Yesterday, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a report that highlights 100 supposedly “questionable stimulus projects that are wasteful, mismanaged, and overall unsuccessful in creating jobs.” “The only thing getting a boost is our national debt,” the report complains. The “American people have awakened to the incompetency of Washington,” said Coburn. “The rest of the federal government is filled with stuff just like this.”
Coburn went on Fox News today to promote the report and criticized White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ claim yesterday that the report is not credible:
COBURN: Mr. Gibbs knows I don’t mess around when it comes to stealing money from our kids and grandkids. And if he wants to defend this kind of stuff — this isn’t political. It’s too serious to be political no guys. We’re $13.4 trillion in debt and growing and this is the kind of waste that people are sick and tired of.
If Coburn doesn’t “mess around” with “stealing money” from the American youth, then why are he and McCain fierce advocates for extending President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy? The ten-year cost of extending those tax cuts amounts to $830 billion. But how much of this alleged “wasteful” stimulus spending are the senators now concerned about? A mere $1.7 billion:
Moreover, CNN noted that “the report’s use of selected information from hundreds of footnoted sources left it unclear if the brief summaries of each project told the whole story.” For example, the report attacked a grant to replace windows at a vacant Forest Service visitors’ center in Washington, claiming there are “no current plans to use the empty space.” However, as CNN noted, the Forest Service said it “is now reviewing several proposals for how the facility could be used in the future through a variety of public-private partnerships, including a science facility, education camp, or an overnight lodge.”
But maybe Coburn is more concerned about the $1.7 billion in alleged “wasteful” stimulus spending as opposed to $830 billion in tax cuts for the wealthy because the believes the tax cuts are free.