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The stimulus package signed into law back in February of 2009 continues to leave a stellar legacy.
Federal audits are turning up misspent taxpayer dollars in a $5 billion stimulus program aimed at lowering the utility bills of disabled, poor and older Americans by making their homes more energy-efficient.
In West Virginia, which received $38 million in weatherization funds, some of the money went for lobbying, to consultants who did little work and to recipients with connections to state officials who are doling out the funds, the Energy Department’s inspector general found.
In one case, West Virginia paid $25,000 to a lawyer for writing two sentences stating that weatherization contracts had been reviewed, reportedly after four hours’ work at a state office, according to a report analyzing how the federal stimulus money was used. A $20,000 consulting fee was paid to the former director of the state’s weatherization program after he left the job in May 2009 even though there were no specific work requirements set for the consulting contract.
You can read all about the other transgressions for which Sheriff Joe was/is(?) responsible for keeping under control here, but in doing some research for this post, we dipped back into the archives and found this absolute gem. Robert Reich and tax cheat Chuckie Rangel pontificating on the social benefits of Porkulus which had yet to become law at that point.
Listening to these two dullards, why would anyone be shocked that unemployment went way past the 8% that was promised by the administration if their $780 billion make-work scheme passed? Why would bad economic news be so continually unexpected?
And with respect to fast-tracking the green to Reich's and Rangel's favored causes, this is what we had to say at the time:
Imagine that: the statists' dream of "stimulating" a recessed economy via demand-side Keynesian economics completely choked off by a bureacratic and regulatory regime built-up over the years by the very same statists.
Reich and Rangel provide the proof before our very eyes that Porkulus was as much, if not more about social engineering and political payback than it was about actually stimulating the economy and providing jobs.
(UPDATE #1): Courtesy commenter Ohioan at Heart a graphical depiction of how well that post-recession recovery is coming along:
As Cdr. Salamander advises: You voted for it; bask in it.