years. And even then, the large stimulative effect on the economy is questionable at best. In short, this administration is simply out of ideas on creating jobs or on moving the economy again, and simply is lying to voters across the nation in order to distract the American people from that reality.