Kate Hinds of Transportation Nation was sharp-eyed enough to pull this quote out of a lengthy profile by Peter Baker in this weekend's NYT.
The full quote reads: "Infrastructure has the benefit of for every dollar you spend on infrastructure, you get a dollar and a half in stimulus because there are ripple effects from building roads or bridges or sewer lines. But the problem is, is that spending it out takes a long time, because there's really nothing - there's no such thing as shovel-ready projects."
Back at the end of 2009, Planetizen identified the problem with the "shovel-ready" requirement as one of the top planning issues of that year:
"Though many officials had hoped the ARRA money was going to jumpstart more progressive projects, the program's emphasis on quick projects and "use-it-or-lose-it" deadlines turned much of the program's forward-thinking ideals into underwhelming realities."