Reading about the poorly appropriated spending in the stimulus package, I am moved to paraphrase what James T. Krik said of Khan Noonien Singh–like a poor marksman, the President keeps missing the target:
Counties suffering the most from job losses stand to receive the least help from President Barack Obama’s plan to spend billions of stimulus dollars on roads and bridges, an Associated Press analysis has found.
Although the intent of the money is to put people back to work, AP’s review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide reveals that states are planning to spend the stimulus in communities where jobless rates are already lower.
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 its 3.4 percent unemployment, will benefit from about $56 million to build a highway, improve an intersection and restore a historic farmhouse.
Altogether, the government is set to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than it will in communities with the highest.
Not that I think Keynesian stimulus helps in the first place. But if we are going to have it, doesn’t it make sense to have the money flow primarily to places where there is higher unemployment?
Maybe next time, people ought to read bills before passing them, lest we be visited by similar episodes of incompetence in the future.