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.