Friday, August 6, 2010

Stupid Spending

Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John McCain of Arizona released a report detailing 100 examples the unnecessary spending of the federal government with stimulus money.

Much of the stimulating is for wastful spenting and stupid research. Unemployment is also stimulated. It is much higher now than when Democrats alone passed the $862 billion dollar program.

Eighteen months later, the goverrmnet spending has pushed the national debt up 23% to 13.2 trillion dollars.

Senator Coburn estimating that 15 percent of all the stimulus money spent so far "is pure waste." Most of the projects have very little to do with creating jobs. The ants, rats and fish don’t get the money. It goes into someone’s pocket.

"When we run $1.4 trillion deficits, the money we spend ought to be a high priority for the American people as a whole," Mr. Coburn said.
Here’s the list for 2010:

1. $1.5 million in free" stimulus money for a new wastewater treatment plant results in higher utility costs for residents of Perkins, Oklahoma.

2. $1 billion for FutureGen in Mattoon, Illinois is the biggest earmark of all time" for a power plant that may never work.

3. $15 million for shovel-ready" repairs to little-used bridges in rural Wisconsin are given priority over widely used bridges that are structurally deficient.

4. $800,000 for little-used John Murtha Airport in Johnstown, Pennsylvania airport to repave a back-up runway; the Airport for Nobody" has already received tens of millions in taxpayer dollars.

5. $3.4 million for a wildlife eco-passage" in Florida to take animals safely under a busy roadway.

6. Nevada non-profit gets $2 million weatherization contract after recently being fired for same type of work.

7. $1.15 million for installation of a new guard rail for the non-existent Optima Lake in Oklahoma.

8. Nearly $10 million to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years.

9. 10,000 dead people get stimulus checks, but the Social Security Administration blames a tough deadline.

10. Town of Union, New York, encouraged to spend a $578,000 grant it did not request for a homelessness problem it claims it does not have.

11. Upgraded Office Space and Indoor Parking for Kansas Politicians (Topeka, Kansas) - $39.7 million plus: “The school finance crisis in Kansas continues with no end in sight,” announced the Lawrence Journal- World, but that has not stopped Kansas lawmakers from directing federal stimulus funds towards the cost of renovating and upgrading their own offices and the statehouse.

12. Agency Under a Cloud Keeps Pool Open for the Summer at No Charge (Youngstown, OH) -

13. Project Costs Jobs, Drastically Reduces Shopping Center Business (Normandy Park, WA) -
$3.8 million

14. Mohegan Sun Casino Owner Uses Funds for WNBA Practice Facility (Connecticut) - $54

15. Tree Planting and Urban Forest Creation (NV, SC, PA, GA) – $2.6 million

16. Restoration of One of Nation’s Least Visited Parks, Located on Remote Island (Key West,
FL) - $13.3 million

17. Firm Gets No-Bid Environmental Cleanup Contract – for a Mess It Helped Make (Simi
Valley, CA) - $15.8 million

18. Jamming for Dollars (Atlanta, GA) - $762,372

19. Nevada Prison’s Biomass Plant Too Expensive to Operate (Carson City, NV) - $620,000

20. Monkey and Chimpanzee Responses to Inequity (Atlanta, GA) - $677,462

21. Quit Smoking, Get a New Phone (Washington, D.C.) - $497,893 : Whether they use the patch, the gum, or go cold turkey, millions of Americans try to quit smoking every year for their own health. Now, Uncle Sam will give them an additional reason to quit: a taxpayer- funded smartphone.

22. Streetscaping Project Costs Jobs, Threatens Local Businesses (Twin Lakes, WI) - $899,853

23. Helping Siberians Lobby Russian Policymakers (San Francisco, CA) - $199,862

24. Ship Museum Averaging 30 Visitors A Day (Toledo, OH) - $200,000

25. Weather Predictions for Other Planets (San Antonio, TX) - $298,543

26. Shoddy Weatherization Contractor Promises Changes (Houston, TX) - $11.2 million

27. Army Corps of Engineers Gets Its Due With Museum Exhibits (St. Louis, MO) - $430,695

28. Monkeys Get High for Science (Winston-Salem, NC) - $144,541

29. Field Trip Reimbursements and Inflated Job Numbers (Oakland, CA) - $3.1 million

30. Two Riders an Hour Get Brand New Buses (Winter Haven, FL) - $2.4 million230

31. Studying the Effect of Local Populations on the the Himalayas (Ann Arbor,
MI) - $529,648 : The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded researchers at the University of Michigan a grant to study the “reciprocal relationship between population processes (marriage, fertility, and migration) and the environment (landusefcover [sic], vegetation abundance, species diversity, and consumption of natural resources) in the foothills of the Nepalese Himalayas.”

32. Public Relations Firm Wins Big Stimulus Bucks (New York, NY) - $25.8 million

33. Contractor Convicted of Public Corruption Gets Public Money for Sidewalk Contract
(Monroe, LA) - $211,468

34. Youth Center Awarded Grant May Not Get Built (Glendale, CA) - $131,000

35. ”Aqua City” Water Park Makes a Splash (Dunkirk, NY) - $153,52

36. Scientist Attempts to Create Joke Machine (Evanston, IL) - $712,883264

37. Eighth Rock From the Sun (Berkeley, CA) - $456,663

38. Reducing Menopausal Hot Flashes Through Yoga (Winston-Salem, NC) - $294,958

39. Research: Marketing Video Games to the Elderly (Raleigh, NC and Atlanta, GA) - $1.2

40. Contractor Gets Millions In Stimulus Funds Despite Lawsuits and Numerous Federal
Probes ($6.5 million)

41. Improving Privacy on Social Networking Websites (Durham, NC) - $498,176: Researchers at Duke University in North Carolina have received a grant from the National Science Foundation worth almost a half million dollars for investigating new networking approaches for improved privacy and functionality for social networking websites such as Facebook and MySpace.

42. Band Shell Mural Gets Fresh Paint Job (Helena, MT) - $18,500

43. Microchips Track Citizen Use of Recycling Bins (Dayton, OH) - $500,000

44. Ferry Boat Company Serving Island of 600 Gets Terrorism Prevention Grant (Beaver Island,
MI) - $30,000

45. Understanding Perceptions of the Economic Stimulus (Dallas, TX & Houston, TX) -

46. Agency Spends Nearly $1 Million on Overhead Instead of Jobs Programs (California) -

47. Snowmaking and Chairlifts at Mt. Snow (West Dover, VT) - $25 million

48. SBA Contracts Evade Competition Rules - $4.3 million

49. Stimulus Turns Local Business’s Waterfront into Sandbox (Lancaster, VA) – $450,000

50. Tour Boat Showcases High Life In Hyannis (Cape Cod, MA) - $43,214
51. Program Gets Money It Doesn’t Need - $362 million : When a federal agency says that one of its programs has too much money, it is the surest sign that the program has too much money. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $400 million for Women Infant and Children (WIC) program, on top of the program’s regular allotment, to ensure the payments during the economic downturn. What made it unusual, however, was that WIC already has a $125 million “contingency reserve fund” that Congress replenishes each year.

52. Over Budget Perry Hill School Renovation Gets Stimulus Grant While Teachers Get Pink
Slips (Shelton, CT) - $175,800

53. School In Need of New Roof And HVAC Instead Gets Concession Stand (Montross, VA) -

54. Law and Order: Spanish Empire (Miami, FL) - $59,845

55. Airport Receives $800,000 To Improve Wildlife Fence (West Lafayette, IN) - $665,880

56. State-of-the-Art Animal Shelter Given Energy Upgrade (Roswell, NM) - $195,500

57. High School Baseball Field Canopy, Concession Stand Repaired (Choctaw, MS) - $189,000

58. 14 Flat Screen Televisions for the State Department (NY, VT, GA, TX, CA) - $36,924

59. Commerce Department Gets Makeover, Moves Aquarium Door (Washington, DC) - $185 million

60. Planting Palm Trees (Fresno, CA) - $341,000

61. Booze Business in Colorado Gets Stimulus Loans (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.

62. Second Least Busy Train Stop in New York Given Twice What it Needs to Renovate Station
(Rouses Point, NY) - $833,000

63. Residents Dismissed as Tilting at Windmill (Union Beach, NJ) - $5.8 million

64. Are Viewers Primed by Prime-Time Politics? (Princeton, NJ & Ann Arbor, MI) -$317,216

65. DTV “Experts” Plug Boxes Into a Wall (Buffalo, NY) - $350,000

66. Learn How Life Works on a Smartphone (Cambridge, MA) - $435,271
67. If Government Builds it, They Will Come . . . We Hope (Lakewood, IL) - $18 million

68. Museum With 44 Annual Visitors Gets Funding for Bug Storage (Raleigh, NC) -$253,123

69. Addiction Studies Program for Journalists (Winston-Salem, NC) - $266,505

70. The American Museum of Ceramic Art (Pomona, CA) - $50,000

71. Bus Station Art (Los Angeles, CA) - $1 million

72. Studying Whether a Soda Tax Will Stimulate Health (Chicago, IL) - $521,005

73. Big Bang – Little Stimulus (Tucson, AZ) - $314,964

74. There’s an App for That: Stimulus Funds for iPods (Salt Lake City, UT) - $1 million

75. The Meteorite Hunters of Antarctica (Cleveland, OH) - $600,001

76. Field Trip to Study Dinosaur Eggs…in China (Bozeman, MT) - $141,002

77. Ice Skating Rinks Just Getting Warmed Up (Woodbury & Eagan, MN) - $1.8 million: When it comes to keeping the local ice rink up to date, Woodbury, Minnesota does not plan to just skate by. Woodbury has allocated more than $2.3 million to upgrade its heating systems at a local ice rink, using $503,900 in stimulus funding.

78. Helping Drinkers Control Their Alcohol Consumption With Creative Labeling (San Diego,
CA) - $497,117

79. High-End Boutique Hotel Built Where None is Needed (Buffalo, NY) - $6 million

80. Wildlife Refuge Gets Fancy New Visitors Center (Bismarck, ND) - $6.1 million

81. “Hot Glass—Cool Art” (Tacoma, WA) - $50,000

82. False Start on Head Start (New Haven, CT) - $381,313

83. Bureaucracy Gives Low-Income Housing Luxury Costs (Rochester, NY) - $3.3 million

84. Stimulus Funds Going to the Dogs (Ithaca, NY) - $296,385 : Cornell University scientists have received $296,385 in stimulus funds to study “dog domestication.” Researchers believe that there is common understanding of where dogs descended from, but the progression from there to Lassie “is poorly understood.”

85. Let’s Polka at the International Accordion Festival! (San Antonio, TX) - $25,000

86. Preserve and Rehabilitate FDR’s Home (Hyde Park, NY) - $4.6 million

87. Study: Does Retirement Help or Hurt Marriage? (Los Angeles, CA) - $174,661

88. Army Corps of Engineers Cleaning Up Their Act in West Virginia (Burnsville, WV) - $650,000

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

90. Agency Fails to Target Counties with Highest Unemployment - $145 million

91. Health Insurance Grants go Unused (Washington, DC) - $142 million

92. Whistleblower Alleges Fraud at Company Administering Child Care Funds (Kilgore, TX) -
$215 million

93. NIH Spends Stimulus Money to Promote the Impact of Its Stimulus Projects (Silver Spring,
MD) - $363,760

94. Restored Lighthouse Gets More Funding for More Restoration (Jupiter, FL) - $442,950: While the Jupiter Inlet National Historic Lighthouse is 150 years old, at least one local preservationist may have an exaggerated sense of its importance.

95. A Better Way to Freeze Rat DNA (Columbia, MO) - $180,935

96. Money for Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control to Ineligible Recipients - $2.8 million

97. The Wheels on the Stimulus Go Round and Round (Clearfield, PA) - $1.4 million

98. Artists Get New Digs (Wilton, CT and Philadelphia, PA) - $184,650

99. What’s With the Lights? (Euless, TX) – $454,200

100. Alcohol Studies Summer School for High School and College Students (New York, NY) - $112,437