Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stimulus watch - Money for jobs, but not where needed most

Even the Associated Press is noticing Obama isn't doing what he claims. Associated Press:
The billions in transportation stimulus dollars that President Barack Obama promoted as a way to create jobs shortchange counties that need the work the most, an Associated Press analysis has found. The AP's review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide is the most complete picture available of where states plan to spend the first wave of highway money. It reveals that states are planning to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than in communities with the highest. The Transportation Department said it will attempt to replicate the AP's analysis as it continues pressing states to dole out money fairly. One result among many: Elk County, Pa., isn't receiving any road money despite its 13.8 percent unemployment rate. Yet the military and college community of Riley County, Kan., with 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.
But reality is optional to Obama's wise spokesman Robert Gibbs.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the findings don't mean that the neediest communities will not benefit. "Just because a road project is in one part of one county doesn't mean the benefits of those jobs created or the economic impact of that spending is simply isolated to that one area," he said.
But some Demos can see what's in front of their faces:
Others responded to the analysis Monday with concerns about the way the administration has represented stimulus spending and its effect on areas hardest hit by unemployment. "To some extent, I think the administration oversold the transportation aspect of this," said Jim Berard, spokesman for Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "It was sold as the heart and soul of the package, and it really just isn't."

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