The ($50 Billion) Road to Serfdom

The cornerstone of Obama’s Labor Day speech before a union audience was a $50 billion transfer of wealth from taxpayers to Big Labor. Porkulus 3.0 will not create jobs for years (if at all), but it will raise gasoline prices

Aside from taking time to feel sorry for himself, Obama unveiled a proposal to spend $50 billion on roads and infrastructure, which he promised “will not only create jobs immediately, it’s also going to make our economy hum over the long haul.”

His administration immediately admitted he lied. A senior Obama official, who would speak only anonymously, said: “We’re not like trying to put out an idea today that in October 2010, this is going to create a lot of jobs. This is not what this is.”

The Washington Times added, “Senior administration officials said measures for economic progress will take effect mostly in the long run and likely will do little to lower the 9.6 percent unemployment rate anytime soon.” (Emphasis added.) Even if it is passed, they admitted “Congress might not authorize funding for the six-year plan until after November and that no more jobs will be created until 2011.”

Most of those jobs would be staffed by the people behind him on the stage: union thugs and Democratic Party donors. The AFL-CIO and SEIU together have devoted $88 million to the 2010 midterms, which is $20 million more than unions spent in 2008. They have already spent $14 million in California alone to support Democrat Jerry Brown. Obama’s payback to the unions is by no means coincidental.

However, the plan Obama is selling to cure unemployment today (“immediately”) will not be in effect fully until after his second term (or, we pray, his successor’s first).

Reading the fine print reveals something else: the price tag is not really $50 billion.

The Washington Times reported that administrations officials would not even reveal how much the full plan costs, only that they claimed $50 billion is “a large percentage” of it.

The New York Times for once has a more honest estimate. It figures the total cost will run closer to $400 million. The $50 million is the attempt to “frontload” the waste — err, “stimulus.”

The NYT also revealed how this will be paid for: by you, at the gas pumps. “The White House is proposing to offset the $50 billion by eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry,” it reports. Those industries will promptly pass those new costs onto consumers, raising gasoline prices higher yet. Coupled with a potential Mideastern war over Iran’s nuclear program, gasoline could hit catastrophic price levels. That idea makes Obama’s Green Left advisers smile uncontrollably, since they see human impoverishment as good for the environment.

There may be new costs to drivers, as well. Obama called for an “Infrastructure Bank” to regulate and finance these ventures. One such proposal, made by Rosa DeLauro, D-CT, states that any private company that helped finance roads and bridges should “expect a competitive return on their money, so many of the completed projects would have to charge fees, taxes or tolls.”

The program will have no discernible effect on unemployment, will cost much more than advertised, raise gasoline prices, and make driving over public roads a potentially costly experience. In return, Obama will transfer massive sums of taxpayer money from people who earned it to union bosses and their foot soldiers, the backbone of the Democratic Party. Most likely, government propaganda signs will dot every project, announcing that Barack Obama is “Putting Americans Back to Work.”

Obama is putting Americans to work — for generations, to repay the debt he is running up to bribe his thuggish allies and impose his radical agenda.