Federal recovery funds — who’s getting the lions share

July 5, 2010

Whatever happened to the stimulus funds? Who benefited? Who didn’t? After compiling an extensive spreadsheet* it’s time to share it with you … from then to now. A state by state breakdown is at the end of this post.

Before Barack Obama was inaugurated to the most powerful office in the world on January 20, 2009 his cries of acting “swiftly and boldly” for passage of the stimulus bill were heard across the country. Declarations were made that the $787 stimulus bill would prevent millions of job losses from occurring.

A media frenzy ensued:
Nov. 24, 2008–(MSNBC) Obama calls for aggressive stimulus
Nov. 24, 2008–(NY Daily News) Obama to Congress: ‘Act quickly’ on stimulus package to create jobs
Dec. 3, 2008–(TimesArgus) Obama to governors: Help is coming quickly for states
Dec. 7, 2008–(Bloomberg) Obama says economy will worsen before recovery begins n
Jan. 27, 2009–(NY Daily News) GOP leaders tell rank and file to oppose Obama’s $825B bailout — even after concessions

Before taking office, Obama said the economic recovery was more important than the “enormous” federal budget deficit he would inherit “and that means that we can’t worry, short term, about the budget deficit.”

Since President Obama took office:
Within a month of the historic Presidential Inauguration, a $787 billion  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law on February 17, 2009 by President Barack Obama. In fact — the AARA was the 2nd stimulus package — the first was passed by President Bush a year earlier for $168 billion.

Sixteen months later unemployment has gone from 7.7% to 9.7% (Jan. 2009-May 2010) and the battle cry for another stimulus bill is being called for — even though the $787 billion ARRA funds have not been completely distributed.

Sixteen months later the public debt stands at $13.2 Trillion from the previous $10.6 Trillion debt of January 20, 2009 (Jan. 2009-July 2010). This debt represents figures in the HISTORY of our country. Eighteen months ago “we” had an accumulated debt of $10.6T in the HISTORY of our country. Within eighteen months, “our” debt has increased by about one third more. By contrast our public debt stood at $5.7T when President Bush took office in Jan. 2001. President Clinton did run a balanced budget but did not wipe out our debt —  rather than cut spending President Clinton generated monumental revenue by collecting future tax income during his administration through the Roth IRA conversion — a financial stunt President Obama is also offering — with some new carrots to entice the public. The public debt was nearly $4.2T when President Clinton took office in Jan. 1993.

Bank failures:
January-June  2010: 96
January-June 2009: 45
Total 2009 failures: 171

Home reposessions — May 2010 marked a record monthly high for the second month in a row of home reposessions. Up 1% from April and an increase of 44 percent from May 2009. All 50 states posted year-over-year foreclosure increases. Nevada, Arizona, Florida had the highest foreclosure (1 in 79 homes) notices in May 2010.

Some questions I had:
Did blue states make out better than red states like some theorists contend?

Did the ARRA achieve it’s goals of providing provisions for immediate federal tax cuts and incentives, an expansion of unemployment benefits and other social entitlement programs?

Did the 28 federal agencies who received recovery funds to finance contracts, grants, and loans around the country complete their task?

Statistics to date:
Note: While compiling the information off of the official government website set up specifically for “transparency” I noted repeatedly that information from one page to another was not consistent  (garbage in/garbage out theory may be in play). Further, the website has been adjusted since it’s inception making clear cut information harder to find and in my opinion, buried. Stimulus money was also sent off to Washington, DC which I noted separately. US territories, etc. consisting of American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, US Minor Outlying Islands, US Virgin Islands and “Unassigned” items will be ignored …for now.

To keep it simple I’ve compiled information based on monies given to our 50 states unless noted and have rounded figures.

$195.6 Billion of the $787 Billion stimulus money has been allotted to our 50 states.

If, in a perfect world it was split 50 ways it would average $3.9B per state.

If every US resident pocketed an equal share the $195.6B it would split up to be approximately $636 for each person. (extracting out the loans)

One in 459 people in the US have benefited from “job creation.”

By comparison, $3.4 Billion has been rewarded to Washington, DC ($883.6M in contracts and $2.5B in grants).

$3.4 billion was awarded in the form of contracts and grants — no loans were made to Washington, DC.

One in 145 people in Washington, DC have benefited from “job creation.”

If the money funded to DC were equally distributed to each of its estimated 599,000+ residents they would each pocket about $5,670.

Other stimulus statistics
The most funding by dollar amount: California $22 billion

The least funding by dollar amount: Wyoming $538 million

State with biggest “piece of the pie” on a per resident basis of “free” money (grant and contract funds – less borrowed funds that have to be paid back): Alaska $2,419 per resident

State with smallest “piece of the pie” on a per resident basis of “free” money (grant and contract funds – less borrowed funds that have to be paid back): Florida $498 per resident

Jobs created across 50 states: 661,767 (13,235 avg. per state)

Average cost per job created: $295,600

Most jobs created: California 70,187 jobs

Least jobs created: Rhode Island 526 jobs

Highest job creation from fund dollars awarded (biggest bang for the buck): Illinois, $124,120 per job

Lowest job creation from fund dollars awarded (least bang for the buck): Rhode Island, $1,371,184 per job

Most jobs created per capita: Illinois, one in 199

Least jobs created per capita: Rhode Island, one in 1,994

By year end 2009 $174.7B was awarded and $53.8B of the $787B was received by recipients (including DC & territories)

January 1, 2010 through March 31, 2010 saw an additional $26.9B was awarded and $7.7 received by recipients.

Listings by state
The first figure below is how many residents within the state benefited from the $787 Billion stimulus through job creation.

Blue states voted for Obama while red states voted Republican.

The figure in ($  ) designates the amount of stimulus money divided by the number of jobs created [i.e. $200,000 in stimulus money created 2 jobs = ($100,000) ] as of March 31, 2010.

The final figure reflects the May 2010 Unemployment by %

**indicates states hit hardest by home foreclosures

***indicates states hit hardest by illegal immigrants

Alabama — 1 in 386 ($254,825) 10.8%
Alaska — 1 in 372 ($899,860) 8.3%
Arizona — 1 in 944 ($623,283) 9.6% ** – ***
Arkansas — 1 in 771 ($467,014) 7.7%
California — 1 in 523 ($314,562) 12.4% ** – ***
Colorado — 1 in 482 ($361,493) 8.0%
Connecticut — 1 in 456 ($244,371) 8.9%
Delaware — 1 in 644 ($524,031) 8.8%
Florida — 1 in 476 ($238,293) 11.7% ** – ***
Georgia — 1 in 305 ($169,190) 10.2%
Hawaii — 1 in 503 ($417,187) 6.6%
Idaho — 1 in 209 ($196,175) 9.0%
Illinois — 1 in 199 ($124,120) 10.8%
Indiana — 1 in 1,117 ($734,857) 10.0%
Iowa — 1 in 340 ($208,117) 6.8%
Kansas — 1 in 318 ($188,491) 6.5%
Kentucky — 1 in 252 ($150,356) 10.4%
Louisiana — 1 in 506 ($311,822) 6.9%
Maine — 1 in 761 ($532,603) 8.0%
Maryland — 1 in 837 ($645,233) 7.2%
Massachusetts — 1 in 556 ($441,153) 9.2%
Michigan — 1 in 678 ($488,157) 13.6%
Minnesota — 1 in 457 ($282,138) 7.0%
Mississippi — 1 in 422 ($313,903) 11.4%
Missouri — 1 in 335 ($213,048) 9.3%
Montana — 1 in 286 ($341,966) 7.2%
Nebraska — 1 in 484 ($300,576) 4.9%
Nevada — 1 in 545 ($311,501) 14.0% ** – ***
New Hampshire — 1 in 919 ($538,532) 6.4%
New Jersey — 1 in 450 ($261,390) 9.7%
New Mexico — 1 in 408 ($440,592) 8.4%
New York — 1 in 478 ($302,316) 8.3%
North Carolina — 1 in 376 ($211,435) 10.3%
North Dakota — 1 in 259 ($318,841) 3.6%
Ohio — 1 in 497 ($325,923) 10.7%
Oklahoma — 1 in 456 ($303,191) 6.7%
Oregon — 1 in 503 ($327,771) 10.6%
Pennsylvania — 1 in 606 ($353,022) 9.1%
Rhode Island — 1 in 1,994 ($1,371,184) 12.3%
South Carolina — 1 in 503 ($474,843) 11.0%
South Dakota — 1 in 330 ($406,914) 4.6%
Tennessee — 1 in 464 ($351,314) 10.4%
Texas — 1 in 559 ($301,490) 8.3% ***
Utah — 1 in 485 ($332,431) 7.3%
Vermont — 1 in 576 ($546,254) 6.2%
Virginia — 1 in 525 ($310,220) 7.1%
Washington — 1 in 452 ($410,146) 9.1%
West Virginia — 1 in 765 ($582,718) 8.9%
Wisconsin — 1 in 532 ($308,172) 8.2%
Wyoming — 1 in 833 ($841,839) 7.0%

District of Columbia — 1 in 145 ($823,363) 10.4%

NOTE: Twenty-eight different federal agencies have been allocated the $787 billion in recovery funds. Each agency chooses how to spend its funds.

The funds are split into three catagories:
$288B in tax benefits (56% has been awarded)
$275B in contracts, grants and loans (43% has been awarded)
$224B in entitlements (60% has been awarded)

*The spreadsheet is available for purchase.

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Today I saw my tax dollars being wasted

March 12, 2010

I saw my tax dollars’ being wasted again today.

I sighed after reading the junk mail then threw it out.

The federal government sent me a letter notifying me that I would soon be receiving the census form.

Hey. Thanks for the heads up.

I wonder how much that cost in supplies, man power and postage to get that letter to every household in America?

The same federal government has been utilizing my tax dollars to buy television, internet and radio ads for various subjects …including the census.

Every time I hear our President make a speech, it sounds like a commercial. An extension of whatever media ad the government is buying at the time.

About a year ago I noticed an explosion of government web sites. Everything from census.gov to flu.gov. Every imaginable subject now has a dedicated government web site associated with it. There must be a small army of people brainstorming new government web sites — then creating and formatting them.

Similarly, I’ve gone to government sites that used to have time sensitive updates on them now abandoned with old information.

I listen closely to the advertisements. Then I wait.

I hear words of fiscal responsibility. I hear words of job creation.

It was only in January that our President stood before the American people and announced that  job creation was this years’ priority.

Then Obama promptly expanded the federal budget and went on another personal campaign to push his health care agenda (i.e. live commercials).

Since returning from his Christmas vacation to Hawaii, Obama has jetted from one town to another pushing the health care agenda. These personal appearances aren’t open to the public, but rather to ticket holders only. I’ve heard he’s made over fifty personal appearances to push health care.

That’s alot of days to be out of the office.

Today I heard that the President was going to postpone his next trip (for a couple days) to avail himself to sign Health Care into law. His daughters will be on spring break from school and the family plan is to visit Indonesia, Guam and Australia.

 I wonder why they chose to visit those countries.

Americans’ are being squeezed financially from every direction while watching their hard earned money being squandered by those same squeezing institutions.

Are Americans on the brink of doing a national audit on the government books now that they’ve been forced to critique and adjust their own finances?

Will the public do an audit on the local government expenditures their tax dollars are paying for?

Will the public continue to finance budgets without closely scrutinizing salaries, perks and pensions?

Will the public ever grow weary of hearing the phrase “underpaid and underfunded” without a peek at the numbers?

Will Americans continue to believe the ad campaigns unchallenged?

In the meantime I challenge you to move out of your comfort zone. This weeks challenge is to listen online to radio station WA0K (news-talk 138o) while you’re surfing the net. Lemme know what you think about the station content.

Wouldn’t it have been great if someone in that army of web designers possessed the cleverness to design a census questionaire online? Think of all the tax dollars in postage and handling that would have saved.