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Thread: $6.4 Billion stimulus goes to phantom districts

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default $6.4 Billion stimulus goes to phantom districts

    Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.

    According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to “create or save” just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districts–almost $225,000 per job. The web site operates on an $84 million budget and is tasked with monitoring the distribution of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress–which, for the record, counts 435 members–in early 2009.

    The site’s monitors, however, are not too savvy about America’s political or geographic landscape. More than $2 million was given to the 99th District of North Dakota, a state which has only one congressional district. In order to qualify for 99 districts, North Dakota would have to have a population of about 60 million people, almost 24 million more people than California.

    The stimulus revived 8 recently retired congressional districts. Pennsylvania’s 21st District has received just under $2 million in funds. Mississippi’s 5th District and Oklahoma’s 6th received $1 million from the legislation, respectively. All three were eliminated by the 2000 census.

    Many other recipients carried the banner for congressional districts that have been defunct for decades. South Carolina’s 7th took the cake, garnering more than $27 million in stimulus funds, despite being eliminated in 1930. And Virginia’s 12th District may have been written off at the start of the Civil War, but it must carry some sentimental value in Old Dominion–it received more than $2 million, according to recovery.gov.

    The stimulus helped to create 35 congressional districts in Washington D.C. and the four American territories, all of which have no congressional districts. These areas received $5 of the $6.4 billion distributed to the non-existent districts.

    New Mexico Watchdog broke the story on Monday morning after finding that $26 million in stimulus money had been distributed to 13 congressional districts–ten more than the state actually has. Similar reports soon followed from New Hampshire, Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota and West Virginia.


    A reporter from the Montana Policy Institue confronted the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which oversees the site, about these non-existent congressional districts on Monday afternoon. Ed Pound, Director of Communications for the board, said that the faulty information came from recipients of stimulus funds.
    “People make errors, and we’ve found people are making errors in these reports,” Pound said…

    Recipients file their reports on a password-protected site. That information is then relayed to officials who oversee the recovery.gov website to post, Pound said. Unless an egregious error is noted, Pound said they post the information exactly as it is received.

    “Our job is data integrity, not data quality,” he said.
    The integrity of the data, however, has also come under scrutiny several times in the past month. Numerous media studies have revealed a reporting system riddled with errors and results that are “impossible” to calculate, such as the number of jobs “saved” by the bill.

    Vice President Joe Biden admitted that the administration’s statistics were flawed after an Associated Press study revealed several instances of exaggerated and outright false job creation. The vice president acknowledged that “further updates and corrections are going to be needed.”

    The administration may have begun to do just that. 60,000 jobs were cut from original stimulus estimates on Monday, citing faulty data.

    Pound says that the board plans on correcting the site’s other reporting errors during the next data collection cycle, which is set for January.

    The full data from the Franklin Center study can be found below or by clicking here. All information was pulled directly from recovery.gov.


    $6.4 Billion Stimulus Goes to Phantom Districts
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Isn't it possible that it's being reported as State districts and not federal congressional districts? This is fucked up, but that was my first thought when I saw this report this morning.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    ^^ Certainly. It seems that there are many errors, and it's time to clarify what's going on.

    There have been a lot of stories being reported in variations on this theme, and it's going to have to be sorted out and explained as true mistakes or government hide the money nonsense.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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    Recovery Board Chairman: We Can’t Certify Jobs Data at Recovery.gov


    ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The chairman of the Obama administration’s Recovery Board is telling lawmakers that he can’t certify jobs data posted at the Recovery.gov Web site -- and doesn’t have access to a “master list” of stimulus recipients that have neglected to report data.

    Earl Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, responded to questions posed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., late yesterday to say the board can’t vouch for the numbers submitted by recipients of stimulus funding.

    “Your letter specifically asks if I am able to certify that the number of jobs reported as created/saved on Recovery.gov is accurate and auditable. No, I am not able to make this certification,” Devaney wrote, in a letter provided to ABC News.

    Devaney rejected Issa’s suggestion that the site include a more prominent disclaimer, such as an asterisk or a footnote. He said the site already does mention in a note to users that “errors and omissions” are likely.

    Devaney said that while he can’t yet provide a list of all entities that were required to submit information but failed to do so, “I expect to have access to this data shortly.” He also said the board will seek to correct data that proves to be faulty, and is promising “increasingly higher levels of accuracy in the future.”

    The letter comes amid mounting criticism of stimulus figures that have been riddled with errors, undercutting the administration’s claims that stimulus dollars have helped “save or create” 1 million jobs.

    ABC News has reported in recent days that Recovery.gov lists scores of jobs and millions of dollars in spending in congressional districts that do not exist.

    Separately, the administration has slashed more than 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program, because the reporting outlets submitted “unrealistic data.”

    Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a statement: “This just confirms what we already know, that [the] Administration cannot certify info on recovery.gov as accurate and auditable. The man charged with providing accountability for stimulus spending cannot verify the accuracy of the job reports that the Administration – filtered through [the Office of Management and Budget] – have provided him.”

    “It’s a startling admission that he hasn’t even been provided with a list of who should have reported, which means he can’t know who didn’t report, which just adds fuel to the argument that the whole effort at transparency has failed. The Administration has provided inaccurate data, missing data, data that might be missing but they don’t even know for sure.”

    The oversight panel is convening a hearing Thursday on stimulus job figures, with Devaney due to testify.

    Recovery Board Chairman: We Can’t Certify Jobs Data at Recovery.gov - The Note
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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