Response to RedState's Morning Briefing

RedState published a list of the projects included in Porkulus. I have comments about a few of them, I think some of them are pork and some of them will really stimulate the economy.


  • $2 billion earmark for FutureGen near zero emissions powerplant in Mattoon, IL
    Pure pork, a payback to the environmental special interest groups that support Democrats.
  • $39 billion slush fund for “state fiscal stabilization” bailout
    I don’t even know what this means? I’d have to put it in the pork category.
  • $5.5 billion for making federal buildings “green” (including $448 million for DHS HQ)
    While I think this will create some jobs, it’s another payback to environmentalists. Let’s call this one ham.
  • $200 million for workplace safety in USDA facilities
    Will this create jobs? Can’t tell from the description.
  • $275 million for flood prevention
    If this includes improving dikes in places like New Orleans, it will probably create some jobs. Put those free-loaders to work.
  • $65 million for watershed rehabilitation
    Could create jobs, but it’s more payback.
  • $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
    Might create jobs, if the manufacturers don’t have the capacity to build the computers.
  • $650 million for the DTV transition coupon program
    This was a complete boondoggle from the start. Why waste more money on it? Television isn’t a right, if you want a converter box pay for it with your own money.
  • $307 million for constructing NIST office buildings
    Looks like legitimate stimulus if small business contractors get to bid on the projects.
  • $1 billion for administrative costs and construction of NOAA office buildings
    I have no idea what NOAA even does, so I’ll have to classify this as pork.
  • $100 million for constructing U.S. Marshalls office buildings
    Looks like stimulus on the surface.
  • $300 million for constructing FBI office buildings
    Looks like a stimulative construction project.
  • $800 million for constructing Federal Prison System buildings and facilities
    Could be legitimate stimulus.
  • $10 million to fight Mexican gunrunners
    Complete waste of money! If we stopped the crazy war on drugs there would be less Mexican gunrunners.
  • $1.3 billion for NASA (including $450 million for “science” at NASA)
    I don’t see how we have the money for more space exploration in this time of huge deficits.
  • $100 million to clean up sites used in early U.S. atomic energy program
    Wonder how many jobs for ordinary Americans this would create?
  • $10 million for urban canals
    What is an urban canal? Constructing such might stimulate the economy.
  • $2 billion for manufacturing advanced batteries for hybrid cars
    I’ll consider this legitimate if Tyco Electronics can get in on it. 🙂
  • $1.5 billion for carbon capture projects under sec. 703 of P.L. 110-140 (though section only authorizes $1 billion for five years)
    More paybacks for environmental wackos!
  • $300 million for hybrid and electric cars for federal employees
    If this creates more jobs building cars, then it’s legitimate.
  • $198 million to design and furnish the DHS headquarters
    As long as small business owners get to bid on the contracts and this isn’t a no-bid fiasco, then it’s legit.
  • $255 million for “priority procurements” at Coast Guard (polar ice breaker)
    Looks like pure pork to me.
  • $500 million for State and local fire stations
    Could create construction jobs and actually stimulate the economy.
  • $180 million for construction of Bureau of Land Management facilities
    BLM is a complete waste of money, looks like pork.
  • $500 million for wildland fire management
    If this means cutting out dead growth from forested areas prone to wildfires, then it could create some legitimate jobs.
  • $110 million for construction for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Depends on how the money is used.
  • $522 million for construction for the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    The BIA is known as one of the most wasteful federal agencies, I wouldn’t want to give them this much extra money.
  • $650 million for abandoned mine sites
    What exactly are they going to do at those mine sites?
  • $75 million for the Smithsonian Institution
    I like the Smithsonian, but how many jobs will this create?
  • $1.2 billion for summer jobs for youth
    Let’s create more jobs for the current ranks of the unemployed before we create temporary jobs for youth.
  • $412 million for CDC headquarters
    If this would help them become a more efficient organization, then it’s legit.
  • $500 million earmark for NIH facilities in Bethesda, MD
    Again, how many jobs does this actually create?
  • $160 million for “volunteers” at the Corp. for National and Community Service
    If you’ve gotta pay them, they’re not volunteers!
  • $750 earmark for the National Computer Center in MD
    I’m assuming this is $750 million, $750 won’t buy you many computers these days.
  • $224 million for International Boundary and Water Commission – U.S. and Mexico
    If this means we’re going to finally build a border fence, then I’m all for it!
  • $850 million for Amtrak
    Amtrack should not be supported by the federal government.  If they can’t make it on their own after all these years they don’t deserve to exist.
  • $100 million for lead paint hazard reduction
    Who’s going to administer such a program? Could be a big waste of money.

The biggest problem I have with this list is that it doesn’t tell us how many jobs it will create. It doesn’t tell us whether or not small business will be able to bid on the construction contracts. No bid contracts for campaign donors would really make me mad.

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