Earmarks Galore

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has a new report on the most outrageous examples of federal spending.  Some of the top examples, courtesy of the Center for Fiscal Accountability:

  • $188,000 for Lobster Institute in Maine, home of the “LobsterCam”
  • $1 million for bike paths on Louisiana levees while levees await basic repairs
  • $2.4 million for a retractable shade canopy at a park in West Virginia
  • $24.6 million for the National Park Service’s 100th year birthday in 2016 – 8 years early
  • $3.2 million on a blimp the Pentagon does not want
  •  $367,000 wasted by a Texas school board on items like an inflatable alligator and under-the-sea waterslide, among other things
  • $5 million for a bridge to a zoo parking lot in St. Louis
  • $9,000 for a non-functioning airplane-shaped gas station in Tennessee 
  • $300,000 for specialty potatoes for high-end restaurants

Your tax dollars at work…

One thing Coburn pointed out on the call beyond that is the fact there are $30 billion worth of federal buildings that are not used but for which maintenance cost is being paid to the tune of $5-6 billion per year, yet these buildings can’t be sold off!?

Time Magazine also has compiled a ranking of the 10 most outrageous earmarks of 2008.

Finally, Legistorm has combined with Taxpayers for Common Sense to build a searchable database of earmarks (HT to NTU).  Pennsylvania ranks 8th in earmarks by state.