American Morning

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July 21st, 2009
12:06 PM ET

Stimulus cash for bridge paint, turkey and work boots

Never before has so much money gone out the door so quickly and that makes it incredibly important to track how this money is being spent.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/21/jennieo3.art.jpg
caption="Stimulus cash is being spent in diverse ways, such as turkey for food banks and soup kitchens."]

The $787 billion economic stimulus is starting to work its way into the economy – by most estimates, about 10 percent has gone out the door.

So where it is going? You can see for yourself on www.recovery.gov. The diverse uses of your money are, well, tantalizing.

How about $5,378,600 for Jennie-O turkey? And $16,784,000 for canned pork?

Stimulus cash for meat? Recovery.gov doesn't specify what the contracts are for, but a quick call to USDA confirmed that stimulus funds are purchasing $100 million worth of food for food banks and soup kitchens.

And for the record, USDA tells us it is paying $1.99 per pound for the pork and is also purchasing 837,936 pounds of mozzarella.

The agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, says "This program will help reduce hunger of those hardest hit by the current economic recession."

We found a small contract for $251 to a company called Workingman's Family Store in Huntington, West Virginia. The money is for work boots for jobs created by the stimulus package, jobs for park rangers, patrol officers and contractors.

A manager for the store told us she didn't even know the store was a recipient of stimulus funds. Because of provisions against using the stimulus this way, the Army Corps of Engineers tells us they are refunding the purchase using general funds instead.

Finally, more typical of the types of stimulus projects – we found $783,776 to paint a bridge in Fort Riley, Kansas – given to a firm called OCCI Incorporated. The bridge spans the emergency spillway of Tuttle Creek.

Watch this space. The money is starting to move.


Filed under: Economy
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Hampton

    People of America need to start paying attention. All of this money being spent is not going to help our country long term. So we paint a couple of bridges abd repair some roads. These are projects that will last maybe a year then what? Then we have to pay this debt. What is wrong with this country is that for the last thirty years we have been giving our jobs away to other countries. This basically took a consumer out of the market. You can't take away jobs that pay $20.00 an hour and give them to someone else at $1.00 an hour and expect good things to happen. Wake up America before our whole country goes away.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:30 am |