My Mercatus Center colleague Eileen Norcross and I have a new piece at Reason.com where we map out a worst-case scenario about how the stimulus money could be spent.
Consider the $80 billion of stimulus spending allocated to the states. We’ve all heard how the money will be spent for critical, urgent “ready-to-go” local projects in transit, infrastructure, housing, airports, and school modernization. Yet there is nothing in the bill explaining how that spending will take place or even what projects will be funded. The U.S. Conference of Mayors gave us a peek in December, and it wasn’t pretty. The shovel-ready wish list from 779 cities topped out at $149.7 billion for 18,750 projects.
Based on that list, we can map a worst-case scenario of how cities might spend your money. For instance, the bill appropriates $1 billion for the Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Based on the mayors’ requests, that money might buy 23 restroom projects, 79 athletic fields, 77 sidewalks and street lighting projects, 3 dog parks, 14 animal shelters, 11 zoos, and 31 museums.
Obviously, the worst case scenario is also likely to be how funds will end up being spent. For more about your money could end up, go here.
Oh and by the way, according to this, a dead woman just got some stimulus money!