Monday, March 31, 2014

Fact-Checking Governor Pence's Job Creation Claim From Highway Spending Bill

When Gov. Mike Pence signed into law last week a $400 million highway spending bill, he claimed projects funded by the new spending would create nearly 10,000 new jobs. WTHR's Bob Segall fact-checks the claim and find it's bogus. The governor's office relied on a 2007 federal highway report that suggested that every $1 billion spent on highway spending equates to about 27,800 jobs. The job claim number used by the governor's office was extrapolated from that estimate.

What Segall found was that the 2007 report cautioned that the job numbers referred to the number of jobs supported by the spending, not the actual number of new jobs created by the spending. Segall also found another more recent federal report that suggested the actual number of jobs supported by $400 million in spending would be closer to 4,300 jobs rather than the 9,800 job number touted by Pence.

In a separate report this past weekend by the Evansville Courier & Press, questions were raised about the wisdom of Gov. Pence's plan to build the I-69 extension from Bloomington to Martinsville through the use of a public-private agreement. The Pence administration has awarded the project to a Netherlands-based company, Isolux Infrastructure, to upgrade the 21-mile stretch of State Road 37 as another connecting link for I-69. The state will kick in $80 million upfront, while the private contractor will provide $325 million in funding for the extension. In addition, Indiana will make annual payments of $21.8 million to the private consortium over the next 35 years, or a total of $763 million, in exchange for the private consortium agreeing to maintain the highway.

By comparison, $700 million in Major Moves funding was provided for construction of the the nearly 100-mile stretch of new highway from Evansville to Bloomington. State Road 37 between Martinsville and Bloomington is already a 4-lane interstate quality highway absent the interchanges. It looks like Pence is just relying on a public-private agreement for the sake of privatization without any regard to the the extra cost future generations of taxpayers will bear to pay for this small stretch of highway. I hate to see the tab for the final leg between Martinsville and Indianapolis.


  1. "Born to Lie" -- now that's a suitable campaign slogan for our our liar-in-chief.1523

  2. Dr. Hare....Those responsible for this are also members of the Daniels/Pence/Bosma/Turner and more team...Speaks volumes of on-going agenda's...Marion Mayor and more..They call it the tea party..I call it corruption agenda...

  3. Chas. M. Navarra7:04 AM GMT-5

    Anon 11:28- I highly doubt that true Tea Party Constitutional Conservatives would call "Daniels/Pence/Bosma/Turner et al." Tea Party members but rather would correctly identify them as members of the RINO Republicans who advocate crony relationships [and possibly self-advancement] over the best interests of the people. And to be fair, the other major party is not at all brightness and light either.

  4. Well said Anon. and Chas.