A Pork-Barrel Stimulus Package

Posted: Dec 19, 2008 3:57 PM
It’s no secret that when President Obama gets sworn into office, among his top priorities will be to guide Congress through an $850 billion economic stimulus package. As a result, this astronomical number has created a tsunami of activity from special interest groups looking for their piece of the pie. $850 billion is simply an astonishing figure - not only exceeding the hefty $700 billion price tag of the financial sector, but also dwarfing the annual budget for the Pentagon.

What does Obama intend to do with all of your hard-earned money? According to today's Washington Post, the 850 billion "would include at least $100 billion for cash-strapped state governments and more than $350 billion for investments in infrastructure, alternative energy and other priorities..."

You've got to wonder if the infrastructure investments that Obama is going to include in his package might come from the list of 11,391 projects that the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently submitted to Congress.  The list includes things like a $4.8 million polar bear exhibit at the Providence, RI zoo and a $1.5 million water ride in Miami, FL. 

According to a recent CNN article, other abuses of taxpayer dollars found within the report include:  "a proposed $20 million minor league baseball museum in Durham, North Carolina; $6.1 million for corporate jet hangars at the Fayetteville, Arkansas, airport; $20 million for renovations at the Philadelphia Zoo; and a $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio."

If nothing else, the next four years look to be a spending bonanza and a pork barrel free-for-all. Hold on to your wallets!