Government Spending

Stimulus Goes to the Dogs


President Obama in a speech to the National Conference of State Legislatures on March 2009:

Now, no plan is perfect. And I can't stand here and promise you that not one single dollar will slip through the cracks. But what I can promise you is that we will do everything in our power to prevent that from happening, which is why we're building on the provisions in the Recovery Act to forbid the use of these funds to build things like dog parks.

Now, let me be clear. I don't have anything against dog parks. [Laughter] I intend to get a dog. [Laughter] What I do oppose is building them with funds from the Recovery Act, because that's not how we'll jumpstart job creation, and that's not how we'll put our economy on a firmer footing for the future.

Half a block from my house, November 2009:

yes. that is a dog park.

Yep. That's a state-of-the-art dog park, paid for with stimulus money.

Like the man said: No plan is perfect.

NEXT: My Body, Their Choice

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  1. At the top of that sign they should have put a dog pooping where the dude’s shovel is. There’s some job security.

    1. Actually, I was thinking we could all go around putting stickers over the lettering so the signs read “Funded by borrowing billions of dollars from China.”

  2. But Katherine –

    It was a shovel ready dog park.

    1. Now it’s shovel ready-er.

    2. In pursuit of an Eagle Scout badge, Kevin Anderson, 17, has toiled for more than 200 hours hours over several weeks to clear a walking path in an east Allentown park.Little did the do-gooder know that his altruistic act would put him in the cross hairs of the city’s largest municipal union.Nick Balzano, president of the local Service Employees International Union, told Allentown City Council Tuesday that the union is considering filing a grievance against the city for allowing Anderson to clear a 1,000-foot walking and biking path at Kimmets Lock Park.”We’ll be looking into the Cub Scout or Boy Scout who did the trails,” Balzano told the council.Balzano said Saturday he isn’t targeting Boy Scouts. But given the city’s decision in July to lay off 39 SEIU members, Balzano said “there’s to be no volunteers.” No one except union members may pick up a hoe or shovel, plant a flower or clear a walking path.…..8384.story

      1. Going after an Eagle Scout for his community service? Dear god, does SEIU not have any PR people on staff?

      2. holy shit i didn’t think i could hate unions any more. thanks.

      3. I so posted that days ago.

  3. The sign says it’s a tiger park, not a dog park, Katherine. Do you take your tiger there, hypocrite?

    1. please… Tiger was a cartoon character, people are not walking their TIGERS in any parks! normal people do not own TIGERS!

      1. Management would like to remind all readers to have their sarcasmometers checked and calibrated regularly.

      2. Damn, now I either have to sell Tiggy or admit to the world I’m abnormal. But it’s just so darn cute the way he rakes bloody furrows across the backs of sheep when I take him to the meadow to hunt and play.

  4. Another thing: Isn’t this the kind of thing you guys put in your “hackwatch” feature? Obama says no dog parks with stim money. YOU LIE!

    1. Isn’t this the kind of thing you guys put in your “hackwatch” feature?

      I believe he has been excused as a courtesy to give the other contestants a chance.

    2. If Obama, in light of this information, now claims that dog parks DO, in fact, stimulate the economy, that’s hackery. Otherwise, it’s just lying.

      1. Or just incompetence.

  5. Damn you all. I was all set to come here and say, “Now that’s what I call shovel-ready!”

    My day is ruined.

  6. If a single unregistered chihuahua poops there, we’ll never hear the end of it from LoneWacko.

  7. At this point I would just be happy if this “plan” included an exit strategy.

  8. What’s that thing in the middle?

    1. It’s a target. For a great dane.

      1. One of the click-the-photo-link commenters said, “It’s actually framed art in aluminum. But from the side, it does look like a giant airwick.” So it’s true: Obama has saved or created 600,000 works of public art that look like air fresheners or bird houses.

  9. I don’t see how this didn’t create jobs, by Obama’s definition. I mean, construction workers were paid to build it weren’t they?
    It works as well as any other stupid ass project to build with the money, as long as you ignore why is the fed gov. paying not the local gov/ broken window fallacy/robbing peter to pay paul/stealing from our children/ etc etc

    Actually if you look at some parks like Washington Square park in Chicago (bughouse square) (not an official dog park but used by lots of owners the past few years) the dog owners there have improved the property values, since their presence day and night in the winter has reduced crime and gotten rid of the homeless shantytown that used to be erected there every winter. A net positive effect just by having lots of dog owners, particularly well off ones, in the area using the park. Plus when I lived there we’d go out to eat at outdoor restaurants in the summer. So there are benefits to having parks. Sorry to get serious for a second.

    1. I think the point is less that building a dog park is a uniquely objectionable Recovery Act project and more the fact that Obama explicitly said “we’re building on the provisions in the Recovery Act to forbid the use of these funds to build things like dog parks.”

  10. I’m not so sure what is wrong with using the money for a dog park. They have pay someone to build it and maintain it.

    Plus, I like dogs. I like to see tem happy.

    What are you, anti-dog happiness?

    1. I like to see young children happy. Let us use Porkulus money to buy every child under eight years of age an ice cream every week. Think of all the jobs it will generate in the ice-cream production and retail industries!

      1. Ice cream makes me happy, but I’m an adult. You better make sure I get some damn ice cream too. Good stuff. Caramel Fleur de Sel is my current favorite.

    2. Dogs suck. CATS RULE!

      1. Now *there’s* an idea! Let’s have stimulus-funded cat box cleaners.

    3. The municipality I worked for built a dog park. The city paid half, a nonprofit raised the other half (actually 1/4 some came from the county). By the end of the 5th year the park and made it’s money back was paying the parks dept. for services and actually having a hard time spending money, it was running out of improvements. So they started a trust to keep it running.

      I’m a little torn about the public grant money used, but the long run idea worked out well and is self sufficient and the city dogs are happy.

    4. “Government’s money” with which they intend to pay the people involved with this project come from taxpayers and robs the productive sectors of society. Wealth is only accumulated if there are new goods and services which can be purchased with your dollars making one “richer”, this project, however while it may be convenient for some of the members of the community is still taken from the pockets of everyday taxpayers who could have used it to make more “wealth” i.e goods or services that people would have paid for voluntarily. Since there is no new good or service being provided the work being done doesn’t benefit society with any new goods or services, will be done for a higher price than the free market alternative, and as such can’t be self sustaining but increases perpetual debt… suggestion we use the White House lawn and make the outside as full of shit as the inside =)

  11. That’s not a typo btw, I was talking about dogs named tem…

  12. If you click the photo you will see someone has disputed allegations that the sign refers to the park, arguing instead that the recovery act money is for fixing a road nearby. Do you have any more conclusive evidence of what the sign refers to, Katherine?

    1. If you follow the link at the bottom of this page–whyihatedc…. you will see that the commenters got their facts wrong–it really is a half-million dollar dog park. There’s even a Parks Department press release boasting about it.

  13. I think the idea is to put money into creating jobs that will at least last to the mid-terms.

  14. I wonder how many dogs at that park end up in KMW’s freezer. I mean, we all know about her taste for exotic meat…

    1. Well prepared dog is delicious. Especially if you’re an inebriated sailor in Pusan.

      1. I have a t-shirt that reads “I love cats, but I can never eat a whole one.”

  15. At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, Sen. John Cornyn asked Attorney General Eric Holder about the decision he announced Friday to try some detainees, including the 9/11 plotters, in Article III courts: “Does the president agree with you?” Holder’s response: “I believe he does. I have not spoken to him directly, but the decision I made is consistent with his Archives speech…”

    This is ridiculous. This decision has national security, foreign policy, intelligence, and homeland security implications, as well of course as legal aspects. The idea that the Attorney General would decide how to deal with the mastermind of 9/11 without talking directly to the president is unbelievable. Either Holder isn’t telling the whole truth here, and he got guidance indirectly?if not “directly”?from his boss. Or Obama is so concerned to distance himself from the decision that he’s willing to let it appear Holder’s alone, even though that would constitute a remarkable presidential dereliction of duty. Or both.

    The good news is that, having decided on this kind of decision-making process?or having decided to say there was this kind of decision-making process?Obama and Holder have left the door open for Obama to overrule Holder, as he did a few months ago with respect to releasing the photos of alleged military-prisoner abuse.

    So the conclusion I draw from the Cornyn-Holder exchange is this: Those who want to reverse this reckless and irresponsible decision need to turn to their attention both to Congress, which could act to prevent Article III court trials for some or all Guantanamo detainees, and to the president, who could reverse Holder with a stroke of a pen or a simple statement.

    I imagine senators and congressmen will move ahead with legislative efforts. But they might also send a letter to the president?who hasn’t yet been “directly” involved in this decision?explaining why he should step in to overrule Holder.

    1. Threadjacking ain’t going to stimulate the economy bub…

    2. Yeah, but what about chemtrails?

  16. the provisions in the Recovery Act to forbid the use of these funds to build things like dog parks

    Wow, the cat lobby sure has gotten pretty powerful, hasn’t it?

    They’re the Israelis of the animal kingdom.

  17. Maybe it would be simpler to keep a list of promises he hasn’t broken?

    1. Okay! Here it is:


  18. Did the NEA get the grant for building that awesome new-age Watts towers monstrosity in front of it? I should become an artist so I can get my hands on some sweet federales money for being an idiot.

  19. What does the word above “Tiger” say?

      1. Woods

        1. duh that’s the word under Tiger.

          which is actually “Beat”.


  20. If you build it, they will come…

  21. It cost a little over a half a million dollars.…..-on-s.html

  22. I’m sorry but you should do your research…
    My research shows this, “Resurface of 17th Street NW from Massachusetts Ave to New Hampshire Avenue” please correct me if am wrong but this picture is the beginning of the construction at 17th and NH.

  23. How much are the dung beetles getting paid to maintain the park?

    “Roll their shit into little balls…
    Eat those little balls of shit”…..llis_2.jpg

  24. Man funds dog, now THAT’S news…

  25. Yeah, but… pets contribute to global warming. WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN???

    1. Don’t worry, they’ll spend more money to counteract Earth-destroying effects of the dog park.

    2. They are “companion animals” and they are an abomination. That they contribute to global warming is further damning evidence of the evil that our species has wrought upon this planet. Neutering and lethal injection are the way to solve this problem.

  26. Borrowing money from the chinese to make a place for dogs to shit is:
    c)poetic irony?
    d)none of the above

  27. I have confirmed that this sign is for resurfacing of 17th street, NOT a dog park. Katherine, am requesting you fix this mistake. It has done nothing but enraged many people for no reason. I would be upset too if this money was wrongfully used, but it was not in this case.

    1. I think we’re going to need a little more than your “confirmation.” Like, I don’t know, some kind of cite to support it?

      Especially in light of an article supporting the original story’s supposition.

      1. See his 4:20 post goofy McGoofball

        1. I’m seeing it… and I’m not seeing how it confirms that this sign is related to it?

          There’s a project in Pa. that I drive by too… is this sign for that as well?

          1. The sign is in DC at the corner mentioned, and the link Andrew gave indicates a road project at the corner.

        2. I read all those sheets of paper tacked to the sign, which–although written in high bureaucratese–seem to indicate that the park, or some parts of the park construction, are stimulus funded, not just the roadwork.

          This may be included in the “rejuvenate the corridor” aspect of the project description you linked to. You’re right that the refurb started pre-stimulus, though. There were signs up for a while indicating many “phases” for the project. Perhaps the stimulus arrived in time for the final phase.

          (Also, I’m ashamed of myself for missing the obvious “shovel ready” puns. Glad you guys stepped in there.)

          1. I would beg to differ that the dog park was funded by the stimulus package. And I feel that some sort of rigor should have been put in place before starting this flame. I am simply shocked that reporting on a somewhat well known site can go on without some sort of fact checking. Starting rumors is not news, it is hate filled and the reason why wars start. Please show proof that this was funded by the Obama stimulus package.
            Thank you


        Ground breaking for this happened before any obama stimulus was approved( Feb. 17, 2009) funding for the park started almost a year before that.

  28. Discrimination! How about a cat park?

  29. And can I just ask: Why do we waste money on these signs? Its total self-congratulations and borderline campaign advertising.

    Meanwhile, the money just circles and circles.

    1. I like the signs. Those who appreciate the park and those who think its wrong know exactly who to credit/blame.

    2. each sign rendered is 3.78 jobs created and/or saved.

  30. You’re all wrong. The stimulus-supported project is the putting up of the sign itself.

  31. The feds pay $X for a city street while the city pays $X dollars for a dog park is absolutely fucking identical to the feds pay $X for a dog park while the city pays $X dollars for a city street.

    I really should not have to point out something this goddam obvious here.

  32. Ground breaking for this happened before any obama stimulus was approved( Feb. 17, 2009) funding for the park started almost a year before that.

    So if both started before the stimulus bill, why would we say part of the project wasn’t paid for by stimulus money because it started before the bill, and part was?

  33. I have to say that you got this one wrong. The dog park was completely paid out of DC funds. No stimulus money was used. However, 17th Street, where the dog park is located, is getting revitalized with new sidewalks, lights, etc. That is what the sign is referring to. So, I think it would be appropriate for you to correct your posting (and perhaps you might want to do a little more research next time).

  34. I see these signs near my house in CA too. What can we do TO these signs that is legal out-of-doors political activity and also an expression of our discontent?? ideas??

  35. Being the big bananna eater that I am, I wonder how this bananna republice will agree w/ me.

    Poke around on here, till you get the viral dots up – to discover we’re all a bunch of mooching looters (present company excluded). Select your state, then “go” – that’s when you see the trillions of dots funded by trillions of paper trash.…../home.aspx

  36. Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree?

  37. I’m proud to have have had two opportunities to trash unions. I voted against unionization of a plywood mill and was the only one on the graveyard shift to do so; the union lost. And I trained to be a scab at an oil refinery. The union sized us scabs up and thought we would probably blow up the plant and put them out of work for good. They didn’t go out.

  38. I am ashamed. All these (mostly) intelligent commentators, and only one (KMW) comments on the really obvious sign of the death of freedom:

    Here, there are twenty-nine (29) separate pages of rules and regs which must, by law, be posted at such work-sites. How much would you like to bet that this posting does NOT actually comply with the law, in some respect or other, in that they have forgotten some other useless paper?

    Ya wanna’ bet?

  39. Oh, and by the way the Nashville plant of Gibson Guitars was raided today by armed Federal Agents.

    Under the Lacy Act, trading in “banned woods” can land you in a Federal pen for years and years.

    Even Greenpeace’s spokesman, Scott Paul, was taken “by surprise”. Oh, Scott, can you see, what you have done to we? You asked for armed Feds, and you got ’em. Hope you like it when they come after you!

    What you want to bet that, after all that effort, and all that publicity, that the Feds find nothing?

    Ya’ wanna’ bet?

  40. CAT PARKS !!!

  41. I don’t understand how small dogs can climb that fence. Er, like all those Pekingese dogs that have to be imported from China…

  42. I often wonder how many tax payer dollars go to making the self-congratulatory signs.

  43. This sign is clearly for roadwork, not the dog park. Not only was the dog park completed months ago but the sign says USDOT on it. If the Department of Transportation were building dog parks, you’d have a much bigger story on your hands.

    Yes, this is a blog entry, not a story published in a magazine, but that’s no reason to forgo simple fact checking.

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  45. At this point I would just be happy if this “plan” included an exit strategy.

  46. Boehner went on one of the Sunday talk shows and mistakenly said no stimulus money had been spent on transportation projects in his home state of Ohio.The Democrats today responded with this ad, which features a screen grab of the bloodhound

  47. Meh, This is amateur hour, Obama spent a couple million resurfacing and fixing up the bike path from Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon so the rich douchebags in Old Town could get some sun on the weekends. Don’t even get me started on the 200-yard long 14th Street Bridge renovation that’s already been getting stimulus money for more than 2 years and is nowhere near finishing.

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