February 18, 2010

Stimulus part one

There is no doube that Obama's stimulus plan is working:

ABC: “800,000 to 2.4 million new jobs,”
CBS: “about 1.8 million” jobs “saved or created”
NBC: “1.6 to 1.8 million jobs have been created so far.”

Unless, of course, you ask the American Public. A CBS News/New York Times poll last week, just six percent of Americans believe the stimulus package has created any jobs at all

Or you could ask the Senator Evan Bayh: "If I could create one job in the private sector by helping to grow a business, that would be one more than Congress has created in the last six months,"

So who is right? Did the stimulus have the effect of keeping the U.S. economy from plunging into a second Great Depression?


1. $100,000 IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR A MARTINI BAR & BRAZILIAN STEAKHOUSE:
SHERYL ATKINSON, CBS News: “You probably wouldn't guess that a martini bar and a Brazilian steakhouse would be on tap for stimulus funds, but in St. Joseph, Missouri, two privately owned facilities are getting 100,000 of your tax dollars.” (CBS's “CBS Evening News,” 12/9/09)

2. $390,000 TO STUDY MALT LIQUOR AND MARIJUANA CONSUMPTION:
“The State University Of New York At Buffalo Won $390,000 To Study Young Adults Who Drink Malt Liquor And Smoke Marijuana.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09)

3. $210,000 TO STUDY LEARNING PATTERNS OF HONEYBEES:
“The University Of Hawaii Collected $210,000 To Study The Learning Patterns Of Honeybees, And $700,000 Went To Help Crab Fishermen In Oregon Recover Lost Crab Pots.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09)

4. $1 MILLION TO STUDY ANTS:
“Half A Million Dollars Went To Arizona State University To Study The Genetic Makeup Of Ants To Determine Distinctive Roles In Ant Colonies; $450,000 Went To The University Of Arizona To Study The Division Of Labor In Ant Colonies.” (“Senate GOP Point Out 'Pure Waste' Found In Stimulus Package,” The Hill, 12/8/09)

5. $15,551 TO STUDY DRUNK MICE:
“The Rodent Study At Florida Atlantic University In Boca Raton Used $15,551 In Stimulus Funds To Pay For Two Summer Researchers To Help Gauge How Alcohol Affects A Mouse's Motor Functions.” (“Stimulus Money And Weird Science: Benefit Or Boondoggle?” The Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/10)

6. $4,200-$5,500 TAX CREDIT FOR PURCHASING GOLF CARTS:
“President Obama’s Stimulus Plan… Is Now Paying Americans To Buy That Great Necessity Of Modern Life, The Golf Cart.” “Thanks to the federal tax credit to buy high-mileage cars that was part of President Obama's stimulus plan, Uncle Sam is now paying Americans to buy that great necessity of modern life, the golf cart. The federal credit provides from $4,200 to $5,500 for the purchase of an electric vehicle, and when it is combined with similar incentive plans in many states the tax credits can pay for nearly the entire cost of a golf cart.” (“Cash For Clubbers,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/17/09)

7. $219,000 TO STUDY THE SEX LIVES OF FEMALE COLLEGE FRESHMEN:
“Five Hundred Syracuse University Freshmen Will Divulge The Details Of Their Sex Lives … $219,000 In Stimulus Funds For The Study.” “Five hundred Syracuse University freshmen will divulge the details of their sex lives as part of a women's health study called ‘The Women's Health Project,’ being conducted by Michael Carey, SU professor of psychology and medicine. Carey has found himself the target of nationwide criticism from conservatives since he received $219,000 in stimulus funds for the study, which looks at the sex patterns of college women.” (“SU Sex Study Raises Concern,” The [Syracuse] Daily Orange, 9/8/09)

8. $1 MILLION TO RENOVATE “THE SUNSET STRIP”:
“Sunset Boulevard, Also Known As ‘The Sunset Strip’ And One Of The Most Famous Streets In The World, Will Be Getting A $7 Million Facelift After More Than 75 Years Of Use, With A Free Million Dollar Nose Job Coming From Uncle Sam. The City of West Hollywood Council received one million dollars in federal funds from the Federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), (otherwise known as the $700 billion federal stimulus package), for the long-planned Sunset Strip Beautification Project, which is scheduled to break ground soon. The guaranteed funding will allow the City to increase the already nearly $7 million budgeted for this project by an additional $1,105,000, meaning enhancements to a project that already included the resurfacing of the roadway, sidewalk and improved landscaping.” (“Feds Stimulus Sunset Strip Beautification Project,” WeHoNews, 9/28/09)

9. $325,394 TO STUDY “MATING DECISIONS” OF CACTUS BUGS:
The Cactus Bug Project At The University Of Florida Is More Ambitious, Spending $325,394 In Stimulus Money To Determine How Environment Affects The Mating Decisions Of Females. According to the project proposal, it should also answer the question, ‘Whether males with large weapons are more or less attractive to females.’” (“Stimulus Money And Weird Science: Benefit Or Boondoggle?” The Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/10)

10. $500,000 TO STUDY “SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE FACEBOOK”:
“A $498,000, Three-Year Grant” To Study “Social Networks Like Facebook.” “Millions of Internet users have been enjoying the fun -- and free -- services provided by advertiser-supported online social networks like Facebook. But Landon Cox, a Duke University assistant professor of computer science, worries about the possible down side -- privacy problems. … To delve deeper into these issues and begin the search for alternatives, Cox recently won a $498,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The funding is part of the federal stimulus package called the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).” (“Seeking Privacy In The Clouds: Research Aims At Isolating Social Network Information From ‘Control Of A Central Entity,’” Science Daily, 10/15/09)

11. $3.4 MILLION FOR A TURTLE TUNNEL IN FLORIDA:
“The Other Third Of The Stimulus, Government Infrastructure Spending, Has Been The Most Controversial From The Start. Some Proposals Have Been Criticized As Wasteful, Such As … A $3.4 Million ‘Ecopassage’ To Help Turtles Cross A Highway In Tallahassee, Fla.” (“The Challenge In Counting Stimulus Returns,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/27/09)

12. $30 MILLION FOR A SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL COMPLEX FOR THE ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS AND COLORADO ROCKIES:
“A Big Chunk Of The Money That Will Pay For A New Spring-Training Baseball Complex On Tribal Land In The East Valley Will Be Delivered Via A Financing Program That's Part Of The Federal Economic-Stimulus Plan. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community says it may borrow as much as $30 million of the estimated cost of the $100 million complex near Scottsdale that will become the spring home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies.” (“Stimulus To Help Tribe Build Baseball Complex,” The Arizona Republic, 9/17/09)

13. $54 MILLION IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR THE NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN:
JONATHAN KARL, ABC News: “The Napa Valley Wine Train, To Tourists A Great Way To See America's Most Celebrated Wine Region, To Others Exhibit A In What’s Wrong With The Stimulus.” SEN. TOM COBURN: “What that is, is a situation where you see the wealthy or well connected get taken care of and the community suffers.” KARL: “He's talking about the Napa Valley wine train relocation project, 54 million stimulus dollars to build a new rail bridge, elevate and relocate 3,300 ft of tracks and put flood walls around the train's main station.” (ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” 2/2/10)

14. $50,000 IN STIMULUS FUNDS USED FOR A TENNIS COURT IN MONTANA:
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN: “I Came To Bozeman To Find A City On Thin Ice Over How It's Spending Stimulus Money -- $50,000 To Erase All Of These Cracks And Potholes In City Tennis Court. ... Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer wants to make Bozeman an example of how not to spend stimulus money.” ... GOV. BRIAN SCHWEITZER: “What they violated was that rule of common sense. There ought to be that little guy in your head that waves his finger at you and says, wait a minute, we might want to rethink this thing.” (CNN, 1/25/10)

15. $250 STIMULUS CHECKS WENT TO PRISONERS:
MEGYN KELLY, Fox News: “Thousands To A Million Of Your Stimulus Dollars Have Gone Straight To Convicts. That's Right, The Feds Sending $250 Stimulus Checks To Thousands Upon Thousands Of Prisoners... We're Talking First Degree Murderers Who Are Getting Your Money.” (Fox News’ “America's Newsroom,” 8/26/09)

-------------Final thought------
If the stimulus is working, as Obama said today, if jobs are being created out there, how would the rest of the world react ? A shocked AP: "The government said Tuesday foreign demand for US Treasury securities fell by the largest amount on record in December with China reducing its holdings by $34.2 billion." They're dumping our T-bills out there!

3 comments:

John-Christopher said...

I will answer only one of your ridiculous list of stupid sounding stimulus projects, but I assure you most of the other 14 are just as badly represented. From the Napa Valley Wine Train http://winetrain.com/flood-control-facts: The Napa Valley Wine Train did not receive $54 million of stimulus money from the Federal Government, and we are not receiving an unfair benefit from this money. The $54 million in question went to the Army Corps of Engineers to help complete Napa's decades long flood control project.

Lee said...

So the tracks, the station and the rail bridge are NOT solely used by the privately owned wine train?

Did the owners fork up any of the cost at all? How many new jobs did this $54 million create?

Lee said...

Let me just answer that for you. An estimated 200 jobs that will go away in 30 months.

I cannot wait for my grandkids to pay for the pleasure of riding a train that they are still paying taxes for.

Your assurance falls kind of flat.