It’s a given, during the presidential primary debates, that the billions of federal “stimulus” dollars were wasted. That money was said to be gone, vanished, and for no good purpose.

Never mind that about a third of the funds went for tax cuts, and another third to keep states’ finances afloat. The final third, which financed improvements such as roads and buildings, generally wasn’t wasted either.

For example, a recent News & Observer article about the new North Carolina National Guard Joint Force Headquarters, in Raleigh, mentioned that the facility — which sensibly brings together the Guard, the Highway Patrol’s emergency communications center, along with Department of Transportation and other state emergency personnel — was paid for in large part with federal stimulus funds. It’s the largest single Recovery Act project in the state.

This is an up-to-date building designed to do an important job, for years to come. Constructing it created jobs; having it creates public-safety efficiencies. Is that the waste they’re talking about?

— The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., Feb. 20

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