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Squandered Stimulus Money

- October 6, 2011

The White House Promised Big Things For The Stimulus, But More Failures Of Obama’s Binge Spending Are Unearthed Every Day 

IN WISCONSIN, STIMULUS MONEY WAS SPENT ON VANS BEFORE SEEING IF ANYONE WOULD USE THEM – AND NO ONE IS

 Eight Vans Bought With $186,192 Of Stimulus Money Are Going Unused. “Eight new Dodge Grand Caravans, purchased 10 months ago with $186,192 in federal stimulus funds, are sitting unused in storage at a county park because Waukesha County has found no takers for its proposed workers' van pool program.” (Laurel Walker, “Waukesha Transit Pool Program Stalls,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/4/11)

Ten Months After Being Purchased, “Not A Single Minivan Has Been Put Into Service.” “Public Works Director Allison Bussler said transit officials have been pitching the program to employers, whose workers could drive and ride the county vans to and from work for a fee. So far, not a single minivan has been put into service.” (Laurel Walker, “Waukesha Transit Pool Program Stalls,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/4/11)

  • Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas: “We Thought There Would Be More Of A Demand.” “Vrakas acknowledged that county officials are frustrated the vans are not even on the road, much less full or paying for themselves. ‘We thought there would be more of a demand,’ he said.” (Laurel Walker, “Waukesha Transit Pool Program Stalls,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/4/11)

The County Spent The Stimulus Money Without Seeing If Anyone Would Use The Van Service. “Bussler said before the county ordered the vans, more than a year ago, transit officials had talked to ‘a number of businesses’ whose leaders said they thought the van pool was a great idea. But the county didn't actually sign anyone up before spending the money, she said. ‘It's hard to say whether we would have done this without the federal (stimulus) money,’ she said. ‘The county executive has asked us to come up with more cost effective solutions for transit.’” (Laurel Walker, “Waukesha Transit Pool Program Stalls,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/4/11)

DESPITE RED FLAGS, STIMULUS MONEY WAS SPENT ON A TRUCK STOP IN TENNESSEE WHICH IS NOW BANKRUPT

Tennessee Truck Stop That Received $424,000 In Stimulus Money To Install Electric Battery Chargers Has Gone Bankrupt. “In July, Tennessee’s transportation commissioner applauded the opening of the state’s first truck- stop electrification terminal at TR Auto Truck Plaza in Dandridge, a project taxpayers paid for with a $424,000 federal stimulus fund grant. Thursday, the shiny new equipment languished uselessly as U.S. Bank took possession of the bankrupt business after an auction at the Jefferson County Courthouse failed to solicit a single bid.” (Barndon Gee, “E. Tenn. Truck Stop Got Stimulus Money Despite Bankruptcy,” The Tennessean, 10/3/11)

The Stimulus Grants Were Approved “Despite Many Red Flags.” “The Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Transportation approved the stimulus grant to Mountain Plaza Inc., the truck stop’s owner, despite many red flags. The company, whose creditors included the state and federal governments, filed for bankruptcy protection in the middle of the process. A review of public records shows evidence of the company and its owner’s past and present financial troubles was readily available.” (Barndon Gee, “E. Tenn. Truck Stop Got Stimulus Money Despite Bankruptcy,” The Tennessean, 10/3/11)

 “The Truck Stop’s Collapse Further Illustrates Flaws In The Way Stimulus Projects Were Evaluated That Extended To The State Level.” “While not as spectacular a flop as Solyndra — the California solar panel manufacturer that filed for bankruptcy last month after receiving a $535 million guarantee from the federal government — the truck stop’s collapse further illustrates flaws in the way stimulus projects were evaluated that extended to the state level.” (Barndon Gee, “E. Tenn. Truck Stop Got Stimulus Money Despite Bankruptcy,” The Tennessean, 10/3/11)

BILLIONS OF STIMULUS DOLLARS WERE SPENT ON A GREEN JOBS PROGRAM WHICH HAS FAILED TO CREATE JOBS

Obama’s $38 Billion Green Energy Stimulus Program Only Has A Few Thousand Jobs To Show For It. “A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.” (Carol D. Leonnig and Steven Mufson, “Obama Green-Tech Program That Backed Solyndra Struggles To Create Jobs,” The Washington Post, 9/14/11)

Labor Department Program To Train Workers For Green Jobs Will Not Meet Its Goal. “A $500 million Labor Department program designed to train workers for green jobs has come up far short of its goals, with only 10 percent of participants finding work so far, the agency’s assistant inspector general has found. The report said the low rate makes it unlikely the program will meet the goal of placing nearly 80,000 workers in careers in energy efficiency or renewable energy by 2013.” (“Report Finds Labor Department’s Green Jobs Program Fallng Far Short Of Its Goals,” The Associated Press, 10/3/11)

  • “‘Grantees Have Expressed Concerns That Jobs Have Not Materialized And That Job Placements Have Been Fewer Than Expected For This Point In The Grant Program,’ Said The Report From Assistant Inspector General Elliott Lewis.” (“Report Finds Labor Department’s Green Jobs Program Fallng Far Short Of Its Goals,” The Associated Press, 10/3/11)
  • “‘At This Point, There Is No Evidence That Grantees Will Effectively Use The Funds And Deliver Targeted Employment Outcomes By The End Of The Grant Periods,’ The Report Said.” (“Report Finds Labor Department’s Green Jobs Program Fallng Far Short Of Its Goals,” The Associated Press, 10/3/11)

“The Green Economy Is Not Proving To Be The Job-Creation Engine That Many Politicians Envisioned.” “In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. Gov. Jerry Brown promised 500,000 clean-technology jobs statewide by the end of the decade. But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.” (Aaron Glantz, “Number Of Green Jobs Fails To Live Up To Promises,” The New York Times, 8/18/11)

At This Rate, The “Greening” Of The Economy Equates To Just 17 Jobs Per $1 Million Spent.  “‘If you took the government’s stimulus program on green activities, you get 17 jobs more or less per $1 million of expenditure,’ said economist Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, whom the Commerce Department hired to run the numbers.” (Ari Shapiro, “Is Obama’s Bet On Green Jobs Risky?,” National Public Radio, 6/13/11)

THE WHITE HOUSE SAID THE STIMULUS WOULD CREATE JOBS, BUT ALL IT HAS DONE IS PRODUCE FAILED PROGRAMS, AS THE NATION CONTINUES TO SHED JOBS

Since President Obama’s $825 Billion Stimulus Bill Passed, The Nation Has Lost 1.7 Million Jobs And The Unemployment Rate Has Increased From 8.2 Percent To 9.1 Percent. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 9/25/11)

  • Despite Obama’s Advisors Predicting That The Stimulus Would Keep Unemployment Below Eight Percent, The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above Eight Percent For A Record 31 Straight Months. (Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein, "The Job Impact Of The American Recovery And Reinvestment Plan," 1/9/09; Bureau Of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 9/25/11)
  • FactCheck.org: “It’s Accurate To Say The Stimulus Has Failed To Live Up To Initial Expectations.” “CBO's high estimate is still short of the 3.5 million jobs that Obama had said would be created by the end of 2010, so it's accurate to say the stimulus has failed to live up to initial expectations. White House advisers wrongly estimated that the stimulus would bring the unemployment rate down to 7 percent — though they also thought the rate without the stimulus would be lower than it actually is, and they made clear that ‘substantial uncertainty’ surrounded those estimates.” (Lori Robertson, “Dueling Economic Ads,” FactCheck.org, 6/30/11)

Unemployment Next Year Could Remain Higher Than 8 Percent Meaning No Job Growth After “The Biggest Stimulus Package In The History Of The World.” “The White House anticipates unemployment at 8.25 percent and Goldman Sachs and others warn the number could be higher — close to 9 percent, which would mean no net job growth after the biggest stimulus package in the history of the world.” (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, “Obama’s Big Drags,” Politico, 8/4/11)


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