What Would You Spend the Stimulus Money On?

During last night's Hannity's America, FOX News exposed just over 100 of the most outrageous Recovery Act expenditures.We've all seen the big green signs across Colorado, crediting the passing of the Stimulus Bill and our governor for the road work being done.  The signs themselves are costing taxpayers about $3000 each, with some states spending a million dollars or more just on the signs.  Jobs creation? As Hannity and his team of reporters went across the country revealing some of the incredible wastes of our money, a few examples stand out.  One community received enough stimulus funds to build a new fire station but the town won't be able to hire firefighters to work in it.  Stretches of pavement completed in 2007 were ripped up and re-paved with stimulus dollars, even while residents claimed the road was not even in need of repair.  Many of our institutions of higher learning cashed in and picked the pockets of taxpayers for pet research projects, meanwhile, leaving their huge endowment investment funds untouched.  Even the sport of football got a boost from Mr. and Mrs. Federal Taxpayer.  Research money was handed out to develop the next generation of gloves worn by players in games.  Most of us will rest easy knowing THAT issue is finally getting much-needed funding and attention.  Back in the old days, private sector companies such as NIKE and Under Armor developed the latest trends in sports equipment and created jobs.

Colorado made the list, as well.  The folks in Boulder will get skylights installed in a climbing wall facility so it will seem like climbers are actually outside.  As Hannity pointed out, we kinda already have God-given climbing walls with sky views---they are called the Rocky Mountains.

A reporter visited the community of Crested Butte to talk to locals about their receipt of stimulus money to study wildflowers.  One man talked about the correlation between Colorado wildflowers and tomatoes freezing in Florida.  I had some problems following as he tried to connect those dots, but another man on the street interview was as clear as our skies overhead this fine morning.

The FOX reporter asked this man if he agreed with stimulus money being spent in his area to study wildflowers.  Without hesitation, the man responded back with his own question:  "What would YOU spend it on?"  The reporter explained that he wouldn't spend it at all, and the gentleman from Crested Butte acknowledged that the two of them disagreed.  End of interview.

To the man that wondered what better reason to spend stimulus money than in a mountain town famous in part for its beautiful wildflowers, I also disagree with him.  How can it be that so many people in our towns and cities, our states and our nation as a whole still don't understand that whether it's stimulus money, Cash for Clunkers, extending unemployment benefits, health care for everyone and all the other pie in the sky spending initiatives, we don't have the money.  That man in Crested Butte most likely pays his taxes on time, obeys the laws and stimulates the local economy with his personal treasure.  He may be well educated and a good citizen overall, but he's failing future generations by maintaining his view of the role of government and how much money that government should be allowed to borrow and print.   Too bad some of our neighbors in the high country don't yet understand that the government has no money until they first confiscate it from the folks in Crested Butte and across the country. 

If my family had enough extra money available these days, we'd take a cross country tour and visit some of the community projects we are funding through the Stimulus Bill, such as bike paths in towns where almost no one rides a bike and new paint jobs for bridges that are no longer used.  We'd stop by the university and check on the progress of studying whether monkeys respond to cocaine in similar ways as humans, and we'd definitely see if the deer are using their new underpass rather than walking out of the woods and onto the road.  Hopefully, "deer crossing" signs were also purchased with tax dollars so the deer can read the directions to walk under the road rather than across it.