The U.S. Conference of Mayors went to Capitol Hill earlier this month with a report listing 11,391 infrastructure projects proposed by 427 cities. The mayors claimed the proposal would create 847,641 jobs in 2009 and 2010. [Emphasis mine]
Although one man’s pork may be another’s essential spending, some of these might be debatable. The requests include
plans for a polar bear exhibit, an anti-prostitution program, a water park ride, zoos, museums and aquatic centers, CNN has found.
The polar bear exhibit? It’s to increase attendance at the zoo which “will stimulate the economy in Providence.”
The water park ride? Parks are part of infrastructure.
A $1.5 million program to reduce prostitution in Dayton, Ohio?
“People make judgments about the safety of a community by the level of social disorder. Street-level prostitution is clearly a social disorder,” said Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl.
Museums? “There are plenty of museums that I think people would argue that are part of a fabric of a city,” [Miami, Florida, Mayor Manny] Diaz said.
Maybe Waukesha County Historical Museum should apply for some money so they can finally finish that Les Paul exhibit.
I’m sorry. When I think of infrastructure, I think of roads, bridges, cargo rail and, yes, even mass transit. [UPDATE: For example more along the lines of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett's list.]