12.31.2009 0

Slapshot: The Embarrassing Episode of the Bozeman Boondoggle

  • On: 01/13/2010 09:36:41
  • In: Slapshot

  • The Embarrassing Episode of the Bozeman Boondoggle

    By Carter Clews

    Sometimes, what seems like the smallest of stories actually has the greatest of ramifications. Such is the case with the tennis court boondoggle story now emerging out of tiny Bozeman, Montana: population 40,000.

    Just as the U.S. Senate prepares to debate yet another bailout bill – this one handing bankrupt state governments (and their patron union bosses) $154 billion federal funds – word comes out of Bozeman as to exactly why such bogus bailouts are a massive waste of tax dollars.

    Turns out that the town of Bozeman spent $50,000 of federal “stimulus” money for a new tennis court. So far, so good, some might say. Especially if those “some” are politicians. After all, the mayor got to cut the ribbon on a brand spanking new tennis court. The congressman got to unctuously oink over the pork he had delivered. And Barack Obama got to chortle over yet another stimulus “success.”

    But, not so fast there, fellas. Turns out the people of Bozeman (yes, those bothersome constituents again) didn’t want the tennis court, don’t believe the Obama stimulus really helped the economy at all – and, for that matter, don’t even play tennis, thank you.

    Here are the actual results of a January 5, 2010, Pulse Opinion Research of likely Bozeman voters:

    • Do you favor or oppose the use of $50,000 in federal stimulus money to build an outdoor tennis court in Bozeman?

    36% Favor
    52% Oppose
    13% Not Sure

    • How confident are you that federal stimulus money is being spent responsibly?

    6% Very Confident
    26% Somewhat Confident
    29% Not Very Confident
    37% Not Confident at All
    2% Not sure

    • Earlier this year, Congress and the president enacted a $787 billion economic stimulus plan. So, far, has the economic stimulus plan helped the economy, hurt the economy or had no impact on the economy?

    38% Helped
    37% Hurt
    18% No Impact
    7% Not sure

    • Do you play tennis?

    15% Yes
    82% No
    3% Not Sure

    Leaving aside how someone cannot be sure whether they play tennis or not, the fact is, the Bozeman tennis court fiasco is symbolic of the entire mess the Obama-Reid-Pelosi bailout mania has created for the country. The government goes ever deeper into debt to spend money on things that only a narrow slice of the population cares one iota about — and then pretends it is doing something good.

    Americans for Limited Government president Bill Wilson put it all in stark perspective: “This spending has become the crack cocaine of America: short bursts of pleasure to hide the ugly facts of our bankruptcy, only leading to total degradation. And as the poll shows, the people know it. By 37% to 6%, the people do not think the money is being spent responsibility. As to whether or not the spending is helping the economy, only 38% think it is.

    Now multiply this times the hundreds of thousands of wasteful spending actions going on, and a blind man can see that more spending is destructive to the long term economic health of the nation, to the public’s trust in their government, and to the very fabric of society.”

    Perhaps if the full story of the “Bozeman Boondoggle” captures public’s attention, it will be enough to get the monkey off of Washington’s back – and Washington out of the American people’s pockets.

    Carter Clews is the Executive Editor of ALG News.

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