A new analysis of the $157 billion distributed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, popularly known as the stimulus bill, shows that the funds were distributed without regard for what states were most in need of jobs.
Additionally, Mercatus found that stimulus funds were not disbursed geographically with any special regard for low-income Americans. “We find no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no statistically significant effect of unemployment, median income or mean income on stimulus funds allocation,” said the report.
That’s what happens when the goal is to spend as much money as quickly as possible, without taking the time even to know where the money might be needed. And it’s one reason why this recovery, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars that the feds have dropped from their proverbial helicopters, is expected to be far more sluggish than the usual rebound from a deep recession.
But here’s the kicker:
The Mercatus Center analysis also found that Democratic congressional districts received on average almost double the funding of Republican congressional districts. Republican congressional districts received on average $232 million in stimulus funds while Democratic districts received $439 million on average.
That’s a difference of nearly 2-to-1. Controlling for all other factors, the researchers found that “having a Republican representative decreases a district’s stimulus award by 24 percent.”
As we’re often reminded by members of the majority party, whichever it is at the time, elections have consequences. But this is just shameless — and something to keep in mind the next time you hear members of Congress talking about acting in the interests of the nation.
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