Former Transportation Secretary Mary Peters on Arizona Stimulus Dustup

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters takes Obama cabinet members to task in a letter to the editor in the Arizona Republic today responding to the recent Arizona stimulus dustup:

With due respect to my successor, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and his colleagues, their suggestion that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer either endorse expenditures under the $787 billion stimulus bill or forfeit funds lawfully provided to our state under that law is an astonishing threat to the citizens of Arizona.

These threats are made in response to Sen. Jon Kyl’s comments on ABC’s This Weekthat the recovery act is not working and funds not yet expended should be stopped. It is strange that the administration took such offense to Sen. Kyl’s remarks.

Vice President Joe Biden commented the week prior that the 9.5 percent unemployment rate is “much too high.” The administration predicted that unemployment would stay below 8 percent with its stimulus plan. Biden further commented that the administration had “misread how bad the economy was” while discussing the effectiveness of the stimulus act.

As I did while serving as U.S. Transportation secretary, these Cabinet officials took an oath of office swearing that “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” Politically based threats to withhold funds approved by Congress and signed into law by the president do not appear to be consistent with that oath.

– Mary Peters, Peoria
The writer served as U.S. secretary of Transportation from 2006 to 2009.

If you missed Secretary Peters’ piece in Reason Foundation’s Innovators in Action 2008, you can download it here.