Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti praised Barack Obama for his generosity toward Los Angeles–using other people’s money–on Thursday.
Garcetti credited Obama’s involvement for the federal government’s approval of the $1 billion plan to turn the concrete Los Angeles River into a more natural waterway. Half of the funds for the project will come from the federal government, which means national taxpayers are being fleeced so that Los Angelenos can restore the river.
Garcetti had visited Washington, D.C. just prior to the Army Corps of Engineers approving the $1 billion plan and shelving their own modest $453 million plan. Garcetti gushed, “I personally want to thank President Obama for listening to me many times on this.” He bragged, “It’s not easy to find money in Washington these days, but when people saw the merits of this, even with limited funds, they said we need to be a part of changing history in this great city, in this great waterway.”
The federal government is already spending heavily in L.A. Just months ago, certain areas in Los Angeles were named “Promise Zones,” receiving money from the federal government. Not only that, but on Wednesday, the Southern California region received grants from the federal government to attract manufacturers.
On Thursday, four L.A. City Council members, Mitch O’Farrell, Jose Huizar, Tom LaBonge and Gil Cedillo, lauded Garcetti for his efforts to lobby the White House. O’Farrell said getting the money for the waterway was due to “the relationship that our mayor has built with our president.”
Garcetti admitted Thursday that he didn’t know how he would raise the $500 million that the city and state have to produce towards the project. He asserted that the project would take ten years to build and would create 9,000 jobs.