Business as usual

Nobody who’s watched politics for any length of time should be surprised by this: most of the “earmark free” stimulus money for shovel-ready Army Corps of Engineers projects is — shock! Surprise! — being directed to the districts of influential members of Congress.

Most of the $2.2 billion in economic stimulus money for Army Corps of Engineers construction projects will be spent in the home districts of members of Congress who oversee the corps’ funding, a USA TODAY analysis found.

Two-thirds of the money will be spent in states or districts represented by members of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that direct how the Corps of Engineers spends its money.

These are probably worthwhile projects. The infrastructure of the United States is crumbling. But anyone who didn’t sense right off that TARP and the stimulus bill were money grabs by the already wealthy was naive.

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