The following is cross-posted at

Just in case you were wondering: Your "stimulus" money is not just going towards bridges to (almost) nowhere, like this one in Tuscumbia, Missouri.  It is also going to airports in the middle of nowhere. There – aren’t you feeling much better now?

As both CNN and the Washington Post have reported, John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport about two hours East of Pittsburgh was one of the first airports in the country to receive funding: $800,000 to repave a backup runway. 
It is no coincidence that this airport is named "Murtha airport", since the "King of Pork" has been steering much of the $200 million in federal funds to the facility that is described by the Washington Post as follows:
Inside the terminal on a recent weekday, four passengers lined up to board a flight, outnumbered by seven security staff members and supervisors, all suited up in gloves and uniforms to screen six pieces of luggage. For three hours that day, no commercial or private planes took off or landed. Three commercial flights leave the airport on weekdays, all bound for Dulles International Airport. (…)
Federal largess is clearly evident here on Airport Road. Each of the six daily flights that the United Express local carrier makes to and from the airport is subsidized, costing taxpayers about $1.4 million, or $147 per passenger, last year. The subsidy is double the national average for the federal program designed to guarantee air service for 150 rural communities, excluding those in Alaska.
Hardly any passengers, and a multi-million dollar traffic control system that has been unstaffed for years.  And even residents wonder about the merits of the airport:
The airport’s passenger count has fallen by more than half in the past 10 years. When Johnstown native Bill Previte arrived on a recent morning, he lamented that his plane was half-empty and that the terminal was deserted.
"Doesn’t it seem kind of ridiculous to have a motorized carousel for the baggage claim when 15 people get off the airplane?" he said. "It’s obvious: There’s not enough population to justify this place."
However John Murtha vigorously defends the airport funding – which, given the convenience for him and his staff, comes as no surprise.
Your tax dollars at work.
Photo credit: Jim Carson