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Coburn, McCain outline 'wasted' stimulus

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., speaks at the Atlantic Council Annual awards dinner in Washington on April 28, 2010. UPI Photo/Yuri Gripas
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., speaks at the Atlantic Council Annual awards dinner in Washington on April 28, 2010. UPI Photo/Yuri Gripas | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn and John McCain Tuesday released a list of 100 economic stimulus projects, big and small, they say wasted tens of millions of dollars.

Coburn, R-Okla., and McCain, R-Ariz., said their report, called "Summertime Blues: 100 Stimulus Projects that Give Taxpayers the Blues," highlights questionable projects included in the nearly $800 billion federal stimulus package they contend are wasteful, mismanaged and overall unsuccessful in creating jobs.

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Among the projects they deemed wasteful ranged from $89,298 for a sidewalk leading to a ditch in Boyton, Okla., to $762,372 to create "Dance Draw" interactive dance software" to $1.9 million for international ant research to $62 million for what they described as a tunnel to nowhere in Pittsburgh that Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has called a "tragic mistake."

"Eighteen months since the passage of the stimulus bill, millions of jobs are still gone and the economy is as uncertain as ever," the senators said in a joint release. "The only thing getting a boost is our national debt. The stimulus has helped push it 23 percent higher, to $13.2 trillion, a new record."

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They said government spending should be targeted to rebuild the economy "without doing additional harm" and be done "in a way that expands opportunities for future generations."

"Too many stimulus projects are failing to meet that goal," they said.

Coburn and McCain said the focus should be on unleashing the "unmatched power of the American entrepreneurial spirit by sweeping away government red tape, expanding markets for U.S. goods, making it easier for small businesses to obtain credit and reducing our national debt by eliminating wasteful Washington spending."

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