Thursday, January 17, 2013


by James Craig Green

Every boondoggle enjoys a passionate, dedicated constituency with
supreme dedication to its continuance, while virtually no one has an
incentive to eliminate or reform it.

Such is the legacy of an Empire past its Zenith.

Definition of "Boondoggle"

"A boondoggle is a project that is considered a useless waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations."

Boondoggle of "boondoggle"

"yes, it's true. my stewardship of is finally coming to an end. i've succumbed to the thudding dull pressure of economics, the hallmark of our rotten Modern world. everything comes down to money. at least the new owner has plans to do more with it than i ever managed to do (publicly, at any rate) so i wish him well."

Top Ten Spending boondoggles:

“The question is why are they building this building?” asks Laura Peterson of Taxpayers for Common Sense. “There’s been a lot of concern about taking on a giant new construction project at Los Alamos, when the primary justification for the project is gone. From our point of view, that’s some pretty questionable funding.”

Obama's $3 Billion Jet Fighter boondoggle:

"The Bush administration opposed this engine. The Obama administration opposes it. We have recommended for several years now against funding this engine, considering it a waste of money," Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters this week. "To argue that we should add another $3 billion in what we regard as waste … frankly, I don't track the logic."

California boondoggles:

"We know from the collapse of the Soviet Union and other failed regimes around the world that centrally planned job creation does not work. Such economies share common traits: broken governance, a pattern of politically molded insider deals, a stratified society where political elites pick winners and losers and a failure to deliver the goods."

“A boondoggle is a project that is considered to waste time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations,” is one definition. Sounds like how California does business.

Thanks For One Boondoggle:

"Oh the WPA may have been a boondoggle, all right. And the money authorized 74 years ago today was definitely deficit spending."

"But oh boy … where would we be without it?"

Super Duper Superconducting Supercollider Super boondoggle:

"Not surprisingly, the large congressional delegation from Texas--including some of Congress's leading fiscal conservatives--is now championing the SSC and vigilantly guarding it from the budget-cutting knife.(14)"

Sen. Phil Gramm, a Republican, explains his support for projects such as the SSC by saying: "If we should vote next week on whether to produce cheese on the moon, I would oppose it. However, if the government institutes the policy, I would see that a Texas contractor builds this celestial cheese plant, that the milk comes from Texas cows, and that the earth distribution center is in Texas."(15)

Big Data Initiative boondoggle:

"Who knew the government was funding so much data-driven research? The White House issued this fact sheet as if to say, "Look how much we're doing already!" But when you start reading about all the separate initiatives and all of the high-performance computing labs and research facilities already in place, it makes your head spin. As a taxpayer, it pains me to see so many examples of apparently duplicative research, staff, and infrastructure."

Federal Infrastructure boondoggle:

"Billions of dollars of infrastructure spending by the Bureau of Reclamation has gone into white elephant projects. Imagining that more federal infrastructure will be a panacea for the economy is a liberal fairy tale, detached from the actual experience of most federal agencies over the last century."

Airport Train Station boondoggle:

But for far less than $267 million, Paolino says the state could have invested in a shuttle service from the airport to the train station in Providence, spending the money—nearly half of it federal funds—on making improvements to the airport itself. “It’s a lot of money—it’s a lot of investment for very little return,” Paolino said. “I don’t see the economic development benefit. I don’t see how jobs are going to be created because it’s put there.”

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