When it comes to federal spending for Indiana projects, Gov. Mike Pence is discovering the view from his Statehouse desk is a lot different from his old stomping ground in the U.S. House.
Consider the governor's visit to Hammond on Thursday: Pence cheered the start of the Indiana Gateway rail improvements that will help speed freight and passenger rail travel through Northwest Indiana.
"I say let's blow the horn, let's get the Gateway open and be on the way to a more prosperous Indiana," Pence proclaimed at the Hammond-Whiting Amtrak station.
The $71.4 million project will cut delays at region rail crossings by 70 hours a year, shave an hour off Amtrak trips between Chicago and Detroit, and create an estimated 700 jobs, according to Pence's Indiana Department of Transportation.
But the money for the project isn't coming from INDOT.
The Indiana Gateway is being paid for by the federal government through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more commonly known as the stimulus . . .Pence didn't have much good to say about the very federal stimulus program in 2009 when he stood and spoke in opposition to it. Pence said then it wouldn't put Americans back to work, and it wouldn't create jobs. It will, however, stimulate more government and more debt, which Pence apparently likes as a governor on the receiving end of those federal dollars that are much enjoyed by the contractors who contribute the lion's share of money to his campaign committee.