Stupid Stimulus Spending: Projects that Piss Us OffIf no one’s in a mall, do they notice the geothermal energy?
$5 million to create a geothermal energy system for the Oak Ridge City Center shopping mall in Oak Ridge, Tenn. From TheHill.com, “The main problem, says Republicans, is the fact the mall has been losing tenants for years and is mostly empty.”
$9.38 million to renovate a century-old train depot in Lancaster County, Pa., that has not been used for three decades
$100,000 for socially conscious puppet shows in Minnesota
$2 million to build a replica railroad tourist attraction in Carson City, Nevada
$462,000 to purchase 22 concrete toilets for use in the Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri
$3.1 million to transform a canal barge into a floating museum that will travel the Erie Canal in New York
Why did the turtle cross the road?
$3.4 million to create an underground turtle tunnel, or eco-passage, in Lake Jackson, Florida. We love turtles and don’t want them to get smashed by traffic. However, when your government spending plan involves jokes like, “Why did the turtle cross the road? To get more stimulus money,” you can pretty much guess there’s a problem.
$1 million to study the health effects of environmentally friendly public housing on 300 people in Chicago. I bet those 300 people would rather split the million and get out of public housing all together.
$983,952 for street beautification in Ann Arbor, Mich., including decorative lighting, trees, benches and bike paths
$1 million for Portland, Ore., to replace 100 aging bike lockers and build a garage that would house 250 bicycles. I think Portland’s bike programs are fantastic. I also think that it is possible to find cheaper ways to store bicycles.
$700,000 to Oregon crab fishermen to help recover lost crab post. You would think for that much money they could just go buy new ones.
$1.5 billion for a Carbon Capturing Contest
$300,000 for a GPS-equipped helicopter to hunt for radioactive rabbit droppings at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state
SUNY Buffalo received $390,000 to study young adults who drink malt liquor and smoke marijuana. Of course if they had used that money to pay for more kids to go to school they would have less people to study.
Washington State University got $148,438 to analyze the use of marijuana in conjunction with medications like morphine. Both of these studies will probably one day be used in the fight for marijuana decriminalization.
This article paid for by stimulus money.
In rural Wisconsin, 37 little-used bridges are receiving $15.8 million in stimulus funds. According to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, “The 37 bridges average 568 vehicles a day.” Some of these bridges see less than ten cars a day.
Montana received $2.2 million to install skylights in their state-run liquor warehouse.
The $800,000 given to John Murtha Airport to repave a back runway has pissed off many, many people—myself included. This airport services a whopping 20 passengers a day and has, over the past decade, already received millions in federal funds. Representative John Murtha treats this as his private airport and has spared no expense, too bad the money isn’t his but ours.
$1 million was given to a Chicago dinner cruise company to “combat terrorism”
The Coast Guard gets $572 million to create 1,235 new jobs. This comes to $460,000 per job.
Here are two things that should have been paid for privately: $30 million for a spring training baseball complex for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies and $11 million for Microsoft to build a bridge connecting its two headquarter campuses in Redmond, Wash., which are separated by a highway. Instead of taking our money, why isn’t Bill Gates helping with a solution?
$1.15 million to install a guardrail for a persistently dry lake bed in Guymon, Okla.
$2.5 million in stimulus checks sent to the deceased
$6 million for a snow-making facility in Duluth, Minn.
And, of course, every project gets its own $300 road sign claiming: “This project was paid for by stimulus money.”