Critic claims Main Street Economic Recovery package contains pork
The $73.2 billion Main Street Economic Recovery package proposed by the Washington-based U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) contains about $376.5 million in pork, said one critic in a report by Atlanta-based CNN. Pete Sepp, vice president for the Alexandria, Va.-based National Taxpayers’ Union (NTU), told CNN that taxpayer dollars should not go toward projects that include $4.8 million for a polar bear exhibit in a Providence, R.I., zoo.
USCM has been lobbying Congress to fund 11,391 “ready-to-go” infrastructure projects in 427 cities that would cost $73 billion and would create 847,641 jobs. The projects are in 10 different sectors, primarily in infrastructure and transportation, but Sepp said endeavors such as the Providence polar bear cage and a $1.5 million water ride in Miami’s Grapeland Water Park, do not belong with the others. “To the people supporting them, these proposals aren’t a joke, but to the taxpayers funding them, yes, this will be a joke for them, only they won’t be laughing,” he told CNN.
USCM President and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz told CNN he had not read the entire list of projects in detail, and he was unaware of the Grapeland proposal. “It’s hard for me to judge the particular needs that a particular city may have. It could very well be that some cities could perceive these as economic development projects,” Diaz said.
The entire proposal package can be viewed on USCM’s Web site.