Eddiebear over at Doubleplussundead found something quite interesting on the Recovery.org website. In an effort to figure out how many jobs had been “created or saved” in Missouri, he found that the administration is claiming quite a lot of job saving mojo for the Stimulus Bill, including in the 10th, 14th, 16th, 29th, and 31st Congressional Districts (which “created or saved” 8 1/2 jobs at the cost of nearly a cool million dollars).
The only problem is that Missouri only has nine Congressional Districts.
Eddiebear allows that the web site may have been referring to state legislative districts. That would be extremely odd considering how the President has encouraged members of Congress to use the Stimulus numbers to prop up their re-election efforts. But odd doesn’t mean impossible, so I decided to check on my home state, Maryland. My home state has 8 Congressional Districts and 65 legislative districts that are numbered from 1 to 47 (we have a few numbers that are split into “A” and “B” districts, with the occasional “C” thrown in for good measure).
Now, you’d expect, if the website tracked spending and jobs by Congressional district district, that we’d stop at eight, but you’d be wrong. According to the site, the Federal government pumped nearly $2.5 million into the 33rd Congressional District, $1 million into the 34th, and $4.2 million into other Congressional Districts Maryland doesn’t have.
Even if we assume that the districts aren’t congressional, like the site explicitly says they are, we still have a couple problems. The site reveals that we have a phantom 66th district that got $267,644 worth of taxpayer money and the 71st that raked in $150,800. And then there’s the oddly-designated “00 Congressional District” that pulled down a bit over $3.9 million dollars.
I’ll give the administration an out. It’s possible that this doesn’t point to rampant fraud and misuse of millions of our dollars. It could just point to a stunning amount of incompetence and a badly broken Presidential promise to make the Stimulus Bill process open, transparent, and accountable. In either case, we’re owed a few answers about why there seems to be an awful lot of money going to election districts that do not exist.
UPDATE: ABC News is on the story now, more or less. Just remember that a couple of bloggers beat them by about seven hours (according to the time on the first comment, at any rate)
Ace picked up the ABC story as well, though not mine or Eddiebear’s. Hey, that’s the way it works in Big Blog Land. Perhaps with some bigger folks looking at this, we might actually get answers from the administration. Ace also has a couple more links dealing with the funny “saved or created” numbers that might interest you as well.
Just a small proof that the MSM doesn’t always get to the news first.
UPDATE 2: Thanks, Rob! It does kind of make you wonder how they’d run Obamacare, huh?
UPDATE 3: Moe Lane, also a Maryland resident, tosses out the obviously fake numbers and finds that the administration is paying way, way too much for a job.
Category: The Economy and Your Money