Politics

Your Guide to the Congressional Spending Spree

President Obama signed the economic stimulus package into law last week. HUMAN EVENTS offers a look at just some of the many wasteful and non-stimulative spending items funded in the bill. 

  • $8 billion for high-speed railway, including an earmark for a Los Angeles to Las Vegas MagLev train (dubbed the Mickey Mouse-Sin City Express) strongly backed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.)

  • $1 billion earmark for the “FutureGen” near zero-emission sci-fi plant in Matoon, Ill.
  • $1.1 billion for “comparative effectiveness research” which will establish a government board that will make life-and-death medical decisions about health care cost and treatments.
  • $53.6 billion for the “state stabilization” slush fund
  • $1.3 billion for Amtrak
  • $24 million for U.S. Department of Agriculture buildings and rent
  • $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
  • $290 million for flood prevention activities
  • $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
  • $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
  • $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp program
     
  • $1 billion for the 2010 census
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
  • $650 million for the DTV converter box coupon program
     
  • $360 million for construction of NIST buildings
  • $830 million for NOAA research and facilities
  • $2 billion for Byrne JAG program
  • $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
  • $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
  • $1 billion for the COPS program
  • $1 billion for NASA

  • $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
  • $400 million for equipment and facilities at the National Science Foundation
  • $3.7 billion to conduct “green” renovations on military bases
  • $375 million for Mississippi River projects
  • $10 million for urban canals
  • $5 billion for weatherizing buildings
  • $2 billion to develop advanced batteries for hybrid cars
  • $3.4 billion for fossil energy research
  • $5.1 billion for environmental clean-up around military bases
  • $5.5 billion for “green” federal buildings
  • $300 million for “green” cars for federal employees
  • $20 million for IT upgrades at the Small Business Administration
  • $200 million to design and furnish Department of Homeland Security headquarters
  • $210 million for state and local fire stations
  • $125 million to restore trails and abandoned mines
  • $146 million for trail maintenance at National Park Service sites
  • $140 million for volcano-monitoring systems
  • $600 million for the EPA Superfund environmental cleanup program
  • $200 million to clean up leaking underground storage tanks
  • $500 million for forest health and wildfire prevention
  • $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution
  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $1.2 billion for “youth activities” (for “youth” up to 24 years old)
  • $500 million earmark for National Institute of Health facilities in Bethesda, Md.
  • $1 billion for Head Start
  • $32 million for home-delivered nutrition services
  • $160 million for volunteer programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • $500 million earmark for the Social Security Administration National Computer Center in Maryland
  • $220 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S. and Mexico
  • Tax benefits for golf carts, electric motorcycles and ATVs
  • $1 billion for ACORN-eligible block grants
  • $165 million for fish hatcheries.
  • The bill allows funds to go to a museum, stadium, arts center, theater, park, or highway beautification project. This opens the back door to fund, for example, the notorious Mob Museum in Las Vegas.
  • The bill merely says contracts should be awarded with competitive procedures “to the maximum extent possible” which allows lawmakers to simply “phone-mark” billions in spending to pet projects with zero transparency and accountability.

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