Yesterday I posted about how Alaska politicians talk a big game about wanting the federal government to leave them alone, but in reality they suck down more federal money than any other state. Having just spent a week in Alaska, I brought some photographic evidence of our biggest state’s big appetite for taxpayer money.
Here is the beginning of a beautifully built and maintained trail at the Mendenhall Glacier outside Juneau. You can see that construction of the trail, which must have employed several people to cut brush and grade the path, was paid for by the federal stimulus package. As for the big Bob Marley joint depicted on the sign….it’s unclear if federal dollars paid for that.
In Gustavus, a small town which is the gateway to Glacier Bay, a brand new $20 million dock is being built with federal stimulus dollars. I spoke with the owner of my hotel and with the pilot of my whale watching boat, and both said that the dock was completely unnecessary. But it was employing a whole bunch of skilled laborers, so many that they had to come in from Juneau, since Gustavus didn’t have that many construction workers.
Here is a photo of all the pickups and SUVs owned by the people working on the dock. Again, these are local workers being paid with US taxpayer dollars.
I have no problem with stimulus dollars paying people to build paths and docks; that is how a government stimulus package works. The government injects money into the system to boost employment and spending. My problem is with a state that talks about how it doesn’t believe in the stimulus or in federal help at all while it continues to take as much federal money as it can.