Daily Chart: Transportation Stimulus Spending

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The Recovery Act The New York Times says that doubts are rising about Obama's stimulus plan, and raps the states on the knuckles for spending a lot of that money on the rural areas rather than cities. James Pethokoukis and the The National Review (!) say enough funds aren't being used for infrastructure and job creation projects. And USA Today says the money that is being used for infrastructure projects isn't being used properly.

I find these complaints pretty strange, since (1) we all knew the original bill contained a relatively small amount of infrastructure spending; and (2) all of the state allocation decisions are made by the states themselves. (It's fun to blame Obama for some stuff, sure, but not decisions over which he had no control!) More importantly, one of the points made by the Government Accountability Office's stimulus report (which came out this week, and which most of the above critics cite) is that state highway spending -- the biggest infrastructure chunk -- is ahead of schedule.

The GAO looked at 16 states, and all of them were ahead of schedule (click for a full version of this chart):
 

highway spending.png

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Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. More

Conor Clarke is the editor, with Michael Kinsley, of Creative Capitalism, an economics blog that was recently published in book form by Simon and Schuster. He was previously a fellow at The Atlantic and an editor at The Guardian. He is also on Twitter.
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