We’ve received word that the Village of New Albany has received $686,000 from the federal stimulus package for road projects. According to this article, part of the money will completely pay for one planned project that involves installation of a traffic signal; the other is available for another project that involves repaving several miles of a local road. I imagine this kind of news is being repeated in communities across the country, where various local projects are being fully or partially funded with federal tax dollars.
So far as I can tell, in New Albany’s case the federal funds are being used to complete entirely local projects that otherwise would have been funded by the local taxpayers who actually use the roads. I suppose that road projects at least have some constitutional nexus to the federal government — they do have an interstate commerce impact, after all — but is this really what the federal government is for?