You would think after decades of figuring out new ways of stealing other people’s money, the politicians would have developed a certain expertise. But this story from the Washington Times shows that the incompetence in Washington is quite remarkable:
When he earmarked $100,000 in taxpayer spending to go to Jamestown’s library, Rep. James E. Clyburn meant for it to go to the library in Jamestown, S.C., which is in his district. But in the bustle to write and pass the $1.1 trillion catchall spending bill, Congress ended up designating the money for Jamestown, Calif. – 2,700 miles away and a town that doesn’t even have a library. “That figures for government, doesn’t it,” said Chris Pipkin, who runs the one-room library in Jamestown, S.C., and earlier this year requested $50,000, not the $100,000 that Congress designated, to buy new computers and build shelves to hold the books strewn across the room. The library is just one of more than 5,000 “earmarks,” or pork-barrel spending projects, totaling $3.9 billion, tucked inside the report accompanying the catchall spending bill Congress sent to President Obama this week. …The bill, which funds most domestic federal agencies for fiscal 2010, includes projects such as $200,000 to study elderly Irish immigrants in New York, $1 million to add plumbing to houses in Maryland and $487,000 to build office space so Winston-Salem, N.C.