Coburn Takes a Look at Stimulus Waste

You hear that sucking sound? That’s the sound of your money literally going down the toilet in the name of the American Reform and Reinvestment Act. Sen. Tom Coburn, today, released a report on the 100 most wasteful stimulus projects. It’s truly frightening how quickly the government can waste our money in the name of an economic stimulus. Let’s dive right in to what they wasted money on.

The most wasteful project, according to Coburn, was a Water Tower in Perkins, OK. Not only did they already have some funds, they were planning to do it (so it did not create any jobs). However, taking the Stimulus money forced them to raise Utility Taxes by 60%. They had to do that because accepting the Stimulus money forced them to pay more for the project, it increased the amount of money that they needed to borrow and passed the buck to taxpayers…again. In IL they built a parking lot that none of the residents wanted (democracy in action!), and they also sneaked in the biggest earmark in the history of earmarks in a bill with “no earmarks“. Not to be outdone, WI was forced to fix 37 bridges that no one used instead of the dozens that needed repair that everyone used. These are just a few of the gems.

So what are the workers going to do when the tower in Perkins is finished? Will they be out of work? Will the government give them more money to build a new Water Tower just so people will have work to do? If I was a betting man, I would bet on the latter. Liberals will say that anything that gets a man work is a good thing. However, the government cannot create jobs. They only create jobs by taking money from someone else, or another program.

It’s the broken window analogy. If a shop owner sets aside money for painting, and a rock breaks his window, he would use the money he saved up for the paint to fix the window. A job was created for the window repair man at the expense of the painter. The government only has money that they take from taxes or save from cutting spending. Since they never cut spending (why would they do that), they tax it out of you. When they can’t get enough out of taxes, they borrow. Well, someday, the national debt will need to be paid.

There are many many many reasons why the Stimulus will not stimulate the economy. I will only mention the most obvious – it was written by politicians, not economists. Politicians know how to fundraise and gain votes. That’s it. They tried to stimulate the economy by creating an arbitrary amount of money, set arbitrary amounts for each state and had an artificial rush to pass it. “If we do nothing, it will only get worse.” Don’t you love fear-mongering? The left would never admit it, but it is fear-mongering. To pass a bill like this (WITHOUT reading it) is the antithesis of intelligence. But what can we expect from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?


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