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Obama Not Providing Spending Guidance

From a suddenly concerned Associated Press:

Aaron Wilson of Pasadena, Calif., a recently hired worker with the California Conservation Corps, clears hiking trails with other CCC workers in the San Bernardino National Forest in Hemet, Calif., Monday, March 16, 2009. Eight of the 18 CCC workers were hired by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the recently approved federal stimulus plan.

Stimulus plan: Spend now, details later (promise)

By MATT APUZZO and BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama wants governors to hurry up and begin building bridges and schools to revive the economy. His administration is learning that spending $787 billion as quickly and transparently as promised is no easy task.

States wanting desperately to tap into the new money are having trouble keeping track of the application deadlines and requirements in the 400-page stimulus bill. Governors must sign pledges saying they’ll spend the money appropriately, but the administration is still figuring out what the rules are

Hanging over all of this are two threats. The first was written into the law, saying that if states miss a deadline or don’t spend the money fast enough, they lose the cash. Vice President Joe Biden delivered the second threat last week, warning that if states misspend the money, "don’t look for any help from the federal government for a long while."

Yet figuring out how to spend the money correctly isn’t easy. For example:

* The Housing and Urban Development Department is offering $1.5 billion for homeless prevention, but there’s confusion over who qualifies.

* Governors are required to report how many jobs are being saved or created, but there has been no explanation of how to count them.

* The Energy Department is giving out money to make homes energy-efficient, and the work must begin soon, but there aren’t enough trained workers for all the remodeling jobs.

When Washington tries to spend a lot of money, spend it quickly and spend it responsibly it usually succeeds only in two of those three goals. Federal aid after Hurricane Katrina was wasted on temporary house trailers and fraudulent assistance applications. Some of the government loans rushed out to help small businesses recover after the Sept. 11 terror attacks went instead to a radio station in South Dakota, a motorcycle shop in Utah and more than 100 Dunkin’ Donuts and Subway franchises…

"There’s mass confusion still at this stage," Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

At a conference for state officials at the White House complex last week, a representative from Utah asked Obama’s budget officials what data they would be required to collect from contractors. He was told to expect an answer within the next several weeks.

But the governor was preparing to sign a contract. Should he delay the project?

There were more questions than answers at the conference, where representatives from 49 states assembled to learn more about the stimulus money. Idaho is restricting travel by state employees and didn’t send anyone.

Why haven’t the feds produced a comprehensive list of deadlines and rules? What did Congress mean by "permanent" when it ordered permanent changes to state unemployment insurance? Will all federal agencies collect the same data or will each agency set its own rules?

And how, exactly, are states supposed to track and report all this spending when there’s no money in the law for tracking or auditing?

William Newton, Alabama’s deputy finance director, said he was surprised that the Obama administration was struggling as much as states to make sense of the new law…

How must things be if even the Associated Press is noticing?

By the way, with regard to the photo, just how much does building “hiking trails” stimulate the economy?

And where will the money come from to maintain them?

We suspect this is a question that could be asked of just about every item in the stimulus boondoggle.

When Washington tries to spend a lot of money, spend it quickly and spend it responsibly it usually succeeds only in two of those three goals. Federal aid after Hurricane Katrina was wasted on temporary house trailers and fraudulent assistance applications.

Now they tell us.

Hey, maybe ruling by Presidential fiat isn’t so efficient after all.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Obama Not Providing Spending Guidance”

  1. This is the type of organizing that we get from THE community organizer. No one has any idea what they are doing. I can’t say it surprises me. This is all just a shame.

  2. proreason says:

    “Why haven’t the feds produced a comprehensive list of deadlines and rules?”

    The Moron is the “strategy” guy, remember.

    He needs some little people like General Petraeus to take care of the tactical details.

    So why isn’t there an infusion of long-term welfare recipients to manage all this? I though we were going to put them all to work. We’ve got the unemployed bankers hard at work breaking rocks, so administration seems to be the logical place for the ex-cons, pimps, pushers and prostitutes in Obamy’s base to begin contributing to the greater good.

  3. Oracle says:

    How does this stimulate the economy you ask?

    By providing Illegal Imigrants with uncluttered pathways to our economy to do the jobs that Americans will not is a major stimulation.

  4. Trogdor says:

    They have no imagination. Their idea of work is whatever poor people do to earn enough for a 6-pack of beer and a carton of cigarettes. So unless you are in the business of selling beer or cigarettes, don’t expect much stimulus.

    Socialism is so pathetic.

  5. Odie44 says:

    Here in Georgia – we have the Silver Comet Trail.
    Overbudget, constant legal battles with the EPA and oh – did I mention the crime rate on the trail itself?

    I am all for Parks/Recreation areas, funded properly, at the proper time – but I dont have any idea how revenue is generated and how it will cause an economic boom.

    Though, I guess tecnically – based on the picture – it is “shovel ready”… (dumbest term yet)

  6. TNpatriot says:

    Catepillar just announced 2400 layoffs in three states. Isn’t that the company obama used to announce his stimulus package, and cited them as an example of jobs he will be saving?

    Irony can be sweet…

    • Odie44 says:

      TN –

      Yup it is, in fact when the Cat Executive spoke – he admitted, after flat out lying with Bambi about “growth”- that Cat was going to slash jobs anyway – the very next day.

      Buried on purpose from the MSM…

  7. Right of the People says:

    So that’s what that picture is, I thought it was a photo of a chain gang of Sheriff Joe’s down in Arizona. They are obviously learning marketable skills, for the 1930’s. New New Deal my butt!

    10-7

  8. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Oblabby couldn’t predict five o’clock at four thirty. Although, he does have a particular knack for manipulation and “working towards a goal”. That goal beign socialism. However, most dictators had at least SOME kind of managment ability. On the one hand I grow ever more concerned that we move towards government takeover every minute but on the other, I take some sense of relief in that Bo-Bo is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    But, there have been inept dictators too….all with clever and devious/dangerous henchmen to do the dirty work and control things in actuality.

    But, then again…there you have it. With the likes of BF, NP and the rest of the hee-haw gang, the smart money may be on “wait it out” and it might get better.

    Finally, though, there’s that disturbing little factor called the huddled masses who, via a healthy percentage, still believe in magic and think that more government is the answer. Many/most of these masses are younger, less cynical, more naive and “really eager” to make or see those changes that they do not understand are not good changes. Remember, the lion’s share of car accidents are caused by the 16 to 30 crowd. Not saying ALL younger people are liberal democrats…but….interestingly…these kids are the kids of the kids of the 60’s. Taught from birth to be more permissive, expect more from government, be given more and not to be held responsible.

    Is it any surprise that the nation has this personality now?

    The answer might very well be “whatever, dude”.

    My father is fond of saying that “the pendulum will someday shift in the other direction” but I have watched for some time and so far….this clock seems to be sitting on a slanted floor.

    Every day I ask myself if these are truly dangerous times or if I can stand waiting it out before I sell out and move away. But to where?

    • Odie44 says:

      Rusty –

      Great comments. I have to agree – Bambi is neither “brilliant”, “smart”, “savvy” or any other inane descriptor his handlers and followers try to con us with. How the hell can people describe this dolt, who must have a telepromptor – to keep on message AND the fact he is an idiot who can’t think on his feet, as “brilliant”. Not to mention every single thing this idiot has done has been an epic failure.

      The moment someone needs to tell you how smart he is, instead of proving it.. well you end up with our current POTUS.

      Just like Paris Hilton’s handlers keep telling us how smart she “really” is…

    • BillK says:

      OK, I’ve got to jump in here and defend Paris again.

      You don’t cultivate that kind of public image and make a living by being paid six figures to show up at a club for a half hour or so by being as dumb as her public persona would indicate.

    • Odie44 says:

      BillK –

      I have heard that one before and have to disagree.

      There is zero correlation between intelligence and wealth, and me thinks “HIlton” helps an awful lot, for the following reasons:

      Paris Hilton rose to fame with a sex video that she, her mommy and the cadre of lawyers said originally “was done without her knowledge”, until we all saw her filming it herself. Hilton machine went into overdrive and decided the “ditzy, drinking whore” brand was the way to go. Millions in junkets, PR placement, merchandising and initially – paid to appear at certain clubs to “get her face out” Which of course led to jail and the mockery she is.

      If the Hilton family whoring their daughter makes her smart, due to her $25M take – dumb isn’t her persona – its her DNA…

      The sickest part: avg age of “fan” – 15!!!

      I guess a case could be made for how smart drug dealers are. And pimps. And… I think you get where I am coming from.

  9. canary says:

    green bail-out for Indiana recreational bridge for RV’s , now California hiking trail. This is emergency money? Who can afford to go on vacation. Heard DC’s unemployment rate is record low.


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