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Siemens Sets Sights on Stimulus Cash

Siemens is competing for as much as $110 billion in US infrastructure spendingHere's today's stimulus coverage roundup:

The European conglomerate Siemens plans to compete for $208 billion of the $623 billion of global stimulus spending on infrastructure, reports the Wall Street Journal.  How much does Siemens hope to reap from Uncle Sam? $110 billion.

It's always the little things ... This week, Senator Judd Gregg, R-N.H., filed legislation to "prohibit the use of stimulus funds for signs that advertise taxpayer spending," according to Foster's Daily Democrat, in Dover, N.H.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signs planted near construction sites around the country cost roughly $300 each. The federal government strongly recommends -- not mandates -- that states post these signs. How much, then, are we paying for them? A back-of-the-envelope tally by the Atlantic's Christina Davidson produced an estimate of $6 million.

On Monday, the Anchorage School Board in Alaska finalized its $76 million stimulus-spending plans and will be spending it all on technology and pilot programs. The Anchorage Daily News puts this in perspective: "Unlike many school districts around the country facing budget shortfalls, Anchorage schools are treating federal stimulus money as a windfall, using most of it to pay for long-dreamed-of upgrades and to experiment with pilot programs aimed at long-standing problems."

The AP reports that Oregon has created or saved more than 3,200 jobs, thanks to the stimulus. Of those, 543 are new jobs.

The Government Accountability Office is blowing a whistle -- no pun intended -- on the Federal Railroad Administration, arguing that it "doesn't have an adequate plan" to oversee stimulus spending for high-speed rail. The federal government has appropriated $8 billion for high-speed rail, and $5 billion more to be disbursed over five years. Susan Fleming, the GAO's director of physical infrastructure issues, also argues that the money is a drop in the bucket compared with the real costs of building a high-speed rail system. The AP has more.

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