WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama warned Friday there was no room for error on spending billions of dollars of economic stimulus money and nixed a White House heating upgrade to set an example.
"The American people are watching what we do," Obama told a representatives of state legislatures meeting at a White House event.
"They need this plan to work. They're skeptical, and understandably, because they've seen taxpayer dollars frittered away before.
"There's little room for error here, especially in a time for crisis."
The president unveiled new rules to cut wasteful use of the 787 billion dollar stimulus fund in US states, as he tries to maintain political support for spending taxpayer money to bail out the economy.
The president said new rules were being built into the stimulus plan to prevent the use of money on projects that would create few jobs, like the building of dog walking parks.
"Now, let me be clear. I don't have anything against dog parks," Obama joked. "I intend to get a dog."
"What I do oppose is building them with funds from the recovery act, because that's not how we'll jump-start job creation."
Obama said that he would set an example for the states by intervening to stop a request for recovery plan funds to repair aging electrical and heating system in the East Wing of the White House.
"I'm not willing to ask all of you to do what I'm not willing to do myself, we're going to set an example here in the White House," Obama said.
"Because this request does not meet the high standards that I have set, because it will not create many jobs or advance our recovery, it will not be funded under the recovery act."
The approximate cost of the proposed project was not immediately available.
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