Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The 10 Wackiest 'Stimulus' Scams

Please consider the following boondoggles, selected from the Coburn report issued earlier today (PDF). Each was chosen from projects funded by the $862 billion "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act", which -- by itself -- helped push the national debt 23 percent higher.

10. Coordinating Traffic Lights (Sebring, FL) - $1.1 million

The Florida Energy and Climate Commission, created by Governor Charlie Crist (Crist), blew more than a million bucks so that city officials wouldn't be inconvenienced by 14 traffic lights.

9. 'Low-income' housing at $300K apiece (Rochester, NY) - $3.3 million

One of north Rochester’s poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods just got a pricey upgrade. Your grandchildrens' money bought 23 new homes in 'El Camino Estates' at an average cost of $300K. Average median value in the neighborhood? $50K. Don't question the Democrats, peons. They know what they're doing. So shut up and pay your taxes.

8. iPods for one high school (Salt Lake City, UT) - $1 million

“About 1,600 students at Kearns High School in Utah will get iPod Touches next school year, thanks to a federal stimulus 'Enhancing Education Through Technology' grant" (that name was selected over 'F***ing Taxpayers Thoroughly' branding). They will use the devices during class, take them home after school, and according to one student, get to keep them if they graduate on-time. “I think that will be the coolest thing ever,” said a student. “I think that might be a little initiative for those who are thinking of not graduating to graduate, kind of a going-away present... [T]eachers will be trained to use the iPods to engage students so their attention doesn’t wander."

7. Study: Will a Soda Tax Stimulate Health? (Chicago, IL) - $521K

The Obama administration has repeatedly considered taxing soda and other sugary drinks. Finally, your grandchildren's money will be spent studying the relationship between taxes and obesity..

6. 'Museum' with less than 50 visitors a year (Raleigh, NC) - $250K

What is the best way to simultaneously preserve an insect collection, promote a haiku contest and produce bug baseball cards? Simple. A grant to the North Carolina State University Insect Museum. The museum boasts being an “internationally recognized resource for the study of insects and mites in North Carolina, the Southeastern United States, and, in several insect groups, the world.” The museum, which has “virtually no public presence” (it gets about 44 visitors a year), will also use the money for outreach efforts. It also hosts the annual Hexapod Haiku Challenge every March on its blog.

5. Liquor business gets big bucks (Colorado) - $5 million

Colorado liquor distilleries, breweries and wineries are getting $5 million in stimulus-backed business loans. According to the Colorado Recovery Act website, some of the alcohol-related recipients include $1.1 million for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. The store, which claims to be the first whiskey distiller in the state, describes its whiskey this way: "It’s not often you can bottle up the Rockies, or cup your
hands in a mountain stream."

4. Commerce Dept. Makeover and Door Shift (Washington, DC) - $183 million

The Hoover building in Washington has been rehabbed at a cost of nearly $1 billion over the last decade. It houses approximately 3,500 federal employees at the Department of Commerce, the White House Visitor Center, and the National Aquarium. The money will be used renovating unused office space for temporarily rotating groups of up to 400 Commerce employees at a time and ripping out
walls to install 16 miles of insulation. And moving a door to the aquarium.

3. Snow-making equipment and chair lifts (Mt. Snow, Vermont) - $25 million

Mt. Snow will use the stimulus dollars to replace two chairlifts, construct a 120-million-gallon storage pond for snowmaking, and install additional snowmaking fan guns. "Mount Snow was pursuing the chairlift renovations when they learned that government stimulus funds were available for ski area capital improvements."

2. Fake News Videos Pitching ObamaCare (NYC, New York) - $25 million

What do you do when a key government program is unpopular with the general public? In the case of the stimulus, you sign a multi-million dollar contract with a public relations firm previously embroiled in controversy. For some time, the administration’s push for health information technology systems has faced significant public resistance because of privacy concerns. In response, the Department of Health and Human Services spent $25.8 million on a contract with Ketchum Inc. to help win over public opinion. Ketchum was criticized before, however, on other governmental work. The reason? Producing fake TV news stories for government agencies.

1. Restoring a 'national park' that's almost 100% underwater (FL) - $13 million

Visitors to Key West, Florida with enough time and money can explore one of the National Park Service’s less convenient destinations: Dry Tortugas National Park. Located 70 miles offshore, the park is almost entirely underwater and accessible only by airplane or private boat. Despite its relative inaccessibility, the park will get $13,304,484 in repairs for its barely above-water attraction, Fort Jefferson. Those willing to take the 4 1/2 hour round-trip ferry ride aboard the Yankee Freedom II have to pay as much as $165 per person, but will discover that only 40 of the park’s 65,000 acres are dry land.

By the way, isn't a vast, unaccountable, centralized government awesome? Democrats are so very careful with your money, it's almost like they're spending their own dough.


家唐銘 said...

Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.............................................................

Brooklyn said...

"1. Restoring a 'national park' that's almost 100% underwater (FL) - $13 million"

Nearly as bright as the Clintons sending BILLIONS to North Korea to empower a monstrous Dictatorship - who predictably lied about the Nuke Program.

The Clintons basically did the same thing, as sending Billions in Funds, Aid, Food, Technology to the nutty Dictatorship, like tossing Taxpayer Money right out the window of a moving car.

That is the DNC insanity...