Stimulus Boondoggle

John Campbell
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Posted: Sep 23, 2009 2:53 PM

In the past, I have highlighted various egregious boondoggles or flat out silly expenditures by the federal government, it’s been a while since I last blogged, but here is one boondoggle that I stumbled upon recently.

The stimulus bill, widely touted by the current Administration and Democratic leadership of the House and Senate, was supposed to ostensibly make the recession shorter and shallower.  Unfortunately it has done neither.  Despite unemployment levels near 10% you will be able to take comfort knowing that Washington D.C. was recent the recipient of $2.8 million in stimulus funds from the United States Forest Service for ‘wildland fire mitigation.’  Yet, D.C. doesn’t have any national forests and furthermore hasn’t seen a wildland-scale fire since 1814 when the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812.  So the obvious question is, ‘where is this money going?’

Well, $2.7 million will be going to Washington Parks and People a non-profit that enhances and restores public parks. 

According to the organization it has:

Sponsored the Marvin Gaye Festival, which includes live musical performances.

Sponsored the Season in Seven Celebration and Tree Lighting

Chaired the International Urban Parks Alliance Forum, the premier forum for parks advocates.

When asked about the grant, they were surprised as anyone to be getting the grant saying, “[W]e do not know anything beyond the information we saw on the web site.”

This is disappointing, but further proof that the President’s stimulus package was both ill-conceived and not truly designed to be stimulative.