Your Tax Dollars At Work

August 3, 2010

Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn have compiled a list of the 100 Worst Uses of Stimulus Funds, and it’s a real eye-opener. You want to know where your tax dollars are going? Take a good look here.

Among the lowlights:

  1. In Amboy, WA the government is spending over half a million taxpayer dollars to replace the windows in a visitor center that has been closed for three years and is not scheduled to reopen.
  2. In Charlotte, NC the government is spending nearly three quarters of a million dollars of your money to develop “a computerized choreography program” that will, the creators insist, “define an evolving system that assists in the design and production of interactive dance performances with real-time audience interaction.”
  3. In Glassboro, NJ, $1.2 million dollars is being spent converting a long-abandoned train station into a museum that will be responsible for “interpreting local history in its proper setting.”
  4. Scientists from sunny California have been given $1.9 million dollars of your money to study exotic ants in Africa. “Everyone has run into ants…now we need to listen to them.”
  5. In Boynton, Oklahoma, the sidewalks are being replaced, despite the fact that the sidewalks were replaced only five years ago. Out of your pocket: over $89,000 dollars.
  6. Over half a million of your dollars are being spent to determine the impact of the local population on the environment. In Nepal.
  7. In Evanston, Illinois researchers at Northwestern University have received over $700,000 in order to figure out how to get a computer to make jokes. For twenty-five cents they could have just called the makers of Vista.
  8. One million taxpayer dollars are going to buy iPods for students at Kearns High School in Utah. They will use the devices in class, take them home and, if they graduate on time, they get to keep them.
  9. Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland has been given the bizarre sum of $600,001 dollars to look for meteors in the Antarctic.
  10. Researchers at the University of Missouri have been given almost $200,000 taxpayer dollars to develop a better way of freezing rat sperm.

While the 100 items on this list constitute a small fraction of the total amount being spent, my guess is that there are a few hundred more items just like these. Meanwhile, unemployment continues to hover around 9.5% in direct contradiction to what the Obama Administration promised us the stimulus would achieve (unemployment rate kept below 8%), and the Tax Cheat Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warns us that the unemployment rate could go up before it comes down. Meanwhile, Hot Air notes that manufacturing has dropped by nearly 2% and private sector wages have dropped.

So…how’s the Summer of Recovery working out for you?

Here’s how it’s working out for Andrew Klavan:


Out. Of. Touch.

July 16, 2010

I’m beginning…just beginning, mind you…to have some doubts about the sanity of our Commander-in-Chief. Sure, I’ve disagreed with almost every piece of domestic policy he’s shoved down our throats in the past year and a half, but I’ve never had any reason to doubt that his mind was as fit as his body.

But then he’s quoted in an NBC interview as claiming this his policies “got us out of this mess.” Obama would like you to believe that the drastic drop in employment in late 2008/early 2009 would have continued at the same pace in perpetuity had he not stepped in and stemmed the tide with his enormous ego fiscal policies. It’s nonsense. The massive employment drops of a year and a half ago, to the tune of roughly 700,000 a month, were never going to continue at that pace. The rate of job loss would slow as employers scaled back to the bare minimum needed to stay in business. In any time of increasing unemployment there is always a peak (or valley, if you prefer) to which the numbers both build up and recede.

Getting us “out of this mess” would not entail tepid job growth where the largest hiring firm in the nation is the Federal government. Getting us out of this mess would mean seeing job growth in the hundreds of thousands per month, not the tens. Getting us out of this mess would involve the unemployment percentage steadily dropping instead of hovering around the 9.5% mark. Let’s consider Obama’s pride and joy, the Stimulus Plan. Only about 50% of the $787 billion has been spent. If you take Obama’s ludicrous assertion that “three million” jobs have been created or saved, that amounts to spending about $131,000 per job. Now that’s government efficiency for ya. Obama promised that passing the stimulus bill would keep the unemployment rate below 8%, but now takes it as a point of pride that the unemployment rate hasn’t gone up to 15%. Why not just tell the people that without the stimulus the unemployment rate would be 20%? Or 25%? Anyone want to believe 50%? Memo to Barry: Saying “it would have been worse” is 1) unprovable, and 2) not saying much of anything at all when things are this bad. He’s starting to remind me of Igor in Young Frankenstein who cheerfully said, “Could be worse, could be raining” just before the deluge started.

George H.W. Bush was accused in 1991 of being out of touch with the common man because he downplayed a mild recession. There was some truth to that, though I think the bigger truth is that H.W. had not been in touch with the common man since he left the military after World War II. But the same media that hammered Bush as an aloof country club Republican passes over Obama as if he’d decorated the White House doorway with the blood of a thousand Republican lambs.

Does Obama really not see the world of hurt this country is in? He and his lackeys keep talking about how this is the “Summer of Recovery” when it’s really just a summer of economic pain. Yes, it’s not as bad as it was during the worst of it 18 months ago, but that’s not the same as good news. There are real people out there hurting, and people so depressed and dispirited that they have given up even looking for work. There are employers who would like to hire but won’t because of the million and one regulations that Obama/Pelosi/Reid have put into place with health care and now with financial reform. Obama has personally put thousands of people out of work with his ridiculous drilling moratorium in the Gulf. The fear of inflation, maybe hyper-inflation, is real. The stock market is bringing new meaning to the word “tumultuous.” The oil spill that Obama was so slow to react to has already crippled the economy of the Gulf areas and threatens to impact the economy of the entire nation. Yet despite all this Barack Obama is on a campaign tour telling everyone that he’s responsible for getting us out of this mess. A man with a sense of decency…a sane man…would wait until we were actually out of it before taking credit.

“Summer of Recovery” indeed.


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