give a little to get a lot...
Not that this would come as a shock to anyone who pays any attention whatsoever to government, but....
A study by two economists at the University of Michigan demonstrates that banks with better political connections got more bailout money from the TARP program.
Among the more interesting (though unsurprising) findings:
- Just one standard deviation in terms of political contributions equaled an increase of almost 15 million in bailout money.
- A standard deviation in spending on lobbying was associated with an increase of over 10 million.
- And (surprise) banks that had headquarters in districts represented by members of the House Financial Services Committee had a 26% better chance of getting bailout funds at all.
Like they say, it's not what you know, but who you know.
The Washington Examiner has done a great service by starting an interactive map (using Google maps) to give taxpayers an overview of all of those bogus stimulus jobs.
The total so far is getting close to 80,000. And of course, look to see the total go up, not down.
Pass a link to this map on to any of your "buddies" who might be under any Joe Bidenesque illusions about the much vaunted "stimulus" bill.
You can click the push-pins and get the details on each case.
View Bogus jobs 'created or saved' by the Stimulus in a larger map
From the Examiner...
Most of the new pins on our interactive map represent such un-started, un-funded contracts, according to data taken from Recovery.gov. Because the Obama administration has been using its inflated claim of 640,000 jobs "created or saved" to make projections for future stimulus job creation, these un-started, un-funded projects really should not be part of the total. Moreover, the administration itself has asked contractors not to make "projections" but to report jobs as they are "created or saved," according to news reports.
...not too good
From the "who didn't see this coming" department, we find out that the administration that promised us great leaps for governmental transparency...to say nothing of the extra steps they promised to take in order to sell enough members of Congress to pass the stimulus boondoggle...has failed to deliver.
Via the Denver Post:
The goal was to build a reporting system that allows the public to follow the zigzagging paths of dollars awarded under the $787 billion federal stimulus package. A financial GPS of sorts. But despite federal lawmakers’ pledge of transparency, the final stages of most money trails, along with key information about job impacts, will remain invisible to users of the Recovery.org website when it debuts next month.
Only details of a stimulus grant’s passage through its first two stops after it leaves the federal government must be reported, according to guidance memos from the White House Office of Management and Budget. That means billions of dollars will be untrackable and thousands of recipients will be left unidentified through the database, officials acknowledge.
“That isn’t transparent, and that’s the primary concern,” said Craig Jennings, senior policy analyst for OMB Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank examining stimulus spending.
“You basically lose track of billions of dollars, and in many cases there will be a whole lot of interesting connections at the sub, sub levels of funding missed,” he said. “These are levels that need oversight to prevent waste, fraud and abuse.”
Five months after the stimulus bill was passed, we can now say that we’ve witnessed the following under-stimulating results.
Payrolls are falling more than forecast, with employers cutting 467,000 jobs in June, following a 322,000-job decline in May. Factory jobs fell by 136,000 after falling 156,000 in May.
Unemployment is at 9.5%, the highest level in 15 years, and projected to exceed 10% by the end of 2009. Some economists expect it to remain at historically high levels for years.
The average workweek is at 33 hours, the lowest in 45 years.
Average weekly earnings are down to $611.
The national debt is $11.5 trillion. The Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit for 2009 to be almost $2 trillion and for 2010 to be more than $1.4 trillion.
The Treasury is increasing its sale of debt to pay for spending. Treasury offered $1 trillion in notes and bonds in the first half of 2009 and plans to offer another $1 trillion by the end of 2009.
Colin Powell, of all people, is alarmed that Obama’s spending orgy may be swelling government and the national debt: “I’m concerned at the number of programs that are being presented, the bills associated with these programs and the additional government that will be needed to execute them… [We have] a huge, huge national debt that, if we don’t pay for [it] in our lifetime, our kids and grandkids and great-grandchildren will have to pay for…” Now he tells us!
Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Joe Biden, whose office is managing the stimulus, says, “It’s working, it’s demonstrably working.” According to Bernstein, $200 billion in stimulus money has already been obligated or spent. Case closed! read more »