Supporters of the package describe the legislation as transportation and infrastructure investment, the idea being to use new spending to put America back to work while at the same time fixing decrepit infrastructure. However, only 17 percent of the discretionary spending in this package is for infrastructure items. More worrisome still, the final version lacks any mechanism to ensure that spending will be targeted toward infrastructure projects with high economic returns.
If we include the massive amount of interest that will accrue on the increased debt, the overall cost will total to $1.14 trillion.
The conference report dedicates 30 percent of all discretionary spending to 33 new programs totaling $95 billion and expands 73 programs which are normally part of the regular appropriations process by $92 billion.
So now funds can go to museums, stadiums, arts centers, theaters, parks, or highway beautification projects. Most significantly, this reopens the door for many of the projects on the U.S. Conference of Mayors' wish list of "shovel ready" projects that includes many items that are nothing but waste and pork, such as doorbells, construction of dog parks, replacement of street lights, and money for a "mob museum."