Stimulus Package

Shovel Ready? ‘Bite Me!’

By on 7.20.11 | 9:50AM

Don Carrington, my friend and former co-worker at Carolina Journal (published by the John Locke Foundation), has uncovered another round of pooper-scooper (formerly known as "shovel-ready") spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This time a flock of fishing boats, which may or may not have needed the upgrade, received "Half Off! Act Now" diesel engine replacements from taxpayers:

"Bite Me," a charter fishing boat ($1,500 plus tip for a full-day's outing) based at the Hatteras Harbor Marina in Dare County (on the Outer Banks), was one of 14 fishing boats on the North Carolina coast to receive thousands of dollars to replace their diesel engines under President Obama's stimulus program.

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More Green Jobs Go Poof

By on 6.22.11 | 11:04AM

The Mackinac Center's Michigan Capital Confidential reports that a green tech transportation company has burned through a significant taxpayer loan, and they ain't payin' it back, because the business went belly-up:

In September of 2009, Fisher Coachworks was mentioned in a press release from (former) Gov. Jennifer Granholm as a "green technology" company that was part of the "new energy economy for Michigan." Two years later, the state says Fisher Coachworks is out of business and the state has to write off $1.6 million it loaned the electric bus manufacturing company.

Edgar Benning, general manager of Flint's Mass Transportation Authority, said in an email that Fisher Coachworks went out of business in the development phase of making two $1.1 million electric buses that Flint was going to purchase with grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly referred to as the "stimulus plan."

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Baucus’s Lame-Duck Renewables Ploy

By on 12.6.10 | 9:20AM

Cap-and-trade is said to be dead, and the general belief I'm hearing out of D.C. is that a national Renewable Electricity Standard (introduced in a bill co-sponsored by Democrat Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas -- who is also the state's Governor-elect) isn't going to happen during a lame-duck session either.

But according to the Washington Times, Montana Democrat Sen. Max Baucus plans a last-gasp effort to get through a few more stimulus dollars for alternative energy schemers before the Senate makeup changes for the worse:

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Green Jobs Fallacies, Animated

By on 11.29.10 | 2:28PM

We've referred many times to the failures in Spain of the heavy subsidization of a "Green jobs" agenda, citing it as the primo example of why the similar Obama policy will also fail. The Institute for Energy Research has produced a brief video that explains nicely the Spanish experiment:

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Given Time, More Fraud Appears

By on 10.20.10 | 7:38AM

I expect we'll be revisiting this many times. The Washington Post reported a few weeks ago:

The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report to be released Friday.

Coming barely a month before November's midterm elections, which will determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress, the report challenges public perceptions of the stimulus aid as slow-moving and wasteful - an image that has fueled voter anger with the dominant party. Even some former skeptics who predicted that the money would lead to rampant abuse now acknowledge that the program could serve as a model for improving efficiency in government.

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The Fraudulent Obama Stimulus Report

By on 10.7.10 | 5:27PM

The Washington Post reported last Friday:

The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget - and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse - according to a White House report....

Coming barely a month before November's midterm elections, which will determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress, the report challenges public perceptions of the stimulus aid as slow-moving and wasteful - an image that has fueled voter anger with the dominant party. Even some former skeptics who predicted that the money would lead to rampant abuse now acknowledge that the program could serve as a model for improving efficiency in government.

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$750k Passenger Bridge to Nowhere

By on 9.27.10 | 4:20PM

Yet more shovel-ready busy-work funded by taxpayers, discovered by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota and Watchdog.org:

St. Cloud Regional Airport touts lots of amenities on its website—a café, ATM, free wi-fi, free parking and a $5 million completely renovated terminal whose capacity went up dramatically from 30 to 200 travelers. There’s also a new $750,000 passenger boarding bridge secured with federal stimulus funds to keep travelers out of the elements while catching a flight. One asset, however, the newly renovated airport notably lacks—commercial flights and passengers....

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Biden Continues His Rentseekers Backslap Tour

By on 3.18.10 | 6:18PM

Vice President Joe Biden today made his latest tour stop as he congratulates companies on their successes in securing Recovery Act grants, special tax breaks and government favors for their allegedly "green" companies.
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Phantom Stimulus Beneficiary

By on 1.27.10 | 1:35PM

First there were stories, thanks to the enterprising Watchdog.org reporters (Disclosure: I worked with them on the Massachusetts story election last week), about the Recovery Act funds that went to phantom Congressional districts.
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Menzie Chinn Joins Me in Nihilism

By on 12.3.09 | 3:11PM

I take Menzie Chinn's second attack on me as a compliment, as his blog Econbrowser is probably the most sophisticated economics blog extant and has been one of my favorites and a daily read for about two years now. But I fear for Econbrowser, because Dr. Chinn has established that I am a nihilist, while at the same time endorsing all my claims, which inescapably leads me to conclude that he, too, is a nihilist.

Let's approach Dr. Chinn's latest broadside, "Politico Joseph Lawler Goes Nihilist," piece by piece:

Be afraid, be very afraid...again. From Joseph Lawler

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