Tuesday, October 23, 2012

After Bashing Government Spending, Romney Campaigns At National Landmark Built By The New Deal

On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney and his campaign advisers have made a habit of attacking the 2009 Recovery Act (i.e. the stimulus). Romney calls the stimulus, “the largest one-time careless expenditure of government money in American history.” During Monday night’s final presidential debate, Romney even scoffed at the very idea that government spending can lead to job growth, saying “it’s not government investments that make businesses grow and hire people.”

But just one day later, Romney and Paul Ryan will hold a rally at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a national landmark built by depression-era stimulus.

The iconic amphitheater only exists today because of a New Deal program called the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Civilian Conservation Corps employed three million workers over the course of its run. There is even a statue commemorating the workers who constructed the amphitheater, with a panel that reads:

Red Rocks Amphitheater was the Civilian Conservation Corps’ largest and most ambitious project. A crew of about 300 young men at any one time lived in barracks near Morrison and worked on the theatre from 1936 to 1941, with help from the National Parks Service and Works Progress Administration. They laid 10 boxcar loads of cement and put down 90,000 square feet of flagstone quarried at Lyons, Colorado.

FDR described the 1930s-era program in a radio address: “In creating this civilian conservation corps we are killing two birds with one stone. We are clearly enhancing the value of our natural resources and second, we are relieving an appreciable amount of actual distress.” Romney has repeatedly railed against federal investments atcompanies and colleges that collected stimulus funding.

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