Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

February 15, 2009


New Deal era Astoria Pool in New York. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia summed up one of the main goals of the WPA pools, calling one facility "a monument to the progressive government."

Tree Hugger - Eleven pools were built in New York City alone by the Works Progress Administration. But America will stay dry thanks to the final wording of the Coburn Amendment. The original wording, which prohibited spending on parks and the arts, has been revised to read:

"None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used by any State or local government, or any private entity for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool."

So the arts, parks, museums and highway beautification are back on the menu. Other items approved that are driving the "free minds and free markets" types crazy:

- $24 million for United States Department of Agriculture buildings and rent
- $176 million for renovating Agricultural Research Service buildings
- $290 million for flood prevention
- $50 million for watershed rehabilitation
- $1.4 billion for wastewater disposal programs
- $295 million for administrative expenses associated with food stamp programs
- $1 billion for the 2010 Census
- $200 million for public computer centers at community colleges and libraries
- $650 million for the digital TV converter box coupon program
- $2 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program
- $10 million to combat Mexican gunrunners
- $125 million for rural communities to combat drug crimes
- $1 billion for the Community Oriented Policing Services program
- $1 billion for NASA
- $300 million to purchase scientific instruments for colleges and museums
- $400 million for equipment and facilities at the National Science Foundation
- $3.7 billion to conduct "green" renovations on military bases
- $375 million for Mississippi River projects
- $10 million for urban canals
- $5 billion for weatherizing buildings
- $2 billion to develop advanced batteries for hybrid cars
- $3.4 billion for fossil energy research
- $5.1 billion for environmental cleanup around military bases
- $5.5 billion for "green" federal buildings
- $300 million for "green" cars for federal employees
- $20 million for IT upgrades at the Small Business Administration
- $200 million to design and furnish Department of Homeland Security headquarters
- $98 million earmarked for a polar icebreaker
- $210 million for State and local fire stations
- $125 million to restore trails and abandoned mines
- $146 million for trail maintenance at National Park Service sites
- $140 million for volcano monitoring systems
- $600 million for the Environmental Protection Agency Superfund environmental cleanup program
- $200 million to clean up leaking underground storage tanks
- $500 million for forest health and wildfire prevention
- $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution
- $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
- $1.2 billion for "youth activities" (for "youth" up to 24 years old)
- $500 million earmarked for National Institute of Health facilities
- $1 billion for Head Start Program
- $32 million for home-delivered nutrition services
- $160 million for volunteer programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service
- $500 million earmarked for the SSA National Computer Center in Maryland
- $220 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission, U.S. and Mexico
- $8 billion for high-speed railways
- $1.3 billion for Amtrak


Anonymous wellbasically said...

There is no evidence that the lack of swimming pools, or any of the other things on your list, caused the recession.

February 15, 2009 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're entering a depression, among other reasons, because we spent more money than we had or could make. That was unsustainable.
Now we're going to spend even more money. A lot more. That ought to fix things.

February 15, 2009 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So where is your historucal evidence to show that not 'spending our way out of a recession/depression' has ever worked, for ours or any other nation?

February 16, 2009 2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


February 16, 2009 2:37 PM  
Anonymous wellbasically said...

Hard to tell what third comment was, but...

After ww2 it was imagined that anybody could spend their way out of economic contraction. Krugman still believes this which is why he wanted ww2 size spending. Most countries all over the world attempted Keynesian stimulus spending, the theory suggests that Keynesian spending is a perpetual motion machine which can create infinite wealth.

The most serious effort was made in Britain. In any case it didn't really work anywhere.

February 16, 2009 3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Essentially, they did their best to eliminate any spending that might contribute to the objective of actually creating new jobs. Brilliant!

February 17, 2009 5:30 PM  

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