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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tom Coburn has a really good (and witty) report on his website that details some of the best Stimulus projects.

http://coburn.senate.gov/public/ind...Store_id=59af3ebd-7bf9-4933-8279-8091b533464f

Some of these projects that he's identified as Top 100 Projects I actually support. For instance, repairing a boardwalk in Delaware with $1 million sounds like a great Stimulus project to me because of the economy activity generated by active boardwalks. However..some of these are just insane and I'm glad that at least Coburn is talking about them.

1. Residents in Perkins, OK are actually paying a 60% increase in utility fees due to the city getting Stimulus funds for a wastewater treatment facility that the State was going to pay the full $5 million for until the city got Stimulus funds for it. Because of the stipulations attached to the funds, the cost for the project went up to $8 million while the Stimulus funds were only $1 million, leaving the small town of Perkins to pick up another $2 million.

2. $1 Billion with a B to FutureGen, an Illinois company that was a crony of Blagojevich's as well as Chairman Obama, that has a plan to build a clean coal power plant using technology that was cutting edge 5 years ago. Sounds like a great plan except the only problem is that it is not economically feasible due to major technological advances made towards clean coal that are much better than the plan for this facility.

4. A backup runway for Jack Murtha Airport in Johnstown, PA aka the "Airport to Nowhere." Stimulus funds break down like so: $18 million for a backup runway large enough to land any plane in the U.S., $7 million for a traffic control tower, a $14 million hangar, and an $8 million radar system. The only problem: The airport gets 20 passengers a day. In fact the only thing the airport won't have is airplanes with anyone in them. Even more insane, this isn't even the beginning. Since 1990 this airport has received over $150 million in federal funding.

5. $3.4 million for a turtle crossing facility along US 27 in Florida. The highway has the highest incidence of turtle roadkill deaths in the world, but that has virtually been eliminated by a fence that the locals have put up. Now the Stimulus is giving them millions to reinforce the fence and do a tunnel under the road for the turtle crossing. Tom Coburn quips, "Why did the turtle cross the road? To get Stimulus money."

7. Over $1 million for a public safety guardrails at nonexistent Optima Lake in the Oklahoma Panhandle. At least the good thing is that if someone is devious enough to get through the Stimulus guardrail, they probably won't drown from falling into Optima Lake. Coburn's document includes a photo of nonexistent Optima Lake as well as this description from the Army Corps website: "The water level in the lake has never reached normal pool. Visitors should be aware that the lake's level can be very low. Depending on rainfall and evaporation rates, the lake may offer no water-based recreation and may not be suitable for swimming, fishing, boating or other activities. Visitors should come for the quiet natural setting-with or without water in the lake area.”

9. Ten thousand Social Security Administration checks to deceased people. Some who were never even in the SSA system, such as Italian, Romolo Romonini, and a check for a James Hagner's mother, who has not been in the system since the Johnson administration. Coburn includes a picture of the little kid from The Sixth Sense with the caption, "I see Stimulus checks..."

10. The Town of Union, NY is getting $600,000 for a homeless problem that it doesn't have, money that it didn't apply for, and doesn't know what to do with because it does not even have city services for a nonexistent homeless population. HUD told them to get creative to solve their homeless problem, but the only homeless problem Union, NY has ever had was finding a home for this Stimulus money. The problem was solved by absorbing it into an existing program, which helped them avoid having to increase their work force. The only problem that was solved here, creatively, was how to spend money that they have never gotten before, never asked for before, and have no purpose for.

Let's have a round of fawning over Chairman O.
 

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D.C.
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Coburn's greatest talent is complaining. I think if you were to take a national poll, Senator Coburn would be considered the absolute worst representative in the entire United States Congress. I mean the man blocked the Live Earth Concert from being held on the National Mall because he thought it was a governmental endorsement of Global Warming existence...what a fool. Thank you Oklahoma for electing this dumbass to represent you!


Edit: The best thing I can say about Coburn is that he truly believes in the legislation he tries to have passed and he sticks to his guns. He's an idealist, even if his ideals are totally ass backwards. I appreciate what he's trying to do to shrink government, I believe in making government as small as it can effectively be, but he has a warped view of the world stemming from his personal background that I find completely unacceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Coburn's greatest talent is complaining. I think if you were to take a national poll, Senator Coburn would be considered the absolute worst representative in the entire United States Congress. I mean the man blocked the Live Earth Concert from being held on the National Mall because he thought it was a governmental endorsement of Global Warming existence...what a fool. Thank you Oklahoma for electing this dumbass to represent you!


Edit: The best thing I can say about Coburn is that he truly believes in the legislation he tries to have passed and he sticks to his guns. He's an idealist, even if his ideals are totally ass backwards. I appreciate what he's trying to do to shrink government, I believe in making government as small as it can effectively be, but he has a warped view of the world stemming from his personal background that I find completely unacceptable.
You'd be surprised that he's not nearly as backward as Pelosi and Reid want you to think he is. He is for a government that works, and he thinks the reason that government doesn't work is that it spends trillions of dollars on the wrong priorities. I think Coburn is the greatest thing that ever happened to the Senate, which I say that as a mostly moderate person who will be going into the green collar workforce soon.

Sure I think he's a little crazy, but 80% of the time the man is spot-on, and he doesn't just confine himself to the shadows of Washington's back rooms like our other Senator who is a true scumbag. Coburn is proactive in defying the Washington establishment and causing problems for Republicans and Democrats, who all exist for one single goal, not to make America more liberal or conservative, but just to screw it up even worse and get reelected.

If you were to take a poll Coburn would honestly be one of the more popular senators, especially if it weren't for the R next to his name which doesn't really describe anything. Congress has a 20% approval rating. That goes directly to Pelosi and Reid.
 

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devonian
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i don't dislike coburn, but he's definitely not a 'good senator' lol. i like him being in the senate but i'd rather him represent a different state. unfortunately oklahoma is probably the easiest place to get elected for some any wacko.

that's funny about "lake optima" though. that's government for ya.
 

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Journeyman
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Lots of stuff sounds stupid out of context, when the truth could be either way. Coburn is looking for PR opportunities, not truth.
 

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who was that other female Congresswoman from OK who kept on ranting about gays? OK sure knows how to pick some whackos!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're wrong. She (Sally Kern) was a lowly member of the State House who represents a mid-century suburb on OKC's west side, and there were protests at the State Capitol for weeks over that issue. If you heard that she was some popular Congresswoman from OK, you were told wrong..

Sally Kern also got stopped by the Capitol police and not let into the Capitol on one occasion for packing heat.. yikes.

And I'm sorry, but would someone explain how being against the most idiotic government pork barrel projects makes you a wacko?? Nevermind the Westboro Baptist Church people, the Save Palestine radicals, or the PETA people.. if you're against greasin' the barrel with pork, you're a wacko!
 

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Calling the President "Chairman Obama" is an incredibly sophomoric and immature thing to do. It debases any credible point you were trying to make.

Barack Obama is the legitimately and fairly elected President of the United States. I suggest you quit your pissing and moaning and deal with it.

So those projects you mentioned total a few million dollars out of 787 BILLION. Big fucking deal. I can name three vital and important projects just in my hometown that are getting funded with stimulus money. I am thankful it was passed.
 

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There will be waste in any government program. The Iraq War was/is arguably the biggest waste of American tax dollars in history. The privatization and outsourcing of core military functions to private firms who overbilled the government for billions while not performing the work is a national disgrace.

Interesting that Coburn and his far right GOP ilk only bitch about purported waste when the government spends money on the general welfare but close their mouths tighter than an astronaut's asshole on takeoff when it comes to military-industrial complex spending, which gets an amount of money similar to the stimulus bill EVERY YEAR.
 

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Journeyman
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And I'm sorry, but would someone explain how being against the most idiotic government pork barrel projects makes you a wacko?? Nevermind the Westboro Baptist Church people, the Save Palestine radicals, or the PETA people.. if you're against greasin' the barrel with pork, you're a wacko!
We've seen no particular evidence about what expenditures are pork. Or that Coburn has enough (or any) detailed knowledge to make a judgement. As far as I can tell, he's a knee-jerk anti-spending guy, but simply one who writes effective press releases.
 

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My Man Hoosier!

Calling the President "Chairman Obama" is an incredibly sophomoric and immature thing to do. It debases any credible point you were trying to make.

Barack Obama is the legitimately and fairly elected President of the United States. I suggest you quit your pissing and moaning and deal with it.

So those projects you mentioned total a few million dollars out of 787 BILLION. Big fucking deal. I can name three vital and important projects just in my hometown that are getting funded with stimulus money. I am thankful it was passed.
What might be the 3 vital projects that the stimulus is helping in Indy? :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Yeah that's amazing if Indy got 3 projects that are actually useful. Talk about pass the prosperity, we could use it here in OKC! :)

By the way, Coburn didn't list any projects from Indiana in his 100, so he isn't on record thinking the supposed 3 Indy projects in question are wasteful. And just because he thinks it's wasteful doesn't mean I do, for instance, he listed a streetscaping project in Ann Arbor. I support streetscaping, and I can prove that does contribute to economic development, however I know that 80% of these crackpot Stimulus projects do NOT contribute squat to economic development.

Here in OKC we do a lot of really cool projects for our city, but we haven't gotten a dime of federal money for it unfortunately, and we probably never will. We don't even get that much state money either. Every streetscape project, OKC pays for. All of the MAPS projects, OKC pays for. The NBA, nobody but OKC paid for that. And so on. My main problem is that Oklahoma is traditionally a "donor state" meaning we give the feds more than we get. It bothers me that every other city, I'm helping pay for their pet projects, but any pet projects for OKC must be carried on the backs of OKC alone. Some states on the other hand get $2-4 dollars for every dollar they give the federal government, and that's a joke.
 

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There is soo much f***ing waste in this STIMULUS PACKAGE it ain't FUNNY!:bash:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There will be waste in any government program. The Iraq War was/is arguably the biggest waste of American tax dollars in history. The privatization and outsourcing of core military functions to private firms who overbilled the government for billions while not performing the work is a national disgrace.

Interesting that Coburn and his far right GOP ilk only bitch about purported waste when the government spends money on the general welfare but close their mouths tighter than an astronaut's asshole on takeoff when it comes to military-industrial complex spending, which gets an amount of money similar to the stimulus bill EVERY YEAR.
Oh, by the way, Coburn voted against Iraq War spending bills every time.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Coburn#Iraq_War_appropriations

Sounds like you have a lot of research to do on Coburn.. and could you name the supposed "far right GOP ilk" that he is allied with? Coburn has very few friends in the Senate..
 

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My main problem is that Oklahoma is traditionally a "donor state" meaning we give the feds more than we get. It bothers me that every other city, I'm helping pay for their pet projects, but any pet projects for OKC must be carried on the backs of OKC alone. Some states on the other hand get $2-4 dollars for every dollar they give the federal government, and that's a joke.
Looks like someone is getting information from a rabid monkey.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22685.html

Hate to (actually, I love to) break it you, but Oklahoma is not a donor state. Open the file and scroll down to Oklahoma. Then scroll up to Massachusetts. I want to see people kneeling down in thanks for our money before I see anyone bitch more about the Central Artery.

Can I ask you a favor? When you make argument, please stick to the numbers and avoid exaggeration. No state is receiving more than $2 (which is still outrageous, but this is, after all, a Union, and we stand by it). 80% of the stimulus spending is useless waste? Demonstrate, or don't say it.

I can identify projects right next to me that are getting stimulus money and creating jobs. For example, the primary highway for Boston's northern Metrowest area, MA-2, is getting repairs that have been needed for nearly a decade. I just wish more money had been allocated for transit funding around here, as a parking deck at one station as well as express services could double line ridership.

Allow me to remind you of three things:
1) Let's break down the purpose of a stimulus into immediate and secondary effects. The immediate effect should always be the creation of consumer power/demand. We can get it either by writing transfer checks or directly creating jobs, the latter of which we generally prefer and the former of which is necessary for those we cannot employ. Does every spending package Coburn listed fulfill the task of creating consumer power/demand? YES. Okay, now secondary impacts. The best are those that lead to even more jobs, like infrastructure (when it isn't redundant) and education. The next best are those that fulfill actual defense, environmental, and cultural needs. Do the projects Coburn harped on fulfill those needs? YES.

2) Think of the economy as a gigantic, ocean-going, Panamax ship. People scream that the stimulus failed when it is proceeding according to plan. How can people expect changes to happen within a matter of months? It's funny how people complain that the stimulus has failed when it takes them months to work up the initiative to do anything themselves in their own personal lives, like buying cars, taking out mortgages, and any sort of contract work. The government is providing the money, but all the slow-negotiation and research of any deal between competent buyers and sellers are still going on.

3) People often analyze the cost of the stimulus without considering what would have happened without it. In fact, with government spending, we usually focus too much on the cost side of the equation and not enough on the revenue side. Stimulus is generally not intended to grow the economy. It is intended to hold the economy STEADY, prevent a fall. Without the stimulus, more jobs would have been lost, causing a drop in tax revenue, which consequently leads to a deeper deficit. Which is worse, deficit, or deficit + job loss?

Moreover, we are still within the realm of the effects of Bush/supply-side policy. Unfortunately, the real effects of a President's economic decisions often take several years to materialize. Notice how the stimulus is expected to have its greatest effect in the 2010-2011 time frame. However, by the time of a few months after the stimulus's passing, as is now happening, because people expect results and don't see them, the initiative may die. I worry that unwise tax cuts will be passed as a backlash, and when the actual change comes as part of the original stimulus, it will be wrongly attributed to the tax cuts.

There are clearly some pork projects in here, but Coburn's little fun-read here smells of projects taken out of context, projects misunderstood, and distasteful conduct. SRG, I respect the fact that you omitted projects from Coburn's list that you felt were not pork, but if the projects you list were his best material, I can't imagine what else he considers pork.

Let me take just one example to show how ridiculous Coburn's conclusions are:

Let's go to #4, the airport. I agree, building this airport in the first place was a fairly stupid idea, but we have it now, and we ought to do what we can to make use of it. In fact, Coburn lies. Otherwise, I would sure like to know how he thinks $18mil would pay for a full runway capable of handling any plane in the US. Runways and their supporting structures cost hundreds of millions. This $18 mil is slated, most likely, to EXTEND a current runway to make it capable of carrying larger planes. Hangars don't cost $14 mil unless they are large enough to be intended for job creating, commercial purposes. Same thing with Air Traffic Control and the radar. Here's the best part. Coburn conveniently ignored that the airport is home to battalions of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, and the Marines.

Here's a really simple one. Sure, Optima Lake doesn't have water in it, but I don't remember meeting anyone who liked skidding off the road for a hundred foot drop, whether there is water at the bottom or not.

We all must remember that stimulus spending is, on one hand, rooted in solid economic theory, but it cannot overcome problems far more integral to the nature of the society its used in. In the US, we have 5 huge problems that MUST be solved.
1) The influence of SIGs in the legislative process, primarily from industry - this one has a foot in all the others
2) healthcare
3) education - fixing this problem fixes all the others
4) Land/resource use and valuation
5) The petrodollar
 
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