Kevin Price
Where has all the stimulus gone?
By Kevin Price
September 21, 2010

President Barack Obama has consistently defended the quality of the spending that has taken place in the stimulus package. He has repeatedly told voters how impressed he is that there has been so little waste in the spending. "If there has been any waste," it was "miniscule," according to the Administration.

Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) beg to differ and do so in a recent report they released entitled "Summertime Blues," in which they examine widespread waste in the various stimulus programs. This is the third in a series and in this most recent report they write: "Eighteen months since the passage of the stimulus bill, millions of jobs are still gone and the economy is as uncertain as ever. The only thing getting a boost is our national debt. The stimulus has helped push it 23 percent higher, to $13.2 trillion, a new record." Coburn went on to talk about the specifics of the waste, saying that he "expected to get criticism for pointing out 'stupid and inappropriate" expenditures from the 2009 stimulus bill, whose cost is now estimated at $862 billion."

Here are a few examples of the incredible numbers:

  • $554,763 for the Forest Service to replace windows in a closed visitor center at Mount St. Helens

  • $762,372 to create "Dance Draw" interactive dance software

  • $62 million for a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh, PA that even Governor, Ed Rendell called "a tragic mistake"

  • $1.9 million for international ant research

  • $1.8 million for a road project that is threatening a pastor's home

  • $308 million for a joint clean energy venture with...BP

  • $89,298 to replace a new sidewalk that leads to a ditch in Boynton, OK

  • $3.8 million for a "streetscaping" project that has reduced traffic and caused a business to fire two employees

  • $16 million to help Boeing to clean up an environmental mess it created in 2007

  • $200,000 to help Siberian communities lobby Russian policy makers

  • $39.7 million to upgrade the statehouse and political offices in Topeka, Kansas

  • $760,000 to Georgia Tech to study improvised music

  • $700,000 to study why monkeys respond negatively to inequity

  • $193,956 to study voter perceptions of the economic stimulus

  • $363,760 to help NIH promote the positive impacts of stimulus projects

  • $456,663 to study the circulation of Neptune's atmosphere

  • $529,648 to study the effects of local populations on the the Himalayas

The waste is not so small that is is "difficult to measure," as apologists for the President would claim, but so obvious that every politician that has supported such programs should fear for their political lives.

© Kevin Price


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Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)


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