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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More on the Willy-Nilly Stimulus Bill(y)

The Washington Examiner asks:
Has the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- known more commonly as the stimulus -- been a well-intentioned failure as a jobs-creation bill, or is it a huge porky slush fund that was created without much thought?
and answers:
President Obama promised that his stimulus package would be, among other things, "targeted." Our own Mark Hemingway reported recently a study of stimulus spending that demonstrated there is no rhyme or reason to stimulus spending in terms of local unemployment. ...

Nothing in the data suggests that higher-unemployment states are more likely to get larger amounts of money per capita. It appears that very little thought went into directing funds toward the states most in need of jobs during the first round of stimulus funding, which ended September 30.
Here is the graph Hemingway constructed to demonstrate his point:

("Each square represents a state (or D.C.), and each state sits along the two axes based on its unemployment rate and its amount of stimulus spending per congressional representative. (Congressional Districts contain roughly the same number of people nationwide).")

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