This week, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), whom George Will called the Senate's Dr. No, released a list of federal stimulus projects that he believes are the most wasteful. For reasons that can only be blamed on shoddy research, he listed the Elizabethtown Train Station project.
His "report," a term that I will only use in its very loosest terms since it would flunk any English 101 course for quality research, screams: "Taxpayers Taken for a Ride: Nearly $10 Million to be Spent to Renovate a Century Old Train Station that Hasn’t Been Used in 30 Years."
If the good senator and his staff had bothered to read any of the news reports cited, he would have known that the $9.4 million Elizabethtown is receiving will pay to renovate and revamp not an old building but the platform used by more than 80,000 riders annually, paving the parking lot those riders use and making the station handicapped accessible. Yes, a portion of the money will go to renovate the existing building that has been empty and unused for 30 years -- but not even close to the entire amount.
Now, I am not naive enough to think Sen. Coburn isn't trying to score political points. If he wants to do that, fine -- he just needs to do his research, stop shooting from the hip and stop making 0ffensive comments.