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Where the Stimulus Funds are Going

by: DocJess

Fri May 29, 2009 at 05:00:00 AM EDT

Do you wonder where the stimulus funds are going? Believe it or not, the first big chunks of money went to places you may not have thought would receive them. 

USA Today did an analysis of the total dollar amounts of contracts awarded, and then broke it down by per-capita spending on a state-by-state basis. The winner? Idaho. In third place? Think of one of the states that turned down stimulus funds, and you'll come to South Carolina. Big losers? Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont, which each received nothing. Followed by Connecticut, which received a statewide total of $45,099 or one penny per person.

Below is a bad copy of the chart from the USA Today (page 2A, 28 May). Blame my scanner. You can see a more clear copy on this pdf.

In a companion article, the paper explains that one of the reasons for this is the very first dollars went to clean up the worst nuclear waste sites, which are only located in a few places.

Another consideration is that the monies are allocated by many Federal agencies, and some worked more quickly than others.

Sadly, when you look at the spending, the money doesn't seem to be going to the places most in need, as measured by unemployment rates. While South Carolina with its 11.5% rate did okay, Michigan at 12.9% received a paltry 21 cents per person. North Carolina (10.8%) received $1.56 per-capita, Nevada (10.6%) 6 cents per person, Ohio (10.2%) $1.94 per-capita, and as pointed out earlier, Rhode Island received nothing and has an unemployment rate of 11.1%. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Idaho has a 7% unemployment rate and received $245.63 per person. The lowest unemployment rate in the country is North Dakota, and they received $25.91 per person.

Maybe it's just me, but I think there is something very wrong with this picture. The idea was to stimulate the bad part of the economy, not places already doing comparatively better.

In addition, the monies are, for the most part, allocated to the states for distribution. So, the states do interesting things. You can look up your state's recovery site here

You might find an interesting use for stimulus funds. Here in Pennsylvania, they're using part of the funds to buy margarine. I only wish that I was making that up.

Morning poll will be up later today. 




DocJess :: Where the Stimulus Funds are Going

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margarine (0.00 / 0)
It looks like the margarine is being used to feed prisoners.  Anything that helps states fill budget deficits is okay by me.  Otherwise they cut services and raise taxes.

momentary devil's advocate (0.00 / 0)
Perhaps the 7% unemployment figure in Idaho is a bit deceptive. Let's not forget that Idaho is a "right to work" state, so more people may be employed than in MI, ND and most of the other states you mention, but MANY of those "employed" do so for minimum wage without union protection. Idaho is plenty poor, and many of the people who never had decent paying jobs could sure use some.  

Ok, second momentary devil's advocate. (0.00 / 0)
California is also a "right to work" state and one can be fired at anytime.  We also have many illegals which use many state resources that the tax payers pay for them.  The #1 resource is hospitals and the overuse of Emergency Rooms for everyday care.  Do you think that is taken into account?  The poverty rate in CA is 13.2% and I do not believe that takes into account the large amount of illegals that live here.  Combine that with our 11% unemployment, yuck.  But we do have nice weather in Southern CA but it is expensive.

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