Planet Gore

How Miami-Dade Wasted $15M of Stimulus Money on ‘Healthy-Living’

The Miami New-Times reports:

​Remember President Obama’s stimulus package? The $787 billion bill was supposed to goose this country’s ailing economy like a line of premium yeyo. Here in Miami, it was also booked to save us from our slovenly, speed-eating selves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the Miami-Dade County Health Department nearly $15 million for healthy-living programs. Neighborhoods such as Overtown and Liberty City — where McDonald’s locations easily outnumber produce vendors — desperately needed the help.

But three years later, those lofty plans have fallen prey to red tape. All the money must be spent by next month, yet half a dozen organizations have only begun to receive funds.

“It’s been a huge pain in the ass,” says Ian Wogan, whose company, Garden of Ian, was awarded a grant to improve two community gardens in Little Haiti but struggled for months to get the cash.

What happened? Well, it took a full year for Miami-Dade DOH to even receive the $14.7 million. Then DOH began soliciting bids. It didn’t start doling out cash until June 2010, giving $12 million to 20 groups.

But those that received money included many programs that had little to do with putting vegetables in the hood. Miami-Dade County Public Schools, for instance, took $3 million for “healthier” vending machines and education sessions; the Miami Police Department bizarrely snagged $300,000 to train crossing guards; and more than $3 million went to ad firms to promote the CDC’s plans.

Three million bucks for ad firms to promote a nonexistent program. Brilliant! The rest of the piece here.

Most Popular


Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Politics & Policy

E Pluribus . . . Gridlock

A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More