have a responsibility to fix them.
Now, we have another responsibility. Having inherited a trillion-dollar deficit that we’re working to cut in half, we also need to ensure that tax dollars aren’t wasted on projects that don’t deliver results. And that’s why, as part of his duty, Joe will keep an eye on how precious tax dollars are being spent. To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff — (laughter) — because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him.
And to help him, I’ve appointed a proven and aggressive Inspector General to root out waste and fraud. And I’m also deputizing every single American to visit a new website called recovery.gov so you can see where your tax dollars are going and hold us accountable for results.
We’re also making it easier for Americans to see what projects are being funded with their money as part of our recovery. So in the weeks to come, the signs denoting these projects are going to bear the new emblem of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. That’s it right there. Transportation projects will be stamped with another emblem, as well. These emblems are symbols of our commitment to you, the American people — a commitment to investing your tax dollars wisely, to put Americans to work doing the work that needs to be done. So when you see them on projects that your tax dollars made possible, let it be a reminder that our government — your government — is doing its part to put the economy back on the road of recovery.
And so, in the days and years ahead, as you’re driving on new roads or roads that are newly paved, I hope it will give you some measure of satisfaction to know that it was all done by putting your fellow citizens to work. I hope it will give you a sense of pride to know that even as we pursued our economic recovery, we renewed our American landscape.
Throughout our history, there have been times when a generation of Americans seized the chance to remake the face of this nation. It’s what we did in the midst of civil war by connecting our coasts with a transcontinental railroad. It’s what we did in the midst of depression by putting up a golden bridge in San Francisco, and electrifying rural America, and completing a great dam in the Southwest. It’s what we’re doing once more — by building a 21st century infrastructure that will make America’s economy stronger and America’s people safer.
That’s the reason we’re here today. That’s the purpose of our recovery plan. That’s the cause of my presidency, and I need it to be your cause, as well. Each and every one of you have a role to play. (Applause.)
There are those out there who say this can’t be done — it can’t be done efficiently, it can’t be done effectively. We’ve gone through a lot of years where we were told what government cannot do.