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100 More Stimulus Boondoggles Exposed

From an outraged (that anyone would mention this) Associated Press:

Several week old spoonbill catfish swim in a large tank at Osage Catfisheries, Inc. in Osage Beach, Mo. The fishery has seen a recent spike in food costs and as part of a statewide aqcuaculture industry, will be recipients of federal stimulus money.

Sen. Coburn questions 100 stimulus projects

By Larry Margasak, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jun 16

WASHINGTON – Repairs for rural bridges, an under-highway safe crossing for turtles and efforts to protect the sage grouse population are among 100 projects a Republican senator pointed to Monday as questionable federal stimulus spending.

The list by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., includes projects others would identify as ideal for creating jobs and benefiting generations of Americans: skateboard parks, streetscapes, upgrades of park facilities, bike trails and parking garages.

Coburn’s list is partially a collection of news stories that questioned local projects to be funded under President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program. The White House has promoted the program by selecting favorable newspaper stories.

One of the most fiscally conservative senators, Coburn cited the repair of 37 rural bridges in Wisconsin that average little more than 500 vehicles apiece each day — with one carrying no more than 10 cars a day. The projects jumped over larger, urban repairs because they were "shovel ready." …

Coburn also criticized a $3.4 million Florida Department of Transportation project for an "eco-passage" — an underground wildlife road crossing for turtles and other wildlife in Lake Jackson, Fla., along U.S. 27.

"Why did the turtle cross the road? To get to the other side of a stimulus project," the Coburn report says…

Coburn also criticized:

— A Bureau of Land Management project to study the impact wind farms have on the sage grouse population in Oregon. The proposal calls for hiring people to tag sage grouse in areas where wind farms may be built, to help determine where turbines could be located.

— $1.5 million in stimulus money for a $5 million new wastewater treatment plant in Perkins, Okla., his home state. Coburn said the stimulus money came with strings that will increase the costs. With a new total cost of $7.2 million, the city will be forced to borrow money and, as a result, utility taxes have increased by 60 percent this year, the senator said.

— Grants and loans totaling $1.3 million to Solon Township in Leelanau County, Mich., to help pay for construction of a wastewater treatment plant. Local opposition killed the project. The money will now be used for a future treatment plant, for which there is no plan and questionable local support.

— Road signs costing $300 each, being placed at construction sites to alert motorists that the project is being paid for by the stimulus money. Transportation Department spokesman Jill Zuckman said each state decides whether to use stimulus money for signs, and the cost would vary in each state.

— A $3 million project to repair taxiways at Hanscom Field, Mass., which Coburn said is for corporate jets. Richard Walsh, a spokesman for the independent state agency that runs the airport, Massport, said only 18 percent of the traffic at the airport is for corporate jets. Most of the use, 70 percent cent, is for flight students, he said.

— Montana’s state-run liquor warehouse, to receive $2.2 million in stimulus cash to install skylights. The project is part of the $27.7 million the state has been awarded for energy programs.

What a mean-spirited Republican Mr. Coburn is, to point out such trivialities.

Doesn’t he realize we have ‘Sherriff’ Joe Biden overseeing the stimulus spending?

There is nothing to worry about.

(Thanks to Canary for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “100 More Stimulus Boondoggles Exposed”

  1. canary says:

    [From the Associated Press:]

    Sen. Coburn questions 100 stimulus projects

    By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer June 15 2009

    WASHINGTON – Repairs for rural bridges, an under-highway safe crossing for turtles and efforts to protect the sage grouse population are among 100 projects…


    The $300 dollars for each – road sign saying paid for with stimulous package money is my favorite. Probably have Obama’s big mug painted on them.

    • canary says:

      So, far at our skate-park which certainly does not come with security, right off the back an experienced skateboarder fell and died from head injuries. The kids that smoke and drink go to it. Then recently, a girl was raped. They scrapped the 2nd one in the making and made it a running, biking trail. It too is well hidden, even in daylight where teens smoke and drink and peds hang out. It’s just the way the world is getting. I guess security is too expensive and safer more visiably populated area would cost too much.

    • caligirl9 says:

      I thought I read somewhere that stimulus funds could not be used for projects that mostly benefit the wealthy …

      When I think of “skate park” I think of spoiled rotten upper middle-class kids with their skater gear and pot in their pockets.

      So many people will benefit from a skate park … not!

  2. GetBackJack says:

    This really does remind me of a guy and his wife I knew back in the 1990s who had to file liquidation bankruptcy both personally and business.

    They made the decision. But didn’t tell anyone as they ran through massive amounts of credit cards, unsecured retail credit and signature loans, piling up the goodies until they were forced to finally file. The bankruptcy court attempted to recover the goods and material and cash they’d leveraged out of the dwindling credit they amassed before filing but it never amounted to much as these two hid and distributed amongst friends all sorts of things. They came out of that period really not much worse than when they went into because of the amount of credit-corruption they acquired before filing.

    This national free-for-all in Spending feels just like that. Run the debt up to the cliff and then over the cliff as if they know in advance they’re just going to walk away from the dollar anyway into a new currency.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      Just as the average Joe ends up paying for people who run up credit cards then file bankruptcy, the same will happen with all this spending. Unfortunately, I don’t see the country coming out of this credit-corruption relatively unscathed.

  3. proreason says:

    Ya gotta love the $300 roadsigns with Obamy’s Coat of Arms.

    As audacity goes….that’s a whopper.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      FNC had a picture of what one of the signs looked like. I almost choked! That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

  4. canary says:

    It’s obvious by the AP’s attitude, that the other 90ish pork projects were probably worse.

  5. bousquem says:

    There is a construction project near my apartment that requires I go through it to get to my job. It is the most backed up and messed up project I’ve ever seen. The flaggers can’t seem to direct traffic when they have the entire intersection torn up, and it’s a main route in the city. They also tend to leave things half done and spend more time on breaks than they do work it seems. But it is a stimulus project so I guess obamby thinks it will help. I’ve also have to say to take anything massport or the masspike agencies say with a large helping of salt, they’re probably one of the most bloated and corrupt “independent agencies” in Mass, a good example of is the Big Dig. That black hole is still sucking money like no tommorow to pay for expensive repairs for extremely shotty work that was grossly overpaid for. I guess when politicians decide how to spend the money and how to allocate it, that’s the sort of waste you get.

  6. bronzeprofessor says:

    I feel myself slowly losing the resilience to keep calling my liberal colleagues’ attention to stuff like this. You show them some wasteful expenditure like a skating rink, then they go online and google it and come up with some Huffington Post article about 3 deaths last year caused by kids skating on frozen lakes because they had no skating rinks, and you’re back to square one. I wish I had the same stamina liberals have; they keep plowing through with the same assumptions, and no matter how badly the policies they support screw up, they always end up “proving” that it was a Republican’s fault, by way of a NY Times article, something on Salon.com, or an edition of All Things Considered on NPR. Very frustrating.

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