Friday, May 29, 2009

Off to a great start

The Obama administration has pledged "clean as a whistle" government spending when it comes to the stimulus money. And I suppose by Community Organizer standards they are doing pretty well. No one has been caught buying a yacht with the money...yet.

And all the hoopla has been impressive. Why, just go to and take a look at all the effort the White House has made to get the money to the projects. Ah, the great pronouncements found at For instance:
"The President has made it clear that every taxpayer dollar spent on our economic recovery must be subject to unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability."

From Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff
Memorandum to Head of Departments and Agencies, February 9, 2009
"We cannot overstate the importance of this effort. We are asking the American people to trust their government with an unprecedented level of funding to address the economic emergency. In return, we must prove to them that their dollars are being invested in initiatives and strategies that make a difference in their communities and across the country. Following through on our commitments for accountability and openness will create a foundation upon which we can build as we continue to tackle the economic crisis and the many other challenges facing our nation."

From Peter Orszag, OMB Director
Memorandum to Head of Departments and Agencies, February 18, 2009
“The Administration is committed to investing Recovery Act dollars with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability so Americans know where their tax dollars are going and how they are being spent.”

Well, they stumbled a bit with the appointment of Nancy Killifer as Obama's Chief Performance Officer when she had to withdraw over tax problems. But that's OK.

Along comes the document issued by the White House, "100 Days, 100 Projects." It sounds so very impressive.

Except Jake Tapper at ABC discovered that project #1 in the report, Regency House in DC, had a few problems. The report touts $27 million in green initiatives.

Well, not exactly.
Most of the projects were from the Bush days. Only $44,000 for solar roof panels could be called stimulus money. Gee, from $27 million down to $44,000. Hmmm. And even the $27 million figure was for all the DC housing projects, not Regency House.

Oh, and the claim that so far the administration has created or saved 150,000 jobs. Not really. Not in any verifiable way.

The White House at first said they had put $46 billion of stimulus money in to play.

Well, not exactly.
The revised White House figure is $36 billion.

Close enough for a Community Organizer but not nearly adequate to meet the standards of

It sort of reminds me of the origins of the stimulus package price tag. It wasn't based on anything concrete. "We wanted a really big number," said Ben Bernanke's press secretary.

This is looking like Chicago Style Politics on a global scale. No one is even close on the money and everybody is taking credit for projects they weren't involved in. All that's missing is a shoe box full of money...but it's only been 100 days.

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