The USA Today tries to stir up some controversy with a report saying: “Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in ’08”
This comes after some reports, largely debunked, that partisan politics were at play in closing the Chrysler car dealers. Still, you can pretty start all the cries of “Chicago-style” corruption right now.
“There’s no politics at work when it comes to spending for the recovery,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says.
Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows. That money includes aid to repair military bases, improve public housing and help students pay for college.
The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.
Let’s just tick off a bunch of obvious problems with concluding anything nefarious.
- Hardly any stimulus money has gone out, so we don’t have a good sample yet.
- Obama drew support from poorer areas, and since much of the sitmulus went to transfer payments, then by definition that money would go to Obama areas.
- Some Republican areas have deliberately talked-down the stimulus, and if they did receive it may not have been as eager to spend it.
- Engineering this on a massive scale would be difficult. Isn’t Joe Biden in charge of it? Case closed.
What’s funny is that the NYT has its own stimulus analysis today, and it concludes something that runs counter to McPaper’s (does anyone still call it that?) assertion. It says that of the actual transportation projects, many more have gone to rural areas, rather than the traffic-clogged cities that really need it. And since McCain did better rurally than he did in urban areas, this would be the exact opposite political outcome.
So yes, this looks like a non-scandal from the beginning.
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