The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Joke-Telling Robots and Other Stimulus Boondoggles

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Since the stimulus passed, there have been endless stories of outrageous projects that have received government funding.

Last week, we wrote about coming in at #15 (tree planting, anyone?) on Senator Tom Coburn and Senator John McCain’s worst stimulus project list.

Earlier this year, there were phantom districts, phantom zip codes, and questionable job creation figures.

Here are a few more government spending boondoggles, highlighted recently by the folks over at Bankrupting America. They’ve debuted an interactive map that highlights spending projects across the country. Things that might seem only possible in pulp fiction are now reality.

Two federal gaffes in South Carolina that made the list:

$998,798 to a parts supplier for shipping two, 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas. This debacle took place back in 2007. Since that time the company has been prosecuted for the fraudulent charges. Fraud is one thing. But shouldn’t someone at the Pentagon have noticed they were being billed nearly $1 million for shipping two washers? Talk about lack of oversight.

 $1.7 million in stimulus money to restore an oyster habitat. A grand total of 15 acres of oyster habitat will be restored with the $1.7 million. A better solution:  let private businesses and donors restore the site. Naysayers will object that no one wants to spend their money on oyster habitats. … exactly.

How do our ill-advised spending projects stack up to other states? Click through the map to find out.

One of my favorites: $427,824 to Georgia Tech researchers to examine the impact of video games on the mental health of seniors.

In another Bankrupting America project, people on the street were interviewed about some other crazy stimulus projects.

A joke-telling robot? You can’t make this stuff up.

How many more scams need to be exposed about wasteful stimulus funding before government stops thinking they can spend their way out of our economic problems?

The answer is for government to get out of the way of the free market. Less regulation  and lower taxes will pave the way to a prosperous, stable economy.

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Written by Jameson Taylor

August 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Posted in Stimulus

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