Economy Hope: Porn, Roads and Auto-Flush Potties

Everybody in D.C. clamors for a piece of the stimulus plan, to GOP's chagrin.

ByABC News
January 23, 2009, 4:19 PM

Jan. 26, 2009— -- How many taxpayer dollars does it take to change a light bulb? Well, if you live in North Miami, Fla., your mayor says it would cost $2 million to switch households to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs.

That's just one of 18,750 ready-to-go local job and infrastructure projects that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has proposed the federal government fund as part of the $825 billion economic stimulus plan.

There are plenty of suggestions for bridge repairs, road paving projects, new buses, trolley, garbage trucks and school improvements on the list.

But there is also $886,000 to build a 36-hole "disk-golf" course -- think Frisbee throwing meets golf -- in Austin, Texas, and $33,725 for automatically flushing toilets in Sumter, S.C. And don't forget the $1.4 million children's water park requested by Pine Bluff, Ark., and the $500,000 that Chula Vista, Calif., wants for a dog park.

As the stimulus plan works its way through Congress, every group from the mayors to road builders to zoo operators is looking for their piece of the pie.

"Everybody says: Bailout? Well, I deserve to be bailed out. Where do I line up?" said Lawrence J. White, an economics professor at New York University's Stern School of Business.

That even includes the porn industry.

Earlier this month, Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, and Joe Francis, the man behind the "Girls Gone Wild" videos, called for a $5 billion bailout of the adult entertainment industry.

But now Francis told ABC News the proposal "was to just point out the absurdity in all this.

"When you get the government involved in these so-called bailouts, it is just everything contrary to what Adam Smith talked about in the 'Wealth of Nations.' This whole invisible hand that is supposed to bring consumers and producers together and create this equilibrium of an economy becomes nonexistent because of this government intervention," Francis said. "Adam Smith is rolling in his grave right now."