Stimulus

$600,000 in Federal Stimulus Money Went to Planting Trees in Denver Yards, Wealth No Object

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From CBS Local Denver:

Stimulus funds aimed at jump starting the economy paid for about 4,000 trees in Denver, with many ending up at million dollar homes in Denver's priciest neighborhoods where residents acknowledge they could have paid for their own trees, but the government was giving them out for free, so why bother?

UGArdener / Foter / CC BY-NC

"This fella said, 'How would you like to have a tree in your yard?' And I said, 'Really?,' " said John Backlund, who lives in Denver's Cherry Creek North neighborhood in a home worth more than $700,000.

Backlund said he could afford to buy his own trees but a government worker was going door-to-door trying to give away trees, so Backlund agreed to take a tree.

"Too good of a deal to say no to. I was happy to get the free tree," he said.

A CBS4 investigation found that the tree program had no income guidelines, so trees ended up being planted at homes in Denver's Country Club neighborhood, Hilltop, Belcaro and Washington Park neighborhoods — all considered upscale areas of the city.

"It's open to anybody," said city forester Rob Davis. "It's basically if you live in Denver, you want to reduce your energy costs, you want to have a tree that can raise your property value, go to the web page to sign up."

Davis said the program spent about $600,000 in funds from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as stimulus funds, to buy and plant the trees. Davis says the theory was that using government funds to plant the trees helped stimulate the economy by creating jobs planting trees.

Peter Suderman from our May issue on the $833 billion failure of stimulus.

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  1. Like I said at the time, they should’ve spent all of that money building a space elevator shaped as a statue of Obama. I mean, at least we might have something to show for it after we spent the money. Much, much, much prefer not wasting my money in the first place, but throwing it in the incinerator seemed a bit much to me.

      1. Why, yes, something quite like that. How wise of Futurama to articulate my proposal in a visual medium.

    1. I agree – If the government spending boner has to be satiated, something useful like a space elevator would be the way to go.

      Gets me one step closer to moving to Freehold.

      1. Or maybe a fusion reactor. Something.

  2. Wealth No Object

    It should be no object. We have equal protection under the law in America, Doherty. And that should be up to and including getting free trees and shit.

    I wonder if Pelosi knew about this when she made her idiotic “cupboard is bare” comment a couple of days ago. I wonder if any of the Teabaggerz are gonna point it out to her from the House floor.

    1. That’s Equal Protection Money under the law. Everyone gets that wrong.

  3. Well, you couldn’t ask for a better example of government spending replacing private spending.

    The thing I don’t understand about the stimulus is that we still have people complaining (some apparently legitimately, some who are the President) about crumbling infrastructure. What in the fuck was the stimulus for, then?

    1. We needed to spend more. [/prog]

  4. Hey, it was ‘shovel-ready’!

  5. How did Chris Christie not get me a free tree after Hurricane Sandy?

  6. Davis says the long term benefit is in energy savings for the homeowner as fully grown trees will provide shade and reduce energy costs.

    “Everyone having lower monthly bills in the summer, I think they appreciate that in the long run,” said Davis.

    This makes sense under a cost/benefit analysis as long as you don’t delve into the unequal distribution of costs and benefits.

    If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to walk over to my neighbors house and steal some food. I was going to go buy some groceries but I did a quick cost/benefit analysis and realized that stealing food from my neighbor makes more sense. I’m up X dollars worth of food, he’s down X number dollars worth of food – which is a wash – but society as a whole gains by my not driving to the store, using up gasoline and thereby polluting the air and contributing to global warming.

  7. The Arbor Day Foundation will send you 10 free trees when you become a member for $10 – so, 10 trees for $10 – that’s a good deal. But why let a private charity frugally encourage tree planting when a big government program can do it for 600k? JOBZZZZZ, of course.

    http://www.arborday.org/shoppi…..kingid=528

  8. The Arbor Day Foundation will send you 10 free trees when you become a member for $10 – so, 10 trees for $10 – that’s a good deal. But why let a private charity frugally encourage tree planting when a big government program can do it for 600k? JOBZZZZZ, of course.

    http://www.arborday.org/shoppi…..kingid=528

  9. At the heart of many environmental initiatives you can find rich, influential people who want a nicer view from their mansions.

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