Boycott Watch  
July 15, 2010
More Federal Stimulus Dollars Thrown Away
Summary: Your tax dollars are being spent to gather useless information the government already paid for, and to the same people where already paid to gather that information.
    If you have not heard about federal stimulus money being wasted, you probably live under a rock since it has been covered all over the news and on the Internet or more likely, you just don't care. Page C1 of today's Cleveland Plain Dealer has an article about a federal initiative to map where Internet broadband is available in Ohio and nationwide. An Ohio non-profit which has been tracking that very same information with federal money since 2007 has received an additional $1.8 Million to study what it already knows.

   According to the article, 2.1% of Ohio homes do not have broadband Internet access and by the time the report is published, the data will be outdated anyhow. Let's face reality. Broadband Internet access is even available in jails. The only places which may not actually have broadband Internet nationally are extremely remote areas where it is not profitable to provide that service, such as in the middle of large parks and Texas ranches, but then again, if you live in those areas and want some Internet access, you can still get it.

   The real tragedy of the study is that it fails to report all internet access. Sure, broadband is nice, but if you have a telephone, you have dial-up Internet service via your home telephone service. Dialup service may be slow by today's standards, but Internet access is available everywhere and if you want something faster, you can get satellite access or move to a better location. Even the Amish who have no electricity at home have Internet access via cell phones and libraries.

   This study is useless. Rather than looking for the negatives, we should thank the free market system for bringing broadband Internet service to 97.9% of Ohio in a few short years. Plus, the government is paying for information it already paid for in other grants. Your tax dollars are being flushed down the drain. Just like the federal car being used for basic driving lessons when that is not a permitted usage for an official vehicle. Government spending is out of control.

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