published Friday, March 29th, 2013

Hart: STIMULUS MONEY: Where did all those promised projects go?

By Ron Hart

Remember when Obama got his trillion-odd dollars of “stimulus money” which he and the Democrats breathlessly said we needed for “shovel ready” jobs to re-build roads and infrastructure? Please email me if anything of the sort got built in your town. Nothing got built in the cities where I spend time.

Roads are bad in Atlanta. I recently drove though Buckhead with its bone-jarring potholes. Folks have to have SUVs there to survive the roads, some with potholes so big that you can bass fish in them after a good rain.

When the stimulus bill was proposed, it was made to sound urgent. Politicians said it would bring “rigor” to the economy. It turns out it also brought mortis.

So where did all that sweet stimulus money go? Of the money spent in swing state Wisconsin, 80 percent went to public sector unions — those with already locked-in jobs. In fact, right-to-work states got $266 less per person in stimulus money than heavily unionized states. Where Democrats had a vast majority of representatives, their states got $460 per person more.

When Obama signed the stimulus bill in 2009, he promised it would provide “help for those hardest hit by our economic crisis.” Clearly, it did not. The states hurt the most, the ones with more foreclosures, unemployment, and bankruptcy, got less money than richer states closer to power. Washington, D.C. got the most stimulus money: $7,602 per capita.

The stimulus was a huge political slush fund with little accountability. Obama credits the passage of his stimulus bill to people having no idea how Democrats were going to spend the money.

Obama, Pelosi and Reid still maintain that doling out all the stimulus money saved jobs. It did — theirs. As recently as the State of the Union speech, they actually begged for more stimulus money — $155 billion more. That is like burning down the hotel you got to stay in for free, then disputing your mini-bar charge.

In the same State of the Union speech Obama said that spending would not cost tax payers a dime. As is tradition, Bernie Madoff was absent from the floor of Congress during Obama’s speech to ensure continuity of government, should a tragedy occur.

Rich Democrat donors also got payback. The farcical “green” energy company Solyndra defaulted on more than half a billion dollars of our money, while Obama mega-donor George Kaiser finagled his interest ahead of ours. Other beneficiaries of Obama’s largesse for dubious deals include Larry Page and Sergey Brin (if you Google them you will find they founded Google) for Tesla Motors, NRG Solar owners Warren Buffet and Steve Cohen, and Siga Tech owner Ronald Pearlman. All told, more than 75 percent of stimulus grants and money for such “businesses” found their way to big Obama supporters.

Even creepy crony capitalist of the century Al Gore got his snout in the trough. His investment in Fisker Automotive scored a $528 million loan guarantee. Can you imagine the risks you could take if you were given $528 million that you were not personally on the hook for? Of course all these businesses are tanking or have tanked already.

We are almost $17 trillion in debt, and that does not include the Obamas’ upcoming vacations or the 50th birthday party we are apparently throwing for Michelle, for which Beyoncé and Adele have been hired to sing.

For all their self-aggrandizing rhetoric about “helping the needy” with stimulus money, the reality is that Democrats simply helped themselves. This was only a surprise if you were not paying attention. The next time Democrats give a speech about “shovel ready jobs,” get your shovel ready. It will get deep.

Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com

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Easy123 said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Stimulus helped tremendously and had positive effects on the economy, unemployment, etc. Also, just because you didn't see any roadwork being done in the greater Atlanta area doesn't mean it didn't happen in the 3,000+ other counties outside of Fulton and Dekalb County, Georgia.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/did-the-stimulus-work-a-review-of-the-nine-best-studies-on-the-subject/2011/08/16/gIQAThbibJ_blog.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/business/how-the-fiscal-stimulus-helped-and-could-have-done-more.html?_r=0

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/02/21/Obamas-Stimulus-Plan-What-Worked-What-Didnt.aspx#page1

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68965.html

March 29, 2013 at 12:14 a.m.
anticorp said...

Mr Hart, your article is a pabulum of empty calories for 21st Century Conservatives. It’ll be burned in a sugar high with the reader ending up with indigestion and zero pertinent facts. Anyone willing to unglue their lips from the distal end of the Fox News digestive track can get a real understanding of how the stimulus was and still is being applied. The following are just few facts about how the “788 billion” stimulus actually did and is helping Americans. Go here to actually track it. http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/fundingoverview/Pages/fundingbreakdown.aspx#Entitlements

Medicaid/Medicare $99.0B Medicaid Grants to States; Medicare HITECH Incentive Payments; Program Management Unemployment Insurance Programs $61.2B Family Services $46.4B Foster Care and Adoption Assistance; Child Support; Food Stamp Program; Assistance for Needy Families Energy $19.3B Grants for Specified Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits; Bonneville Power Administration Fund; Western Area Power Administration, Borrowing Authority Economic Recovery Payments $13.8B One-time $250 payments to Social Security beneficiaries; Railroad Board payments; Veterans payments Education $92.0B State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Student Aid. Training and Employment Services. Aid for the Disadvantaged. Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Transportation $37.4B Highway Infrastructure. High-Speed Rail Corridors. Grants for Railroads and Airports Infrastructure $31.7B Broadband. Federal Building Fund. Highway Construction. Rural Water and Waste Disposal Account Energy / Environment $28.9B Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy Program. Defense Environmental Clean-up. Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Program. Water and Related Resources Superfund Program Individual Tax Credits $131.8B First-Time Homebuyers. Transportation Subsidy. Education benefits. Earned Income Tax Credits. Making Work Pay $104.4B $400 tax credit for working individuals; $800 for working married couples Tax Incentives For Businesses $32.6B The Work Opportunity Tax Credit added unemployed veterans and 16-to-24 year olds to the list of new hires that businesses could claim. The Net Operating Loss Carryback allows small businesses to offset losses by receiving refunds on taxes paid up to five years ago. Energy Incentives $10.9B Tax credits for energy efficient improvements to residences. Tax credits for alternative energy equipment. Electric Vehicles Tax Credit

As far the number of jobs created since the President took office I find numbers from 4.8 mil to almost 6. Clearly the GOP is doing everything possible to impede economic and job growth in hopes of political advantage (how shameful), but, in spite of that, the final tally is showing the President can take credit for more jobs and economic growth in 4.5 years than Bush managed in 8. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2013/01/04/surprise-obama-is-creating-more-new-jobs-than-george-w-bush

March 29, 2013 at 8:17 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Look at Richmond Virginia, across Georgia and elsewhere for the spending. A billion dollars on a failed startup like Solyndra pales in comparison to 4 trillion spent by Bush on a futile undeclared war started on a lie. Face it, if you live in a state that got the votes, you get the money.

If you live in a state like Tennessee where the politicians still are trying to turn back the clock against the reality of change, fight healthcare that almost everyone needs and wants, and paint everyone a nice shade of caucasian pink pretending we live in an Alice and Wonderland World, what else can you expect but gnashing teeth in darkness.

March 29, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.
anticorp said...

Never give up inquiringmind. Populism works if you can network. It is becoming more and more potent every day. The growth of rural internet service is huge. It is all about penetrating the propaganda of Fox and complacency (or complicity) of the others. If folks understand what is being done to them they will vote these Republican Crony Capitalists out. We are not their constituents.

March 29, 2013 at 11:27 p.m.
kellie2479 said...

You leftistt spewing talking points of the DNC get tiring. Hart is a libertarian, he is pro choice, pro gay marriage and against the wars. Not sure why you seek to slander those who see most things your way. I checked his facts at recovery.gov and he is 100% correct.

You guys might need to lighten up, you only seem to be talking to yourselves.

April 4, 2013 at 10:41 a.m.
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