Misuse of stimulus funds by states

From USA Today July 8, 2009
“WASHINGTON — Under pressure to spend stimulus money quickly, many states are using the federal funds for short-term projects and to fill budget gaps rather than spending on long-term improvements, according to a report by congressional investigators.

The report, scheduled to be released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at a House oversight hearing, also says many states aren’t meeting some goals and requirements of the economic recovery program. Some states, for example, are not sending transportation funding to the most economically distressed areas, and they are using education funds to prevent layoffs rather than fund innovative new programs, the report says.”

The power of the public employee unions is pervasive. While private sector workers continue to lose jobs, health care and pensions, the public workers can rely on state governments to raise taxes and fees and to misuse stimulus funds.


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Highway safety compromised on Big Island

As any resident of reasonable intellect knows, the island of Hawaii is not a particularly safe place to drive. Incidents which involve crossing the centerline occur far too often with frightening results. The wide open, two lane highways meander though rolling countryside There are irresponsible motorists who drive without a license, registration or insurance. Arrests are up for those who drive undr the influence of alcohol and drugs. Solutions to these problems have been elusive.

However, there is one safety area that can be rather easily addressed. The weather conditions on the Big Isle produce frequent periods of fog and moderate to heavy rain. During such weather I have observed that nearly half of the traffic on the road does not have headlights on. This includes professional drivers like truckers who should know better. A turn out of a side road under thick fog or heavy rain onto a major highway becomes a crap shoot. Oncoming traffic without headlights on simply will not be seen.

A solution might be to post signs in areas prone to fog and rain that read: HEADLIGHTS ON IN RAIN OR FOG. A good use for some stimulus money perhaps.