Fact Checking the Republican Response: No, there's not $140 million in the stim for volcano monitoring

Feb 25 2009 Published by under From the Right

A few minutes ago, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal finished delivering the Republican response to President Obama's kinda-sorta-but-not-really State of the Union Address. During his reply, Jindal took aim at some of the items contained in the stimulus package. One of the remarks, in particular, caught my attention. Jindal claimed that the stimulus included, "$140 million for something called 'volcano monitoring.'"

The reference about volcanoes might have given Jindal an opening for an attempt at snark in his next sentence ("eruption of spending"), but it wasn't based in reality. Here's what the stimulus law actually has to say on the issue:

US Geological Survey

For an additional amount for ''Surveys, Investigations, and Research'', $140,000,000, for repair, construction and restoration of facilities; equipment replacement and upgrades including stream gages, and seismic and volcano monitoring systems; national map activities; and other critical deferred maintenance and improvement projects.

It's very hard to read that statement and honestly conclude that the law is spending $140 million on volcano monitoring. They do mention volcano monitoring, but it's clearly not the only thing that's being funded. Jindal was clearly ignoring the truth in his attempt to paint the bill in the worst light possible.

57 responses so far

  • This is more of the current Republican party's attempt to try to be anti-science. Between Jindal and Palin they seem to be doing their hardest to drive pro-science moderates into the Democratic camp.

  • trent says:

    I disagree. The funding goes to the US Geo Survey and the wording clearly indicates that money goes to seismic and volcanic equipment among other things. This bill is a disgrace. It is a bailout of nonsustinable government programs (medicare, medicade, food stamps, unemployment, etc) with hundreds of billions going to pre-existing government programs that have been mismanaged. Much of this money goes to shore up programs run by irresponsible states, many of which have been run by the most liberal legislatures in the republic (NY, NJ, CA).

  • april says:

    Republicans are not anti-science. I am a Republican and I am a physician scientist. Bush increased NIH funding by 20% over 8 years.

  • April, individual Republicans might not be, the national party repeatedly choose and promotes terribly anti-science candidates. The sane end of the party needs to get this to stop.

  • april says:

    Joshua, Thank you for your response, but I do not agree with you. As someone who works in and around scientists, there is great waste and inappropriate funding via NIH, NSF, DOE, etc. There is also excellent funding. Firstly, as I said, President Bush oversaw more funding for science than President Clinton, plus he started the excellent PEPFAR program, of which we should all be proud as it has been responsible for treated over a million Africans for AIDS and HIV. Besides, even if one was in favor of decreasing federal funding for science, that does not necessarily mean that one is "anti-science" as noted above. One can be in favor of something, but not in favor of spending federal money on something. The list of private companies that have made profound discover is exhaustive.

  • chris says:

    ...among other things.

    Thank you, Trent, for refuting your own weak argument. Whatever one may think of the stimulus bill, Jindal was CLEARLY trying to scare people by implying that $140mln of their tax money was being spent on something stupid like volcano monitoring. Can you believe it? You, the American taxpayer, are paying some Eastern liberal elite scientist 140 million dollars! to sit at the edge of a volcano all day and make scribbles in a notebook.
    When the truth is that the USGS gets up to $140mln, of which a small part, and I suspect very small, could be used to improve monitoring of volcanic activity. As I understand it there is no specific directive to use any or all of that money for anything in particular, just that those activities are approved uses of the money. Republicans have nothing, so this is what they are forced to do. Obfuscate and prevaricate and hope no one notices. Well, people are noticing.
    And to back up what Joshua said to April, I agree. Many individuals who identify as Republicans fully support science. But among the leadership of your party are now two of the most anti-science politicians I've ever seen, Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal. The party is the problem, and if you don't like that, change the party, or change parties.

  • OmegaMom says:

    God forbid they should monitor volcanoes. $140 million for it is a bargain, in my book. Mt. St. Helens, anyone? The economic cost of the eruption is estimated to be $1 billion, and 57 people died. The volcanoes of the Cascade Range are near Seattle and Portland; if an equal or larger eruption were to occur there, there could be serious economic, health, and seismic effects.
    Same with the volcanoes around Anchorage, Alaska, and, of course, the volcanoes in Hawaii.
    $140 million is a pittance.

  • llewelly says:

    trent:

    I disagree. The funding goes to the US Geo Survey and the wording clearly indicates that money goes to seismic and volcanic equipment among other things.

    Jindal did not say 'and other things' or anything of the sort. Stream gauges are not volcano monitoring equipment. People like you and Jindal, whether you know it or not, are functionally opposed to knowing whether or not water supplies will run low. Without that knowledge, it's very hard to know when water needs to be conserved, or redirected, or if an area needs to request water from other regions, until it is too late. Without stream gauges, crops die, which results in famine - and then people die too. That's how far the Republican party has fallen: it prefers famine to water.

  • rfall says:

    Jindal knew exactly what he was doing when he said the $140M was for "volcano monitoring".
    He was playing to that part of the public which will believe what he says, not check the source material, and decry once more Washington's waste of their tax dollars.
    And Jindal will try to ride that wave into the White House.
    What he did is just the same as what IDiots do when they quote-mine source material on evolution to imply that it says the opposite of what it really said.
    It speaks volumes about the man's integrity that he would even try to do such a thing.
    An epic fail.

  • doug says:

    The irony of someone whose state was ravaged by a natural disaster complaining about money being spent to prevent or lessen harm from natural disasters is simply stunning.

  • Ozonator says:

    Jindal is the strongest man in the world. He had to drag around a state that is 50 out of 50 for most bad things. (LABI Limbaugh calls this a successful Sith apprentice.) In front of TV, he had to walk and talk with Rush Limbaugh on his back and provide juicy sound bites for all the extremist media outlets on Wednesday. Governor Sarah Palin could have done it all backyards and in high heels you betcha. But together, they could be the voice of the mom and pop neighborhood ExxonMobil refinery in everyone's backyard.

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  • lance says:

    So many angry comments and so little fact backing up those comments. The claims about Jindal and Palin being anti-science are poorly supported in this thread. The GOP has sought over the greatest NIH funding ever seen by this country, currently at nearly $30 Billion annually. To not question the utility of our research funding is dishonest. We have to decrease spending! We have nearly a $11Trillion debt and growing and this newest $787 billion "stimulus" bill and then $275 billion housing bill (total with interest is over $1.5 Tr) is reckless and it is hypocrital to have a summit on fiscal responsibility the following week. Obama and the Dems did not inherit this debt, they helped build it. Obama voted form every Bush budget, but only after Congress made it BIGGER!

  • NJ says:

    As if this was even a question anymore...

  • Char says:

    I agree with Doug. Do you think that Governor Jindal would have made the same mocking statement if the line he read was "hurricane monitoring?" Not to mention that the statement was incorrect at the core. I wonder how the people on the slopes of Mount St. Helen feel about the money that Jindal's state has appropriately received for levee repairs, etc.

  • John says:

    The "volcano monitoring" line was tongue in cheek. Liberals are so mad that anyone would DARE poke fun at their Messiah.
    The point of Jindal's comment is that this $140M is going to a wasteful government bureaucracy, instead of an enterprise that would actually stimulate the economy.

  • lance says:

    again, NIH funding has increased 20% in the last 8 years, under Bush. So, was Ckllinton even more anti-science?

  • Moderately Unbalanced Squid says:

    @ #17
    The USGS is hardly a wasteful government enterprise. Data on water supplies, flood likelihood, flood plain maps, volcanic activity warning, are all examples of extremely useful outputs for citizenry and businesses. Heck, if you look over at Green Gabbro's blog, they give numbers on how the tiny investment in monitoring Mt. Pinatubo gave a 30,000% return in savings just on equipment preserved from damage in the eruption, not even counting the lives saved.
    People believing that the USGS is an example of government gone wrong are really just ill-informed anarchists, not even really conservatives.

  • April, the existence of waste in science is certainly true. And I agree that there are serious issues about what should have federal funding. (As you are no doubt aware Mike has also recently taken part is a fascinating debate with Tim Sandefur over the nature and role of the federal government in science funding).
    However, that's the sort of nuanced issue we have with Jindal. Jindal isn't making those sorts of statements. He is instead mischaracterizing and criticizing a good use of money towards a very specific set of science-related goals. Nor is this the first time he has engaged in worrisome behavior. For example, look at his track record on evolution.
    Lance, this thread wasn't devoted to the anti-science attitudes of Jindal and Palin. But if you really need evidence that Palin is anti-science I have two words for you: "fruit flies."

  • Lance says:

    Link to NIH budget statistics showing the more than 60% increase in NIH funding during Bush's term:
    http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/UI/2008/Mechanism%20Detail-NIH%20Total,%20FY%201983%20-%202007.pdf
    Fair enough that Jindal's comment alone in a vacuum raises an eyebrow, but the claim that Republicans are anti-science is poorly founded.

  • Here's hoping that Jindal isn't taken seriously by anyone who watched that overall pathetic and patronizing rebuttal.
    Here's knowing otherwise.

  • Funny, who seems to be the most in favor of allowing creationism to be taught as science?
    The GOP.
    Who's the most in favor of letting religious beliefs (and only one religion's) substitute for actual data when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancy, and therefore abortion, EVEN WHEN their VP candidate showed what a failure abstinence-only is?
    The GOP.
    Whose administration regularly rewrote scientific papers to suit their own needs or suppressed data that didn't agree with them on a regular basis?
    George W. Bush.
    Who delayed AIDS funding until it was apparent that "good" people get AIDS too, and it wasn't just a disease of dirty homerseckshuals and drug addicts?
    Ronald Reagan.
    Which party eliminated various congressional and executive branch science advisory positions?
    The GOP.
    Increasing funding is only one part of the picture, and in the face of the GOP's long term history of subverting "inconvenient" science, it's a really small part at that.

  • Thairn says:

    Here is the link to the NIH budget since 1983. Bush increased the spending by over 60% in 8 years:
    http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/UI/2008/Mechanism%20Detail-NIH%20Total,%20FY%201983%20-%202007.pdf
    I agree with the article's conclusions, but the generalizations made in this thread that the GOP is anti-science is not well founded. It is akin to grouping all democrats with Spitzer's, McGreevey's, Mahoney's and Blagojevich's behavior. Let's have a fair discussion.

  • chris says:

    So many angry comments and so little fact backing up those comments. The claims about Jindal and Palin being anti-science are poorly supported in this thread. The GOP has sought over the greatest NIH funding ever seen by this country, currently at nearly $30 Billion annually.

    Palin and Jindal as individuals had nothing to do with what the GOP may have done in the last 8 years. That's a false relationship.
    Others have addressed their failings, but I think the most damning charge is that they both are strong advocates of undermining science education by teaching Bronze Age magical fairy stories in public high schools instead of real science. Children who grow up in the next 20 years in Alaska and Louisiana, if these two had their way, would become the most backward generation with respect to science in at least 500 years. If such aspirations should ever become national it would be disastrous for the rest of the country.

  • Scott says:

    Several of Jindal's other points were equally amazingly loose with reality. He complained that it is Obama and the Democrats who are engaging in flagrant deficit spending, as though Republicans had nothing to do with doubling the national debt in the last 8 years. He complained that the poor response to hurricane Katrina demonstrated that government was incapable of helping people, ignoring the fact that it was a Republican government that failed so miserably. I'm reminded of a comment that, "When out of power, Republicans protest that government cannot do anything right. When in power, they prove it."

  • Kim says:

    For an additional amount for ''Surveys, Investigations, and Research'', $140,000,000, for repair, construction and restoration of facilities; equipment replacement and upgrades including stream gages, and seismic and volcano monitoring systems; national map activities; and other critical deferred maintenance and improvement projects.

    One would think that the governor of the state that sits at the mouth of the largest river in the US, and which is potentially threatened by floodwaters from the entire Mississippi basin, would be aware of the importance of stream gages.
    Perhaps that's why he didn't talk about "a flood of spending" instead of "an eruption of spending."

  • Scott, there's nothing inconsistent about Jindal's attitude about deficit spending. He can just as well criticize the Democrats for their spending while still being unhappy with pasty Republican excess.
    Re: Katrina, many different levels of government failed in Katrina, not just the federal government. In that regard, it is hard to lay the blame on the Republican party in a simple fashion. Jindal's interpretation in that regard is not unreasonable.

  • Lorax says:

    Dear Historical revisionists.
    The NIH budget was doubled under the Clinton administration, although the doubling finished under Bush. So you are giving all the credit to Bush even though he wasn't in office then. This is the same kind of "math" that allows the rational to bestow the crown of anti-science on the GOP.
    To those disingenuous asshats, if the budget has gotten so much bigger why are so many fewer grants being funded that 8 years ago?, why have the budgets of funded grants been cut almost every single year? Where did all this massive influx of money go?

  • chris says:

    Rachel Maddow had an interesting interpretation of Jindal's comments re: Katrina last night on her show following the speeches. In her view he was saying, "Here's an example of how government failed, let's never trust government again!" Instead of, "Here's an example of how government failed, let's figure out what happened and make sure it doesn't fail next time."
    Her surprise at what he said had nothing to do with the irony of a Republican citing an event that is seen as primarily a Republican failure, it was more at the implied lessons to be learned from that failure and what it says about how the GOP views government. Which should be a surprise to no one, of course.

  • Dave says:

    Here is the link to the NIH budget since 1983. Bush increased the spending by over 60% in 8 years:
    http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/UI/2008/Mechanism%20Detail-NIH%20Total,%20FY%201983%20-%202007.pdf

    My math seems to differ from yours. I calculate a 43% increase in the NIH budget from 2001 through 2007 (the last year in your source) Since the NIH budget has been flat since then, I dont expect including the last two years would make much difference (other sources give 2009 as $28.666M). Compare this with an approx 100% increase during the Clinton Administration. I dont think you are helping the either the impression that Republicans are anti-science nor that they are fast and loose with the facts.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    "stream gages"
    Living in an area with no volcanoes, but many flash floods, I think that upgrading and adding to stream gages is a fine idea.

  • bacteriocentric says:

    First time reader and nice blog. Clearly the depth and truth of the GOP anti Jindal responses far surpass the struggling creationist anti science pro Jindal group. Look closely and you will see all pro GOP responses try to evoke an emotional reductionist view lacking solid factual backing while avoiding specific substance in their response.
    All the GOP / Jindal would have to do would be to take a course in basic logic or debate to improve chances their response will be viewed as valid. However if they follow that line of logic, they would never prove their case because the truth will actually be found, disproving their line of thinking.

  • volcanofriend says:

    I think the Volcano Hazards Program within the USGS has been funded over the past few years at about somewhere between $6 to $8 million. I might off by a couple mill, but my point is that it's NOWHERE near the $140 million appropriated to the entire USGS. And a large portion of VHP funding has come from the FAA, who really, really wants to keep air traffic out of ash clouds. If the VHP could receive just a few million more, it would be a huge increase. And remember that the VHP does not only monitor volcanoes in the US, they help international partners too, like Indonesia, monitor their volcanoes. All the same, perhaps what Jindal meant is that this money does not belong in a stimulus package and I would actually agree. An increase in funding to the VHP needs to be level, not a one time spike.

  • Mike Dunford says:

    First chance I've had to catch up on comments. In no particular order:
    @volcanofriend (#34)
    Looking at the language of the bill ("repair, construction and restoration of facilities; equipment replacement and upgrades"), this looks like both a reasonable use of stimulus funds and a reasonable use of a one-time funding shot. Repairing facilities creates jobs (even when I worked at USGS Reston back in the late 90s, there was a huge repair backlog). Equipment purchases keeps people working throughout that supply chain, too. And most of the equipment is stuff that won't need to be replaced on an annual basis.
    @bacteriocentric (#33):
    Thanks. Glad you're enjoying the blog.
    @Joshua (#28):
    I've got no problem with Republicans thinking that their party was out of control with spending. Jindal was more than slightly disingenuous about his party's role, though. He said that Republicans "went along" with the big spending. That might be slightly true during the 110th Congress, but it sure wasn't the case during the 109th, 108th, and 107th.

  • Lisa says:

    Republicans aren't "against science," but they pander to a demographic that tends to be suspicious of science and the result is more or less the same.
    The Republican party is faltering right now, and while I take a small amount of amusement from it, it is not a good thing. The Democrats would be improved too if up against a less laughable opponent. I mean, is this really the best you can do, Republicans?!
    So here's to the Republicans finding their way...
    BTW
    People don't understand how important the research at USGS is and how it affects everyone. USGS is kind of an invisible goverment agency.
    Even IF all of the funding was really to go to volcano monitoring, I believe it would be worth it. Eruptions at Cascade Volcanoes, Yellowstone Volcano and Long Valley could cause devastating affects. Alaska volcanic eruptions can disrupt important air traffic routes. Lava flow from Hawaii volcanoes can and has destroyed entire towns.

  • KeithB says:

    I think USGS is one of the best Government infrastructure agencies. I like cheap topo maps! I used to go to the US Gov't bookstore in LA to buy them. I got my copy of "Big Red" Abramowitz and Stegun, there, too.

  • tt says:

    The percent increase is easily to calculate. Simply divide the increase into the STARTING budget, not the 2007 budget and you will see it is over 60%. Clinton's increase was closer to 85%, sorry. As for why a smaller percentage of grants are awarded, there are many more people applying for grants and this data is also available at the NIH, of course. I know populist perception does not fit neatly with the data, but that is also true with the real story behind decreasing poverty in the US (now

  • Dave says:

    The percent increase is easily to calculate.

    Yes it is, which is why I find it astounding that you are screwing it up. From your source, for FY 2001, the last budget proposed by and passed during the Clinton Administration, NIH's budget was $19.855,750. In FY 2007, the last year your source provides, the budget was $28,373,239. Thats an increase of $8,517.489. Dividing that by the original amount ($19,855,750) gives a percentage of 42.8968%.
    Conversely, FY 1993 was the last budget proposed and passed during the George HW Bush Administration, and provided NIH with $9,919,955. Thus there was a $9,993,795 increase in the budget during Clinton's Adminsitration (FY2001, the last proposed by Clinton minus FY1993, the last proposed by the previous Bush) and a percentage increase of 100.1597%.
    If you wish to claim the numbers are different, please show your work. Im really curious how you get your 60%.

  • wolfwalker says:

    Interesting comment thread, and surprisingly evenhanded. I don't know that I can add anything of use, except that I agree with both April and Joshua to some extent. It's certainly true that the Bush administration boosted spending enormously on some science topics. It's definitely true that there are a lot of pro-science Republicans and Republican-leaning scientists. And without a doubt there's a lot of waste in government science-grant programs. (Why not? There's a lot of waste in all government programs, why should science be any different?) But the face of the modern Republican Party in general, and Jindal in particular, is anti-science, and that's a very bad thing just judged on the merits, all politicking aside.
    Speaking as a fiscal conservative and an amateur geologist-naturalist, I think Jindal was an idiot twice over for this line. No, make that three times over. Once for distorting the actual bill language. The second for needlessly perpetuating the anti-science face of the GOP. And the third for not realizing the value of what the USGS does. USGS is one of very few government agencies to which I do not begrudge any of my tax money.

  • katablog.com says:

    You are picking pepper out of fly poop. Of course there was nothing erroneous with Jindal's statement: "Surveys, Investigations, and Research'', $140,000,000"
    Hello! We are in a recession! People are going without food and medicine. We are suppose to be only spending money on necessities. Building government is not a necessity. It's not like science isn't funded any other way. This $140,000,000 is a special ear mark (pork).

  • britfag says:

    No problems whatsoever with this line of research finding government funding, but I think there is a huge problem with this being part of a stimulus bill supposedly put into place to strengthen and propel the nations economy.
    that is my view of this in a nut-shell

  • Cherryl Lewis says:

    As a long-time Republican who actually has a brain, I've seen the anti-science face of the Republican party clearly for the last 16 years. That's why I voted straight Democract for the past 16 years.
    The last 8 years of the Bush-Cheney moronacracy was like watching a nuclear explosion and not being able to look away--apparently a lot of dullards were blinded by the light, and they apparently still follow the neo-con party line without realizing that their beloved GOP has been invaded by ultra-liberal think-tankers like Karl Rove and Cheney. They made a serious study of leading sheep to slaughter.
    People who understand science, that mysterious, liberal, elitist activity that brings us the internet, TV, and cell phones, we knew better than to stare into the light. That's why there was an unprecedented upswell of support by Republicans for Obama.
    A true conservative would never pretend that science is silly, while supporting christianity as the state religion, and invading another country illegally. It goes against the entire constistution of the United States of America. When neo-evangelicals try to tell the established Puritans how to think, or posture fake family values (Palin), then its time to get back to our constitutional roots and clean the houses of Congress.
    In the meantime, I'm going to buy my granddaughter a chemistry set and give her an extra big pork barrel earmark for her education. Here's one for science! G-d gave us brains, and even he would approve of us using them. He's given us a wonderful world of discovery, if we can turn our backs on the dark ages long enough to take the opportunity. If you really want to be devout, you'd admit that G-d is smart enough to create evolution. Obviously.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    Hello! We are in a recession! People are going without food and medicine. We are suppose to be only spending money on necessities. Building government is not a necessity.

    I think that you missed the first half of the discussion where they mentioned that they were referring to the "stimulus plan" and not the "balance the budget by deepening the recession" plan.

  • R, Waher says:

    Ok, I get it. Volcano monitoring is not a light matter.
    But what the eff does it have to do with economic stimulus? That's what some of you are missing, here, and it's why it doesn't even freaking matter if Jindal didn't mention the "full" truth.
    Why can't such funds be allocated in a separate bill? I would have no problem with that, but instead, the Democrat-led Congress decided to snatch the money for it and a bunch of other pet projects under the false pretense of stimulating the economy.
    THAT is dishonest.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    But what the eff does it have to do with economic stimulus? That's what some of you are missing, here, and it's why it doesn't even freaking matter if Jindal didn't mention the "full" truth.

    I really want to know what the private definition of "stimulus" some people have that makes questions like, "What does buying capital equipment and hiring a guy to do work using that equipment have to do with stimulating the economy?" sound sensible. Seriously.

  • Zaggs says:

    Seriously people really need to learn to listen. Was Jindal talking about spending in general? NO! He is talking about the stimulus bill (in fact his very next line was "Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy."). So if you want to defend the 140 million please explain how the hell thats really going to create a large number of jobs?

  • ninguem5987 says:

    In Obama's speech, he made the comment that the automobile was invented in America. Of course, it was invented in Germany. I suspect a hundred years from now, schoolchildren will be mis-educated that Bill Gates invented the computer.
    But as a point of fact, does this site pay as much attention to that error? Just wondering........

  • Ozonator says:

    "Defend the 140 million please explain how the hell thats really going to create a large number of jobs? ... Posted by: Zaggs | February 26, 2009 7:45 PM".
    Ta da, sex tourism for dittoheads who want to blow a volcano instead of minors and other industrial workers in Haiti with inheritance from their hippie parents.

  • Troublesome Frog says:

    So if you want to defend the 140 million please explain how the hell thats really going to create a large number of jobs?

    Again, I'm trying to figure out how one spends $140M on "stuff" and "labor" without creating jobs somewhere in the process. Let's say I want to buy an expensive seismograph thingy to monitor a volcano. Let's say it costs $1M (I have no idea what such a thing should cost). The process for buying it normally isn't "light $1M in cash on fire and the instrument appears in your lab." Instead, the money is transferred to a private company that employs engineers, machinists, clerks, shipping people, etc. Collectively, those people and their shareholders now have $1M which they then spend on other things.
    Now, stimulative effects of that purchase will be larger or smaller depending on whether those people were initially unemployed or not, how much their incomes are, and how likely they are to spend the money on other goods, but the fact that the purchase has something to do with a volcano somewhere along the line doesn't really make any meaningful difference.
    I have to ask again: Will the critics of this project please explain why it is likely to be less stimulative than any number of other types of spending? Do we really "buy" volcano monitoring equipment by burning piles of cash? Is it all made in China? WTF?

  • Dave says:

    But as a point of fact, does this site pay as much attention to that error? Just wondering..

    I pointed out that very error to my wife at the time. I havent made a big issue of it because its a simple error on its own and doesnt seem to reinforce a larger pattern. (If you disagree, feel free to point out how it does.) I do wonder how that wasnt caught given the number of reviewers the speech must have had.

    He is talking about the stimulus bill (in fact his very next line was "Democratic leaders say their legislation will grow the economy."). So if you want to defend the 140 million please explain how the hell thats really going to create a large number of jobs?

    I have to agree with Troublesome Frog, what private definition of stimulus are you using? How is spending $140M on equipment that someone has to make, someone has to sell and someone has to install (in this case in some fairly out of the way places, so delivery and installation is NOT trivial) not creating jobs? Do you think these things just get magic-ed into place?

  • Dave says:

    Will the critics of this project please explain why it is likely to be less stimulative than any number of other types of spending?

    I think the problem is more fundamental than that. In the end, they dont believe that spending produces stimulus. I suspect many of the critics, certainly Jindal and probably many of the others casting aspersions on volcano monitoring, think that only tax-cuts are proper stimulus.

  • Jesus St. Jesus says:

    TRIG PALIN IN 2056… The Republican party is so inbred at this point that little Jindal’s, baby Bush’s and Dole’s will create a three headed VP candidate to run with him.
    Cheney grandchildren, while the most intelligent of the declining brood, will be excluded from running because of their unpure adoptive bloodlines…

  • Jesus St. Jesus says:

    TRIG PALIN IN 2056… The Republican party is so inbred at this point that little Jindal’s, baby Bush’s and Dole’s will create a three headed VP candidate to run with him.
    Cheney grandchildren, while the most intelligent of the declining brood, will be excluded from running because of their unpure adoptive bloodlines…

  • Desertphile says:

    "Between Jindal and Palin they seem to be doing their hardest to drive pro-science moderates into the Democratic camp."
    The pro-science moderates are already in the Democrat Party "camp."

  • Jim Depp says:

    Wow - can't resist commenting on the comments - Jindal made a simple, and correct observation - generating the usual misinformation and denial from the left/liberal/democrat, and mad dash everywhere by both republican and democrat. If you go back to his point - please keep in mind that the item to which they refer is a volcano, likely Hawaii, and what USGS does there is monitor. The tag at the end opens the door to some spending for other things, likely the smaller portion since mentioned almost as an afterthought. An impressive now 55 comments, I must say. And about only one accurate comment regarding $140M out of how many trillion? Sure hope you folks have a lot of loose change.

  • mark says:

    Insufficient funding in recent years has forced the USGS to close down a number of stream gages, observation wells, and to cut back water-quality sampling programs. When you consider that it takes years to develop sufficient data to characterize streamflow, you have to wonder what the moneyhandlers are thinking (or not thinking).