They’re not even talking about the part where Biden bragged that he was delivering money to competitive rural districts. These stunts go way beyond the White House, presenting nice little case studies in how even the most fundamentally economic programs will inevitably get politicized by Congressional reps who are driven by self-interest and ideology and have the taxpayer money to indulge in both. File this where ever you keep “we’re not going to run GM” followed by “hey, let’s build green cars!”
A sleepy Montana checkpoint along the Canadian border that sees about three travelers a day will get $15 million under President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan. A government priority list ranked the project as marginal, but two powerful Democratic senators persuaded the administration to make it happen. Despite Obama’s promises that the stimulus plan would be transparent and free of politics, the government is handing out $720 million for border upgrades under a process that is both secretive and susceptible to political influence.…
The Whitetail project, which involves building a border station the size and cost of a Hollywood mansion, benefited from two key allies, Montana Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester. Both pressed Napolitano to finance projects in their state. Tester’s office boasted of that effort in an April news release, crediting Baucus and his seat at the head of the “powerful Senate Finance Committee.”…
Customs and Border Protection, the Homeland Security agency overseeing border projects, allowed the AP to review the list but will not make it public or explain its justifications for deviating from it.
I’m not really concerned that the most transparent administration in history is keeping stimulus measures opaque. After all Romer says that the stimulus is “absolutely” working at its 5 month mark, even though that’s definitionally unknowable since most of the money hasn’t been spent and any stabilization is probably the result of monetary policy and effects on consumption have been minimal. But why should facts and logic be allowed to get in the way of reckless politicized spending?
Hey, if dead people got stimulus checks in May – and they did – who can really complain about a mansion-style checkpoint or two?
References and previously after the jump…
* WH Funneling Stimulus Money To Competitive Rural Districts [MR]
* New owner of GM: I’m pretty sure we’re not going to run GM [Hot Air]
* Public policy, corporate roles could blur with GM [AP]
* AP IMPACT: Secret process benefits pet projects [AP]
* The Stimulus Is Definitely Working?! [Forbes]
* Dead People Get Stimulus Checks [Fox]
* Super Smart Stimulus Czar: Knowing About The Economy Is “Above My Pay Grade”
* WH: Stimulus “Created” 150,000 Jobs. Or Maybe Just “Saved” Them. Whatever.
* Stimulus Czar Biden: In Fairness To Me, “Everyone Guessed Wrong” About How Few Jobs Stimulus Would Create