Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Populist Rage on the Horizon? Microsoft Gets $11 Million Stimulus Grant to Construct "Bridge to Microsoft"

Well, it was really only a matter of time before fiscal watchdogs began challenging use of stimulus money. The State of Washington's decision to give Microsoft $11 million to build a bridge connecting two its campuses in Redmond has certainly caught the eye of taxpayer groups.

Proponents of the project argue that construction of the bridge will create 400 jobs for over 18 months. They also point out that Microsoft will spend $17.5 million of its own money for the project, and that the bridge would benefit people in the community other than Microsoft employees.

Critics, however, note the Microsoft is a deep-pocket institution and that the company is substituting private money with stimulus funds. Because the project would have been completed without taxpayer support, opponents of the decision to award funds to Microsoft argue that the money should have been used to finance other initiatives.


Hallie said...

I'm getting stimulus dollars on my farm for habitat restoration. Wanna come after me? How silly. This project is benefiting the entire community of Redmond, taking traffic off the major streets and reducing greenhouse gases. Then again, you probably don't believe it global warming either, do you? Everyone is has a conspiracy mentality about Microsoft.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hallie - RELAX. I never took a position on the stimulus money to Microsoft. Instead, I simply presented arguments from both sides. If the critics are correct in saying that the project was going to be completed without stimulus funding, then their argument is legitimate.

One of the dangers with the stimulus money is that it becomes a way for politicians to reward powerful interests. This is why Obama constantly talked about accountability and transparency while promoting the stimulus legislation. I am not sure whether the "power" situation distinguishes you from Microsoft, but congrats on getting assistance with your project.

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