$862,000,000,000.  That is what $862 billion looks like.  That happens to be the amount of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  We’ve all been concerned as we heard stories about where the money was going.  I did a little poking around and I found these items below:

  • $233 million to UC at San Diego to study why Africans vote.
  • $2 million to build fire station in Nevada but the county couldn’t afford the wages.
  • $550,000 to replace windows in a Washington (state) visitor’s center that had closed in 2007.
  • $1.9 million the California Academy of Sciences to study ants.
  • $800,000 for a Georgia Tech assistant professor to study improved music by “jamming” with world renowned musicians.
  • North Carolina schools received $4.4 million to hire math & literacy coaches FOR THE TEACHERS.
  • $24 million to a contractor currently on trial for bribery
  • $15 million to Boeing which was fined for polluting a creek—they were asked to monitor water quality.
  • $650 million for digital TV coupons
  • $600 million to convert the federal auto fleet to hybrids
  • $400 million to local governments to purchase hybrid vehicles
  • $9 million to Harvard University to research and assemble robotic bee
  • $428,000 to design better video games for senior citizens

There are so many more reckless and foolish expenditures that I had to quite typing.  I stated to feel carpel tunnel and I was starting scream like the Angry Squirrel.

Pork, pork, pork.

Have you seen those highway signs on your way to work?  You know, the ones that read: “Funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act” and “Putting America Back to Work”?  I have seen a few of them.  I drive past one on I-25 every morning and every night.  I had no idea that they cost so much though.  ABC News recently reported that Pennsylvania spent $157,000 for 70 of those signs.  That averages $2,242.86 per sign.  I heard an earlier news report that was even higher but I was unable to locate it now.  I also heard a news report that documented a large amount of money was spent to study the mating habits of bees.  However, I was not able to find the particulars.

I’m glad that we have a president that will not sign any bill into law that contains pork.  This is truly the kind of hope and change that people were voting for.