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Another Magnificent Moment in the World of Government Stimulus

Waski_the_Squirrel Wrote: May 21, 2012 6:27 PM
While it's fun and satisfying to rage at this kind of waste, it is a mere drop in the bucket. Even if we cut all of this kind of waste, it will do very little to reduce the federal deficit. The only good they do is to help create the culture of reducing government. The necessary cuts to have an impact are ones that terrify even the most serious budget cutters: social security and other entitlements, and the military. We may also need to cut entire government departments. These are cuts guaranteed to upset the right and left wing.
SpaceVegetable Wrote: May 21, 2012 10:22 PM
That's the problem. We keep dismissing these things as too small to bother about or "pocket change", which leads to bigger and bigger pork spending. We need to cut all of this kind of ridiculous nonsense. All that pocket change can add up to some awfully big numbers. By allowing the smaller stupidity, we make it that much easier for them to get away with bigger boondoggles.

Most of my work on government stimulus focuses on economic theory and evidence.

But every so often it’s a good idea to remind ourselves of the ridiculous ways that government wastes money.

Here are some details from a boondoggle in West Virginia.

Nobody told Hurricane librarian Rebecca Elliot that the $22,600 Internet router in the branch library’s storage closet was powerful enough to serve an entire college campus. Nobody told Elliot how much the router cost or who paid for it. Workers just showed up and installed the device. They left behind no instructions, no user manual. The...

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