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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stupid Porkulus Tricks: Federal Government is Wasting Stimulus Dollars to Ensure the Money Isn't Wasted

The Porkulus bill was the our first taste of how the new Democratic Party Majority was going to govern the United States. As you may remember, the bill was passed so fast that the members of congress weren't even allowed to take the time to read it. But they had an excuse, they were told that if it wasn't passed in time for Nancy Pelosi to take her trip to Italy there would be "wrath of God" type implications: Fire and brimstone coming down from the sky, Rivers and seas boiling! Years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, a 24 hour-a-day Barney the Dinosaur Channel, MASS HYSTERIA.

What the public is finding out (even if the media wont tell us) is that it was all a big fraud. Unemployment is more than 20% higher than was promised, according to the OMB the bill created jobs in congressional districts that don't even exist, and much of money went to non-stimulating projects.

Two more revelation about this disastrous Stimulus bill were revealed today. The President's Office of Management and Budget "over estimated" the jobs created/saved number by almost 400%. The other revelation was where much of the stimulus money was Washington Firms to manage the stimulus.

The first revelation comes from Amanda Carpenter of the Washington Times. Amanda is reporting that Onvia, a Seattle-based company who monitors the government's contracting activity says only $37.5 billion of stimulus money has flowed to the private sector to date. That $37.5 billion has created 407,000  private-sector jobs this year, much less than the 1.6 million jobs the Obama administration has claimed.

"This is quite different than the government's numbers, which claim as many as 1.6 million jobs already created," Onvia said. "The difference is due to the fact that the feds can track only two layers of stimulus money flow, far short of the full paper trail required. Therefore, a lot of guesswork and extrapolations go into the government's math, and the jobs numbers are forecasts more than anything else."

Across town at the Washington Post we are finding out where a lot of the stimulus money IS going to government-contractor firms, the Washington DC elite-types, who have been hired by the government to help spend the stimulus money.
 Reports from stimulus recipients show that a sizable sum has gone to federal contractors in the Washington area who are helping implement the initiative -- in effect, they are being paid a hefty slice of the money to help spend the rest of it. 
 Wait a second, we are paying the government to pay someone else to pay for the stimulus projects? They need help to spend money, isn't needing help spending tax-payer money Blasphemy for a government ? Do they take away their bureaucracy decoder ring or something for that?
The contractors' work hardly differs from the basic operations of the federal  departments hiring them. The Energy Department is paying Technology & Management Services, a Gaithersburg firm, $6.9 million to review applications for renewable energy loan guarantees. The Department of Homeland Security awarded Deloitte Consulting's Arlington branch $8.6 million to provide "program management and support" for the stimulus plan's $1 billion airport security initiative, and gave McKing Consulting, a Fairfax firm, a $1.5 million contract to review applications for fire department construction funding.
Tell me again, why are we paying the government to pay someone else to do the governments job?
Held against the total stimulus package, the contracts represent a relatively small portion of spending. But they help explain why the Washington area is weathering the recession so well. And, as President Obama convenes a jobs summit Thursday to discuss lagging employment, the contracts raise questions about whether enough funding is getting to areas suffering the most. 
Our government is 9 trillion bucks in the hole, unemployment is at 10.2% and rising and our federal government is using our tax dollars to pay off lobbyists, and their favorite special interest groups. and catch this, these guys are spending the tax dollars in the same places the government usually does.

"The way it's set up, the money's largely going to places where it's always been going," said Karl Stauber, a former undersecretary for rural development in the Agriculture Department who is now director of the Danville Regional Foundation in struggling southern Virginia. "We need to invest stimulus dollars in ways that help create new competitive advantage in places that are now being left behind." 
Of the stimulus grants and contracts awarded so far, the District has received nearly 10 times as much per capita as the national average, and Maryland has received more per capita than much harder-hit states, among them Florida, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio. Virginia's statewide average is relatively low, but of the 496 stimulus contracts the state has received, two-thirds of them, with a total value of $562 million, have gone to Northern Virginia, home to hundreds of contractors. 
It may not be a big portion of the Stimulus package but that "middle-man" money is coming out of the pockets of the places that need it.

Virginia's unemployment rate is 6.6 percent, and Maryland's is 7.3 percent, well below the 10.2 percent national average. And data released Wednesday puts the Washington metro area's unemployment rate at 6.2 percent, an increase of two percentage points over last year, while the jobless rates in other metro regions has gone up much more -- to 9.3 percent in New York, and above 10 percent in Chicago, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
"Our region has fared dramatically better than other regions in this recession," said Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), who represents Fairfax County. "The presence of the federal government as a direct employer and . . . a significant source of outsourcing is no question a major reason for that." 
The government will tell you that they are hiring these company's to ensure that the money is spent correctly.  In other words, the government is wasting money to ensure that the money is not wasted.
...The government has struggled to balance the competing pressures to get the money out quickly and to spend it carefully, avoiding scandals. Contractors are benefiting from both pressures -- the government is hiring them to help with purchasing as well as with spending oversight. In effect, it is paying a lot to ensure that money is not wasted. 
This is an example of everything that is wrong with government, a bureaucracy wasting OUR money by shirking their responsibility and giving money to their friends. Well, either that or maybe our SCHMOTUS Joe Biden was right when he said:
“Well, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt? The answer is yes, I’m telling you."

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