Opinion

MICHAEL GOODWIN: 'Sheriff' Joe Biden, Asleep at the Stimulus Switch

Somebody is messing with Joe. Actually, many somebodies are messing with Joe.

The Joe is Biden, the vice president, the man his boss called “Sheriff Joe” when he put him in charge of making sure the stimulus money was well spent.

“Nobody messes with Joe,” President Obama said in a speech before Congress, where he promised government officials would be held “accountable for each and every dollar” they spend.

Biden clowned around at the affair 17 months ago, but three busts later, nobody is laughing.

Bust No. 1: Obama sold the stimulus as the only way to keep unemployment from hitting 8 percent. At 9.5 percent and holding, we know how that worked out.

Bust No. 2: Obama sold the initial price tag at $787 billion, but a closer look after it was passed put it at $862 billion, proving the government is equally good at forecasting and counting.

Bust No. 3: Sheriff Joe has been a Keystone Kop at policing waste, unable to find a single instance since he got his badge.

Perhaps the sense that nobody is watching explains why bureaucrats are so brazen in flushing taxpayer cash down the toilet, according to a new list of 100 wasteful stimulus projects.

Compiled by Republican Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn, the list shows officials spent $500,000 for new windows at a closed tourist center in Washington state, $6.9 million for repairs to an 1846 brick fort in the Florida Keys, accessible only by private plane or a four-hour boat ride, $2 million for California researchers to study ants in the Indian Ocean, and $762,000 for “interactive choreography programs” at the University of North Carolina.

My personal favorite is the $89,000 sidewalk in Oklahoma that is said to be near no homes or businesses and leads into a ditch.

All this evidence dumped in his lap and yet no peep of protest is heard from Sheriff Joe. His boss is also dismissive, with aWhite House spokesman calling the list of waste just “politics.”

Indeed it is. It’s also money, taxpayer money, and Biden is supposed to watch it.

Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.

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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.