It's not official yet, but us Fereral Employees are getting a whoping 2% raise this upcoming year. Far below the previous years and Obama want to refurbish and upgrade military and governmental buidings, creating job (mostly to contractors - few big jobs can be handles by Public Works Departments) so the money that would equal us out to a Cost of Living is being used to maintain and often save buildings already in use - the chief reasoning is energy consevation.
I cannot blame it on Obama, but a Royal SNAFU about a decade ago was our old Administration building which had over one million dollars of restoration done to it. What wan't caught was that bids had already been placed to demolish the building and literally the demolishors had to wait for the restoration to be complee to tear it down. In most removal governmental bids, the contractors BUY the buildings, meaning that everything in the building belongs to the contractor. The incredible custom windows, super energy savers were bought and paid for using government money - not knowing that within 6 months they would be a GIFT to demo contractors who gingerly removed and sold the hundreds of windows. It is a classic case of one hand has no idea of what the other is doing.
Now think of this on a national scale, literally worldwide if US properties on foreign soil get the same treatment. I see billions of dollars turned over for the initial projects and just as much reachng the hands of demolition teams who scalp everything from boilers, windows, piping and anything that has value.
I know everthing has a life expectancy, infrastructure is falling apart - but we also need to organize the order in which projects are done, catch the mishaps listed above and take care of the roads and bridges which are crumbling after decades of no preventitive maintenance. If you have a building that can wait, then put it at the back of the line. Hit anything that need immediate care, which saves lives.
I don't mind seeing millions of people being put to work to redo the things falling apart. New York City is a classic expample, so much of it has reached its life expectancy and exceeded it - since we have IMAGINARY MONEY for bank bail-outs, wars, cash for clunkers and other costly issues, then I don't see getting an honest days work out of a needy American to rebuild our country. I feel sorry for the logistics person, it is an amazinging complicated job but I believe a necessary evil unless you want to see everything crumble to dust.
I look at National Historical Sites, rebuilt to exact original condition, but I'll never forget that Ford's Theater where Limcoln was shot had burnt to the ground and NOTHING in that building is real, it is a giant tourist stage prop. Do we need such things? At Navy Lakehurst where I am we have Hangar One, at one time the largest Hangar on the planet, housing all US Lighter Than Air Craft and of course the Hindenburg 12 times in 1936 and the morgue for those who died when the Hindengurg burst into flames on its maiden voyage in 1937. It is (or appears sound even today) it was retiled with the original white, pink and off burgandy color siding tiles many years ago and it is on the National Building Archives Register - I don't know what needs to be done to keep it running (now as a navy and DOD school on one side and a Vo-tech school on the other with a huge flight deck housing a flight simulator in the center of the structure - the flight sim is very unique, about 30 million worth of unique, it is used to teach pilots to fly UNMANNED aircraft into real battle situations.
It is part of the next generation of warfare and today Navy Lakehurst (soon, within a month to be owned and controlled by the airforce) is very different from the 30's when it was known as the AIRSHIP CAPITOL OF THE WORLD - today it is Aircraft Carrier Support Facility where launch and retrival equipment use specifically for Air Craft Carries in the fleet. We have changed and more changes coming soon, but the historical value is strong and I think that can be said about every military base.
Multiply that times the federal buidings and the project could equal or surpass the building of the National Highway System which helped dig us out from the depression. I'm for seeing American Dollars spent on American Jobs, which is better than gifting it to countries that hate us, with the hope that stuffing a few billion in their pockets will change their thinking about us - which it rarely ever does.
So giving yourself a 10% pay raise must be nice, imagine if your boss said to you "Go ahead, decide how much of a raise you'd like" just think of how it could be life changing. But of course, that doesn't happen, unless you are part of the legislative branch I guess.