According to a report released Tuesday by two Republican Senators, these are just a few of the questionable projects being funded with money from President Obama's $862 billion dollar economic stimulus package.
One of the report's authors, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said, "There is no question the stimulus bill has had a positive effect on the economy to a certain degree and... our criticism is, it could have had a far greater effect."
Among the projects singled out for criticism in the report:--A half million dollars for new windows at the Mt. St. Helens visitors center in Amboy, Washington. The building has been closed since 2007 and there are no immediate plans to reopen it.--$6.9 million dollars for repairs to an 1846 brick fort marooned on Dry Tortuga at the end the Florida Keys. Few people can visit this remote national park unless they hire a seaplane or take a four-hour round-trip boat ride. --Creating a museum in an abandoned train station in Glasboro, NJ, at the cost of $1.2 million.--$2 million dollars to send researchers from the California Academy of Sciences to islands in the Indian Ocean to study exotic ants.--A study of dog domestication at Cornell University with a price tag of $296-thousand dollars.--$141-thousand dollars to send students from Montana State University to China to study dinosaur eggs.--$762-thousand dollars to create interactive choreography programs at the University of North Carolina. Dancers would wear electronic monitors to analyze their movements. --$89-thousand dollars to replace sidewalks in Boynton, Oklahoma that were just replaced five years ago. One of them goes nowhere near any houses or businesses and leads directly into a ditch. Coburn and McCain claim these and other projects are misconceived and mismanaged, while creating few, if any, new jobs.
As Senator McCain put it: "The stimulus package was supposed to create jobs. Unemployment was going to be 8%. That's what the president said. That's what his chief economic advisor said. That's what the Secretary of the Treasury said when they sold this debt to the American people. It does not create jobs.
The Obama Administration disagrees. In July, the White House announced that about three million new jobs have been saved or created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as the stimulus package is officially titled.
Vice President Joe Biden insisted, "The economic initiatives that we took, they are working."Noting that the report from Coburn and McCain comes just months before the mid-term elections, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs suggested "Summertime Blues" isn't really about jobs. He said, "I think... this has much more to do with politics."
Steve Centanni currently serves a Washington-based national correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1996 as a general news reporter. Click here for more information on Steve Centanni.