Your Tax Money Is in the Toilet (Literally)
One of my favorite U.S senators, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, has included a couple of Missouri pork/earmark/stimulus projects in his recent list of the 100 most wasteful stimulus projects in America. Today’s Springfield News-Leader has a story about spending a half-million federal dollars to replace 25 bathrooms in Mark Twain National Forest.
There were other questionable spending decisions in Missouri:
Coburn’s report also questions the need to spend $2.9 million to build a new visitor center at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge near Poplar Bluff, $940,000 for solar power generation at a fish hatchery in Neosho and $500,000 in federal stimulus money to help defray costs for Missouri fish farmers.
It appears that Missouri’s fish farmers did quite well with the stimulus package, receiving two of the top 100 disbursements in Coburn’s list. They must have one heck of a lobbyist.
I have to admit, the new bathrooms look very nice. And I would have no problem with replacing a few of the old ones to make them accessible to the disabled. But do people really need 25 brand-new, nice toilets in the forest? Isn’t “roughing it” sort of the point of going to the Mark Twain National Forest?
The article reports that the contract was bid out, but I have to wonder exactly how high of a profit margin the contractors are getting. According to the article:
The original bid sought replacement of 22 toilets, but three more were added at no extra cost after park officials had a miscount of how many outhouses needed replaced, Cliff said.
That must have been one hell of a profit margin on the original bid, if the contractors are able to say they’ll gladly do 25 instead of 22 for the same amount of money. So, is this an example of wasteful government spending? I think the only appropriate answer is: “Does a bear s$*! in the woods?”
Thanks to Combest for the link.