Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ron Johnson Wants to Name Names -- Just not any Names in Wisconsin

Yesterday Sens. John McCain and Tom Coburn released a report (see below) detailing what they called the 100 most wasteful stimulus projects. The report was issued by each Senator's offices, even though both men are up for re-election this year and conveniently issued the report with about 100 days before the election.

So it came as little surprise when I saw this today on Ron Johnson's Facebook page (click on the images to embiggen):
The post linked to this page on RJ's website:

First of all, I think it's amusing that Johnson's campaign cited a program in Washington state and claims that it's not "getting the job done for Wisconsin families."

Well, of course not. Nor is any federal money going to the Pacific Northwest.

The example cited obviously comes from McCain's report -- it's ranked #1 on the list. One can reasonably assume that tomorrow's example of wasteful spending will be "Dance Draw" interactive dance software development (it's #2 from McCain's study). On Friday plan on learning all about the Northshore connector between PNC Park, Hienz Field and a casino in Pittsburgh (#3).

SPOILER ALERT: #100 is a student alcohol consumption study at Columbia University.

The point is this: Johnson can moan about any one of the stimulus projects, but what he owes voters are examples of which projects in Wisconsin he believes are pork and how much money he wants sent back to Washington. There have been over $3.6 billion in stimulus funds awarded to Wisconsin: how much of that would Johnson like us to give back?

Let's put it another way: the four area codes that comprise the city of Oshkosh (54901-4) have been allotted $63,335,832 in stimulus funds according to -- which projects should the people of Oshkosh go without?

I bring this up because over a year ago there was much ado about a stimulus project here in Oshkosh that involved a parking lot just off Main Street. At the time Mayor Esslinger was a member of a very vocal minority who opposed the project. Most people in town supported it, including the Main Street business owners whom would be inconvenienced by a few months of construction and most of the local business community. Johnson's voice was nowhere to be heard. In fact, Johnson appears to have had nothing to say in public about government spending until he helped organize the Oshkosh Tea Party in October of Last year. Seeing that Johnson dropped his Tea Party association entirely after discovering the Tea Party is actually a lunatic fringe, one has to wonder how long his devotion to spending cuts would last in Washington?

So, again, which programs should we get rid of? What programs are essentially a waste of tax-payer money?

Can we start of this list with the obviously politically motivated "report" that the Johnson campaign is now using as a talking point?

Here's the McCain/Coburn report:
McCain/Coburn Stimulus Report

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