It takes 42 seconds for David Plouffe to bring up “roads and bridges” when discussing Obama’s jobs plan tonight.
The stimulus spent $105.8 billion on infrastructure — in Obama’s words, “the largest new investment in our nation’s infrastructure since Eisenhower built an interstate highway system in the 1950s” — and was supposed to create 400,000 jobs.
The month the stimulus passed, 6.45 million Americans were employed in the construction sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It declined every following month until February 2010, when it hit 5.53 million; the following months saw a very modest improvement to 5.55 million, an increase of about 17,000 jobs. It has ranged between 5.56 million and 5.47 million since then, bottoming out in January 2011.
In other words, in no point since the passage of the stimulus has the number of Americans working in the construction industry increased by any figure even remotely close to 400,000. The range from the bottom in that time (January of this year) to the subsequent peak (May) is 51,000.