Unable to find a coherent reason to oppose President Obama’s economic recovery legislation, conservatives have been cherry-picking a few provisions from the recovery package to poke fun at. One of those “controversial” aspects is funding the revitalization of the National Mall.
Today, Fox News’s Major Garrett asked White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about the National Mall funding. Gibbs sharply explained that revitalizing the Mall would be good for tourism, job opportunities, and small business growth:
GIBBS: When we met on the first day of our presidency, we were on the Mall, right? 1.8 million people stood on the Mall, which happens to be the most visited national park that we have, right? I think that you can make a very credible case and the economic team has that reconditioning the National Mall will create jobs — probably through spending in small businesses. … You know, how is hiring cops stimulative? Well, if you’re about to fire cops, then hiring cops is stimulative. It’s putting people back to work.
“When we speed down the interstate and it says, Slow, workers ahead, those are jobs,” he added. Watch it:
Indeed, after Obama’s inauguration, the turf of the National Mall is virtually destroyed. A local DC network reports that park rangers are eagerly waiting for the Obama recovery package:
Rangers with the National Park Service say with close to 25 million visiting the mall each year it’s almost impossible to keep it in pristine shape, but they try. They also say they are waiting to see if part of President Obama’s proposed stimulus package might send funds their way, so they can make the needed improvements.
“Congress seems to be waking up to its responsibility to provide the money for needed repairs,” wrote the Washington Post on Sunday. Gibbs concluded, “I think the president believes that we’ll all be in political trouble if we don’t get people back to work. We’re all in a big boat, and we’re all having to row.”