Wasting Our Money To Justify Wasting Our Money

Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) has been complaining about the use of federal tax dollars to pimp the “success” of the spendulous by posting signs everywhere that say “Putting America to Work. Project Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”   According to the Chicago Tribune, there are nearly 1,000 of them in Illinois.  Rep. Shock estimates that these signs have cost around $20 million throughout the country, while the “Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board” says it doesn’t know what the actual cost is (surprise!).

This is certainly not the biggest waste of tax dollars one could find, even within the confines of the spendulous lunacy, but it is one of the more annoying.  Spending millions on these signs serves no purpose other than trying to convince voters that other spending of tax dollars was a good thing.

I bet they haven’t spent quite as much to advertise these worthy programs that were brought to us courtesy of the infinite wisdom of our betters in Washington:

— $233,000 to the University of California at San Diego to study why Africans vote. Seven of twelve “jobs created” are for Africans in Africa.

— $2 million to build a new fire station in Nevada that the county cannot afford to staff.

— $1.5 million to study plant fossils in Argentina.

— $389,000 to pay people in Buffalo, NY to record how much malt liquor they drink and how much pot they smoke. How can this study be worth anything if they leave out the bags of Doritos eaten?

— $1 million dollars for three graduate students to study ants.

— $4.4 million for North Carolina public schools to hire coaches to teach teachers how to teach reading and math.

And my favorite from this list:

— $54 million for various projects related to the California wine train.  “The no-bid contract went to a minority-owned business operated by an Eskimo tribe outside Anchorage.  The company then hired a real construction company for a fraction of what they were paid by the government to actually do the work. The tribe’s CEO has no construction experience.”

Fortunately, voters are seeing past the self-congratulatory signs and statements from the Administration.  Few people think the spending did much to help the jobless situation or economic recovery.  That is because throwing buckets of money at special interests does not create the environment needed to sustain economic growth.  To the contrary, it distorts the market and benefits the politically connected over the competent (see the wine train project above), while causing employers to hoard cash and suspend hiring since they know who will eventually be asked to bear the price of all this spending. 

Via RealClearPolitics.

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Published in: on July 19, 2010 at 11:27 am  Leave a Comment  

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