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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wall Street Journal Highlights Stimulus Failures

The Wall Street Journal ran two stores detailing the continued failures of the stimulus legislation.

First, the Journal provides another report of needy communities being passed over for stimulus bucks:
Some of the states worst hit by the recession are getting far less federal economic-stimulus money per person than states faring better.

Nevada, where unemployment stood at about 10% when the plan was passed, is getting $541 for each resident from the stimulus money allocated so far, a Wall Street Journal analysis found. Wyoming, where the 3.9% jobless rate was the lowest in the country in February, is getting $1,074 per person. …

Per-capita funding figures, of course, don't give a full picture, and the Obama administration says the stimulus was always as much about investments in infrastructure as it was about targeting short-term unemployment. Still, the results leave some cash-strapped states feeling shortchanged.
To illustrate their point, the WSJ offers a comprehensive, interactive map that allows readers to compare state-by-state totals throughout multiple sectors.

Second, despite the speed with which the Administration would like to see the funds distributed, major companies around the country are expressing concerns and shying away from seeking funds because of the bureaucratic, big government strings that would be attached:
Obama administration officials will announce rules Wednesday for handing out $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funds, but some companies already are raising concerns about how long it could take to award the money. …

None of the U.S.'s largest broadband Internet providers -- including Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Corp. and Comcast Corp. -- have expressed interest in applying for broadband-stimulus funds. They're concerned about the bureaucratic hoop-jumping needed to win the money and restrictions that may be applied to lines built with taxpayer dollars. …

Confusion about the grant rules has prompted some smaller telecommunications companies to hold off on purchases of Internet-networking equipment on concerns it could hurt their chances of getting stimulus funds.

"We refer to it as 'stimulus chill,' " said Gary Bolton, vice president of global marketing for Adtran Inc., a maker of networking and communications equipment.

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