Tuscumbia, Missouri. Remember that name. It's bound to become a symbol of the Obama recovery program - for better or for worse. A bridge outside Tuscumbia is the first project to have been undertaken with funds from the $787 billion stimulus package recently passed by Congress and signed by the President. It is destined to be referred to over and over again in the years to come.
Obviously, the President and the people of Tuscumbia - where hundreds of jobs have been lost of late - hope that the money being invested in rebuilding the Tuscumbia bridge will filter through and trickle out to ironworkers, concrete makers, pavers, landscapers, and workers in a wide range of endeavors. If so, the bridge will be a perpetual symbol of government's ability to renew and revive a faltering economy and restore hope to a fearful people.
But what if the bridge falls victim to the self-centered tendencies of people who know every way from Sunday how to stretch a federal earmark into more dollars spread out over longer periods of time than the project should reasonably require? In that case the bridge at Tuscumbia will haunt the Obama administration like a dirty shirt, a symbol of hubris, corruption, and government waste,