What’s the Big Deal About a Measly $9.1 Billion?

The Los Angeles Times reports that after all the talk about stimulating the economy with public works and “shovel-ready” projects, it turns out that the State of California has been sitting on $9.1 billion in infrastructure bonds that have been sold, without any infrastructure being created thus far. George Skelton, $9 Billion Looking for a Job, L.A. Times, October 16, 2011. Click here. What that means is that instead of building roads (some of which are badly needed — just ask the traffic-bound commuters around here), the state is paying about $630 million per year to service this debt with nothing to show for it.

Why is this happeneing? Quoth Mr. Skelton, the author of this article: “No one I talked to seems to know. They are trying to find out. Or they’re waiting for someone to tell them.”

Your tax money at work.

Follow up. We are reminded that this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. A while back the L.A. Times brought the dispatch that the State was sitting on some $2 billion earmarked for road projects which were not being implemented. See Virginia Ellis, Davis’ Road Funding Plan Criticized, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 2000, p. A3.


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