August 3rd, 2010
08:05 AM ET
4 years ago

GOP senators list what they say are the 100 worst stimulus projects

 A visitor center at Mount St. Helens, seen in 2004, is now closed, but got new windows under a stimulus project.
A visitor center at Mount St. Helens, seen in 2004, is now closed, but got new windows under a stimulus project.

Washington (CNN) – Monkeys on cocaine. New windows for a closed visitor's center. Modern dance as a tool for software development.

A report released Tuesday by conservative Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain cited these and 97 other projects as leading examples of misguided or wasteful spending under the Obama administration's $862 billion economic stimulus bill.

Titled "Summertime Blues," the report is the third by the two senators targeting projects that they say fail to meet the job-creation goal of spending under the Recovery Act of 2009.

The report highlights the extraordinary "waste and mismanagement" of taxpayer dollars, said McCain, R-Arizona. The stimulus plan "was supposed to create jobs. It does not."

Full story

(Updated at 12:10 p.m. ET)


Filed under: issues • John McCain • Stimulus • Tom Coburn
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Eunice in Memphis, Tennessee

    The party of NO should sit down.

    August 3, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Bubba

    The GOP has become useless with age.

    August 3, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  3. BobH

    So out of 70,000 projects, they found 100 that they thought were questionable? That's a great batting average, considering they themselves (the senators) push hard to win dubious handouts for their states.

    More importantly, the science research related projects, like the monkey/cocaine study, sounds silly to idiots who know nothing about scientific research. Not only is the work important for understanding cocaine addiction and finding new ways to treat it, but it is looking at a basic pathway in the brain that is involved in a host of mental conditions– some of which the senators may eventually (or perhaps already?) suffer from.

    August 3, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. Linda

    Old man McCaine and out of touch Coburn: You owe it to US taxpayers to reduce military/Pentagon spending, investigate
    welfare and Section 8 fraud, end taxpayer costs for refugees
    being brought into the US – if they do not have the stones to
    fight for their own countries, we do not want them here,
    eliminate waste in government, END THE TWO ILLEGAL
    WARS -Iraq and Afganistan NOW, and cut taxpayer costs
    for your own healthcare programs while in office, AND
    MAKE YOU PAY OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKETS FOR YOUR
    OWN HEALTHCARE ONCE YOUR ARE OUT OF OFFICE, etc.

    Your nickle and dime attacks on minicule stimulus errors is
    indicative of your collective stupidity!

    August 3, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. key

    It's helped me remain working and many more. I don't understand politics today it's all about me these senators have personal wealth. How can any administration control all abuse if any.

    August 3, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. John in binghamton

    What about the 100 worst Mcain ideas:
    1. Palin
    2. Change position more than a restless sleeper
    3. Suspend campaign
    4. Call Obama a terrorist
    5. Cheating on his wife
    .
    .
    .

    August 3, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. Sense of fairness

    No question that are probably some projects that are watse. However, this is pure politics as the GOP did not highlight any wasteful spending when they were in control. The GOP makes no mention of the $8 billion of unaccounted funds for the Iraq reconstruction ( the bulk of which occurred during a republican adminstration). They make no mention of the $1 billion spent to build the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Both parties are simply playing politics with the facts. (Democrats would do the same if they did not control the government.) The report would be more credible if it highlighted all waste from both parties.

    August 3, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. GL

    I am sick of hearing what the Republicans don't like about this and that. Why don't these fools produce their own plan and stop taking President Obama plan a part every single day. I am real sick of the new media letting the Republicans get away with just taking the President plan apart with out having their own plan. I blame all this on the new media for not doing their job and making the Republicans tell the American people what is their plan. For over 2 years now the American people had to endure the noise for the right about what they do not like about President Obama plan, but never did the American people hear from the Republican what the hell is their plan. CNN stop reporting on what the Republicans don’t like about President Obama plan and start asking the Republicans what is THERE PLAN! Enough already with all this NOSIE FROM THE RIGHT! WHERE THE HELL IS YOUR PLAN REPUBLICANS?

    August 3, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. hypocricnnation

    The GOP Was Against The Stimulus Package From The Beginning, So Griping About Things They Didn't Like Is Not News! So I Wonder What The Hell Is The Point Of This Article, To State The Obvious?

    August 3, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Only Logic

    Don't these two yo-yo's have anything better to do like, oh I don't know, ending two illegal wars, prosecuting the war criminals from the former regime, creating REAL healthcare reform, eliminating the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, removing Palin's vocal chords, etc? There's plenty of good, productive work available for this two clowns, but it's a heavy lift so I'm not expecting much from them. Evidently they'd rather spend their time harvesting low hanging fruit and taking cheap shots. Oh wait – they're republicans – that's what they do. It's in their DNA.

    August 3, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Ryan

    This has to be one of the worst articles I have read from CNN. I know they are left, but this takes the cake. Every project that the report lists, whether all the facts are there or not, are not stimulus and are a waste of federal government spending. The fact that money for the choreography project is spread out over 3 years does not justify the fact that my federal dollars are being used so people can choreograph without a full cast. I cannot believe that Cohen would even try to justify these projects.

    August 3, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Blowburn and McPain

    How much taxpayer $ did they spend on studying this?

    August 3, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  13. Can't we all just get along?

    Let's see -

    There was the study about how much methane cows put in the air.
    There was the study about how stressful it is to be left-handed in a right-handed world (no mention about those of us who are ambidexterous).

    How long have all these little "studies" been granted money by the government? Maybe if we look back to the late 1700's, we'd find out that George Washington allowed a study of something as 'interesting' as which breed of horse is better suited to chomping on Bermuda grass or Fescue grass. Heck, let's go back further - Ramses the Great may have paid for a study to see if visitors preferred tall frescos or more eye-level frescos painted on the walls of the "bathrooms" in Egypt.

    It's another smoke and mirrors argument by the GOP because they think the American people are too stupid to realize that studies like these are as old as politics themselves.

    August 3, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Michael

    I guess Obama should have done what the republicans wanted to do when the economy crashed....which was nothing! They still have no ideas except the old standby, cut taxes. When they did that before the tax breaks were for businesses and the wealthy, thne the econmy crashed because they got greedy.

    August 3, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Thomas

    So how do the tax cuts rate?

    August 3, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  16. Joe in TN

    I have seen dozens of badly needed projects throughout TX, NM, AZ, TN. OK, NV and CA. Over the years of neglect, I-40 had become a 2000 mile long pothole. It is vastly improved. The best "stimulus" project I noted was in MCCAINS state of Arizona...Renovation and improved guest access and preservation of the Grand Canyon visitor areas.
    The Grand Canyon is a National treasure.
    The president has done far more for Arizona than the doddering old maverick has recently.
    Certanly there is waste. There is always going to be waste. That is the nature of things government, but on the whole, the projects are needed and benificial
    A great deal of good has come from these projects. God forbid the GOP should admit this...fools

    August 3, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. GL

    Hey, CNN how about telling the American people about the 9 millions dollars not accounted for in Iraq before talking about Stimulus money being wasted. This is small potatoes to the money lost in Iraq. While do the Republicans continue to be so negative there is always going to be some type of waste, but this waste is nothing compare to the money wasted in IRAQ which is not getting any coverage – I wonder why because that money came from the Bush Administrations not the Obama Administration. CNN you are staring to look like Fox News with your continually reporting on things the Republicans are complaining about, AND continue to miss other big stories like the millions missing in IRAQ!

    August 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Tom-Vermillion, Ohio

    Is Republican 'pork' included as well? Or is Democratic 'pork' the only ones considered in this list? And what is Republican Sens. Tom Coburn's and John McCain's definition of 'misguided or wasteful spending'? Do they consider wasteful spending that which enhances the wealthiest American's wealth by millions per year in salaries? Seems to me there was a lot of that happenning over the past decade as a result of legislation influenced by lobbying interests. It is a fact that a lot of folks got even wealthier during the recent economic downturn with little or no actual return in terms of jobs. Do they consider that waste? Since they brought it up, they need to be 'hammered' on this one. For what its worth, that's my opinion.

    August 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. GL

    The senators' report challenged the viability or effectiveness of specific projects across the country. However, the report's use of selected information from hundreds of footnoted sources left it unclear whether the brief summaries of each project told the whole story.

    If the story is being told by the Republicans you can bet it is not the whole story.

    August 3, 2010 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. Neil

    And the republicans would never waste money like that right?

    August 3, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  21. jane

    Someone from the Democratic Party should - and easily could- deliver a far more negative report about Republican spending, but Democrats are too busy trying to undo the catastrophic situation in which the country was left by the Bush administration. It will take generations to do that, if we ever can.

    August 3, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  22. doug

    Just like the BP chicago lib shakedown money, much of this stimulus money will go to/has gone to paying off idiot Democrats to vote for the Socialist in Chief and to vote for his Democrat lapdogs this November.

    What does it say about Ticker libs who support this?

    The same libs who cry about small business owners who have worked 18 hour days for years who now have a little money spending it, yet were talking about how the Clintons....well George Soros blowing millions on Chelsea's wedding as stimulating the economy. It isn't stimulating the economy, it is the evils of capitalism when that small business owner spends money that he earned. When you vote Democrat you are saying that you want to be ruled by a king, Mr. Soros, there is not a single lib who can counter that because it is the god honest truth!

    Please, just think about who and what you support with a Democrat vote, if you have a shred of decency you will be voting Republican. Double standards are evil and it is at the heart of everything a lib supports or does.

    August 3, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  23. EBC

    I hope they include the BUSH TAX CUTS, TWO WARS, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND FIASCO, etc.

    Republicans are famous for shifting the blame on everyone but themselves. It's in the DNA. ALL they do is going around barking NO, NO, NO, NO....but never once did they take ownership of their reckless spending and FAILED POLICIES that started this BIG DEFICIT they are now complaining about. President Obama did NOT create this BIG MESS, Republicans created the mess and now act like they are the innocent party. Get outta here with that BS.

    August 3, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. independent

    I propose three other lists, and challenge CNN contributors to do it honestly.

    1) Top 25 worst GOP politicians/spokespersons.
    2) Top 40 worst politicians/spokespersons (any affiliation).

    And, for the really industrious, I suggest the dedicated politiphiles out there list the top ten worst tax cuts, waivers, credits or giveaways.

    August 3, 2010 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. T'SAH from Virginia

    "Obama administration's $862 economic stimulus bill..."

    Eight hundred and Sixty-Two dollars is NOT much of a stimulus bill for the RepubliCAN'Ts to be squawking about!!!!! LOL (get it right CNN)

    McSAME is known for bringing up 'wasteful spending'... remember the primaries all of the 'wasteful spending" he mentioned – AND, that was under BUSHwatch!!!!!

    I guarantee you that the $$ amount of the 100 "wasteful" stimulus projects only adds up to a DROP in the bucket........ EXPIRE the TAX CUTS for the RICH and you will see a BETTER CHANGE!!!

    August 3, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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