More Out-of-Control Government Spending

$16 muffins? $700,000 for interpretive dance? And yet, it’s somehow difficult for politicians to find ways to save money?

This kind of spending, even completely eliminated, doesn’t solve our debt problem the way entitlement and tax reform would. But it’s still difficult to believe that these kind of expenditures continue even after politicians claim they can’t cut any more.

Case in point: The U.S. Justice Department has been serving $16 muffins and $7.32 beef Wellington appetizers at their conferences (after a basic, preliminary search of bakeries I can’t even find a $16 muffin). While it’s perfectly fine to serve food at a conference, does it need to be so lavish (beef Wellington) or overpriced (muffins)?

It’s not just lavish conferences where money is wasted. While we’ve said here at Heritage Action that the stimulus was a massive waste, just how wasteful the money was is still coming to light.

National Review Online has listed over $142 million in wasteful stimulus funds:

  • $762,372 for an interpretive dance project. This “created” 1.5 jobs for a total of $508,248 per job.
  • $55,180,420 for upstream lock monoliths in Kentucky. This “created” 36 jobs at $1,532,789.44 per job.
  • $86,674,319 for a D.C. building renovation. This “created” 36.84 jobs at $2,352,723.09 per job.

I seriously doubt that any of the people hired for those jobs made anywhere near the amount it cost taxpayers to create that position. According to National Review:

“Overall, according to the totals on, the stimulus has doled out 102,475 contracts, grants, and loans, adding up to $268,286,509,456 in funds awarded and $172,391,273,168 in funds received. (Yes, according to these figures, almost $100 billion — $95,895,236,288 has been awarded to various entities but has not yet been used/spent yet.)”

According to National Review’s findings, those who have received stimulus funds reported creating 555,029 jobs. Based on funds received, the cost to taxpayers is $3,132,734.97 per job.  Of course, those calculations do not include the dead weight loss that occurs when the government pulls money out of the private sector to distribute it as they see fit.

9.1% unemployment, no jobs created in August and only meager job creation before that, President Obama has to ask himself, money well spent?

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