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The upper Rim Trail overlooking the Grand Canyon sits closed to the public on June 09, 2009 in the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Many trails in the park are closed due to chronic funding shortage for upkeep. The project is the biggest trail reconstruction project in the Grand Canyon since the 1960s and the first there to use some of the $10.8 million in economic stimulus money granted by Congress for projects in the park. Some 4.5 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year, making it the most visited destination park in the United States.
$1,000,000 for 1,600 iPod touch devices for high school students? Cell phones for smokers? “Summertime Blues,” a new 74-page report compiled by Republicans John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, outlines 100 purportedly wasteful projects that received funds from the $862 billion stimulus program. The White House questions the validity of the report’s claims and stimulus supporters contend that the spending staved off a far more serious recession. Total spending on these projects pales in comparison to the billions spent on job creation and infrastructure, so is the report nitpicking or due diligence? Do you feel your tax dollars have been wasted?
Peter Nicholas, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times in the Washington, DC Bureau