Little noticed this afternoon was President Obama's second trip of his term to the Department of Transportation where he gave remarks on the progress of the stimulus projects so far. The highlight was the announcement that they have already approved 2,000 (!) stimulus projects in just 41 days.
But the kicker was this little nugget of joy:
Today, because these projects are getting approved more quickly than we thought, thanks to in large part the outstanding work of the TIGER team and folks here at the Department of Transportation, and because these projects are costing less than we thought, we can utter a sentence rarely heard in recent years: This government effort is coming in ahead of schedule and under budget.
....And that's why I'm pleased to hear that in state after state across America, competition for these projects is so fierce, and contractors are doing such a good job cutting costs, that projects are consistently coming in under budget. The final bid for one road project in Connecticut was $8.4 million less than the state budgeted for. Another one in Louisiana was $4.7 million less. (Diarist's note: Take THAT, Gov. Jindal!) A project at BWI Airport will be completed for $8 million less than expected. Bids for projects in North Carolina have been 19 percent under budget. Colorado is reporting bids up to 30 percent less than they expected. And the officials in California have seen bids that are close to half as much as they had projected.
More at Daily Kos.
Hearing that these projects are coming in "under-budget" is something that should disuade some skeptics from saying that the stimulus package is going to come back to haunt us. Why? Well, from my perspective, one would think that the unused money just might be returned.
Think about it, millions add up. And just within the transportation sector alone, they add up FAST.
As commentor Julie Gulden @ Kos pointed out
just in time for the tea parties
Indeed, Julie - indeed.
But don't get excited just yet.
The "tea-bag-festivities" are also taking aim at the TARP program initially put forward by the Right's second-favorite President, George W. The only problem, is that they are focusing their rage in that particular catagory upon the man that has to deal with the reprocussions of that program.
But, there is a small beacon of light.
Goldman Sachs, in another sign that banks may be turning around, beat Wall Street's earnings expectations as it reported a profit of $1.66 billion for the first three months of this year. The bank also said it planned to raise $5 billion in stock to help it pay back government bailout funds.
Is that starting to work out now that we have new eyes on the horizon? Only time will tell.