Monday, December 21, 2009

Stimulus = Slush Fund

Have you heard anyone on the Right claim that Obama's stimulus bill was nothing more than a slush fund to support the Left's favorite pet projects and constituent groups?  The Washington Examiner reports (via Gateway Pundit) on something that pretty much proves it (emphasis mine):

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia is one of the nation's most respected economic and regulatory think tanks and has a Nobel prize-winning economist on staff. The econometric analysis was done using data provided by -- the government website devoted to tracking the stimulus data -- as well as a host of other government databases.

The Mercatus Center analysis ... found that Democratic congressional districts received on average almost double the funding of Republican congressional districts. Republican congressional districts received on average $232 million in stimulus funds while Democratic districts received $439 million on average.

Why?  Is it that Republican districts are more wealthy and thus less in need of stimulus money?

...[an] analysis of the $157 billion distributed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, popularly known as the stimulus bill, shows that the funds were distributed without regard for what states were most in need of jobs.

"You would think that if the stimulus money was actually spent to create jobs, there would be more stimulus money spent in high unemployment states," said Veronique de Rugy, a scholar at the Mercatus Center who produced the analysis. "But we don't find any correlation."

Additionally, Mercatus found that stimulus funds were not disbursed geographically with any special regard for low-income Americans. "We find no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no statistically significant effect of unemployment, median income or mean income on stimulus funds allocation," said the report.

"We found that there is a correlation [relating to the partisanship of congressional districts]," de Rugy said. Her regression analysis found that stimulus funds are expected to decrease by 24.19 percent if a district is represented by a Republican.

And, as icing on the cake:

...the Mercatus analysis shows that a majority of the funds allocated went to public rather than private entities -- nearly $88 billion to $69 billion. While some of the money given to public entities may eventually filter down to the private sector, it's much less transparent how money given to public entities is spurring economic growth and job creation.

Case closed.

There's my two cents.

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