Washington, D.C. – The nation’s premier taxpayer watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), today expressed more outrage with the Obama administration’s $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), or “stimulus” package, following the release of a new study by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The report highlighted the fact that some stimulus programs led to job losses, instead of job creation.
The report also detailed more questionable uses of the stimulus money, including $1.2 million for converting an abandoned train station into a museum in New Jersey, $762,372 to develop interactive dance software in North Carolina, and $554,763 for new windows in a visitor’s center that closed in 2007 in Washington.
“The President promised that 90 percent of the jobs created would be in the private sector and that unemployment would drop to 8 percent, but the only positive job creation has been in the public sector, as private sector unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “The administration’s spokespersons have been all over the board on jobs creation numbers, claiming anywhere from 640,000 to 2 million; yet the numbers show more than 3.4 million jobs have been lost since President Obama promised to create more than 3 million jobs when he announced the stimulus package 18 months ago. While touting the stimulus as part of the effort to get the country out of the Great Recession, all it has done is help to create the Great Debt.”
The 74-page report scrutinized 100 stimulus projects. A news report by CNBC highlighted the fact that the study “spotlights everything from federal stimulus money that went to study the effects of cocaine on monkeys to dollars that went to construction projects that blocked access to local businesses – which laid off employees as a result.”
“President Obama talks incessantly about wasteful government spending and reining in the budget deficit, yet his policies do the opposite and end up spending more taxpayer money than any previous President. In fact, President Obama and Congress have increased discretionary spending by 84 percent,” continued Schatz. “The stimulus is part of a large down payment on a long-term legacy of fiscal woe, as the national debt will nearly double in the next 10 years. In the prescient words of CAGW co-founder J. Peter Grace, ‘we’re mortgaging our children’s future…we’re robbing piggy banks, we’re taxing our defenseless children without representation. … It’s unforgivable.’”
Submitted by Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.