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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Following Their Own Rules?

Recent reports have questioned whether or not the stimulus is actually creating jobs more than 5 months into the program. An AP story this morning also questions if the monies are being sent to the communities that need it the most:
Under the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan, needy communities were supposed to be a priority when doling out money to rebuild highways and jump-start the economy.

It hasn't worked out that way.

The rules required that states give priority to counties considered "economically distressed." Yet less than half the federal highway money announced so far is directed toward those high-unemployment, low-income areas, according to an Associated Press analysis of more than $16 billion in spending announced by the U.S. Transportation Department.

What was supposed to be a way to steer money to hard-hit areas has turned into a coin flip: 53 percent of the money is going to counties that don't meet the federal standard of economically distressed areas. Those are places where lasting unemployment is higher than the national average or where income is significantly lower than the rest of the country.

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