The Washington Post

How’s 12 Hoover Dams?

It’s inaccurate enough when conservatives claim that President Obama’s stimulus “accomplished nothing” or “didn’t work,” but another misleading meme is that the stimulus made no public investments of lasting value.  My colleague Charles Krauthammer repeats that canard in his Friday column:

Obama loves to cite great federal projects such as the Hoover Dam and the interstate highway system. Fine.  Name one thing of any note created by Obama’s Niagara of borrowed money. A modernized electric grid? Ports dredged to receive the larger ships soon to traverse a widened Panama Canal? Nothing of the sort. Solyndra, anyone?

Well, speaking of the Hoover Dam, how would 12 Hoover dams do for starters?    

As my colleagues at the Center for American Progress note, the stimulus created the equivalent of a dozen Hoover Dams.  They write:

The maximum output of the Hoover Dam is about 2 gigawatts of electricity. The increase in U.S. wind-power output under the Obama administration so far has been 25 gigawatts — 12 times as much as produced by the dam. Under normal wind conditions, that’s enough to power over 6 million more homes with renewable, environmentally-friendly energy. That explosion in wind-power didn’t happen by chance: as Michael Grunwald points out in a Time column today, it was “the Obama stimulus bill that revived the wind industry and the rest of the clean-tech sector from a near-death experience.”

Bottom line per CAP: “The United States has doubled its annual wind power output to 50 gigawatts, thanks in large part to the stimulus bill, enabling us to keep pace with China, the world’s wind power leader.” 

Surely reasonable conservatives would agree that 12 Hoover Dams ain’t bad for government stimulus work.    


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