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Biden’s Rescue Money Doled Out to Racehorse Owners, Influencers

States, flush with cash, are spending federal pandemic aid on niche projects

By Amanda Albright and Danielle Moran | 16 May 2022

BLOOMBERG — When President Joe Biden made the case for a nearly $200 billion pandemic aid package to help states dodge budget cuts and layoffs, quarter-horse racing never came up.

Yet, Arizona is now using a portion of its aid to boost purses at three of its horse tracks. Alaska is paying social-media influencers to promote the state’s famous seafood. And North Carolina is funding improvements to a speedway for Nascar races and building new walking trails dedicated to the history of moonshine.

The fact is the fiscal armageddon that Covid-19 was expected to bring to America never happened. Instead, states are flush with cash after both Congress and the Federal Reserve primed the economy with trillions of dollars. Now most states are sitting on surpluses they could have never imagined. And while much of Washington’s aid did go toward health care, education, and infrastructure — with $49 billion allocated to those areas so far — they’re also plowing money into programs far down the typical wish list. […]

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