Sunday, July 18, 2010

Signs Advertising Obama’s Stimulus Spending Spree Cost Taxpayers $20,000,000

We’ve all seen them by now. The signs on buses and in constructions zones telling you that it was paid for (or, at least, financed with money borrowed from our international creditors) by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Also known as Obama’s “stimulus” spending spree.

But do you know how much all those signs have cost? $20,000,000, including one sign in the Washington DC area that cost $10,000 to manufacture and erect:

The signs are an idea used widely across the country but perfected in Chicago Democratic politics, where everything good carries the name of the current mayor (but none near the unemployment offices or where traffic jams might occur).

Not that any of the bright orange signs are intended to remind potential voters which elected public officials should be remembered as taking care of things come election time.

ABC News got a clever idea and started checking on how much was being spent on signs advertising money being spent to stimulate the economy. ABC’s Gregory Simmons and Jonathan Karl found about $20 million — as in, $20,000,000 — has gone so far for signs advertising spending.

Illinois alone has spent $650,000 on stationary stimulus signs; Pennsylvania, another state with a fellow Democrat as chief executive like President Obama, spent $157,000. Virginia, which has a Republican governor, allows no such signage.

The reporters found one sign outside Washington on the road to Dulles International Airport that cost $10,000 to make and erect. It advertises a runway improvement that created all of 17 temporary construction jobs.

California Rep. Darrell Issa wants an investigation into “overtly political guidance on stimulus advertising,” including one regulation ordering “Barack Obama, President” on some signs involving Native American programs.

Rep. Aaron Schock (R – IL) put it best:

Another Republican, Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, launched an equally hopeless legislative bid to ban stimulus spending on stimulus signs. “I think,” he said, “it’s a bit of an oxymoron to spend tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, borrowed money, on a bunch of signs to tell them how we are spending their taxpayer money.”

No doubt.