$196K in tax money for statues of dogs doing, well…

With California is skidding through a state budget crisis and careening into a head-on collision with bankruptcy, taxpayers are angrier than ever at their free-spending Republican governor, Democrat Assembly and local governments.

This isn’t going to help.

"Artist Scott Donahue of Emeryville, Calif., was paid $196,000 by Berkeley’s public arts program to create two large statues, which feature small, artistic medallions that show dogs doing what dogs do best.

"’Various things,’ Donahue said. ‘Biting each other, chasing each other…. One dog is defecating, two dogs are fornicating.’

"But with the country in a deep recession and California on the verge of bankruptcy, some taxpayers are questioning the money Donahue got for his work. His total budget was $196,000 — 1.5 percent of the total budget for building the pedestrian bridge. And all of it came from taxpayers.

"’During this time of economic crisis and unemployment in California, the amount of money needed for that statue was excessive,’ says Oona Eddleman of Los Angeles, whose husband Harry has been looking for work since being laid off from his job a few months back. Though Oona is home on maternity leave, she said she will have no choice but go back to work full-time to support her family."

Yep, Berkeley swiped $196,000 from the pockets of suffering taxpayers and spent it decorating a bicycle bridge with statues of dogs doing stuff you don’t want to see.  And that 1.5 percent figure means they spent over $13 million to build the bicycle bridge.

Democrats, and many Republicans, call that "job creation" (because we’ve all heard heartbreaking stories of the millions of out-of-work dog poop sculptors.)  Libertarians call it abuse and waste.