When President-elect Obama came to Washington in late 2008, he was outspoken about the need for an economic stimulus to revive a struggling economy.
He wanted billions of dollars spent on "shovel-ready projects" to build roads; billions more for developing alternative-energy projects; and additional billions for expanding broadband Internet access and creating a "smart grid" for energy consumption. After he was sworn in as president, he proclaimed that taxpayer money would assuredly not be doled out to political friends.
"Decisions about how Recovery Act dollars are spent will be based on the merits," he said, referring to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. "Let me repeat that:
decisions about how recovery money will be spent will be based on the merits. They will not be made as a way of doing favors for lobbyists."
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