Here's a stimulus success story: In Arizona's 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that's what the Web site set up by the Obama administration Recovery.gov to track the $787 billion stimulus says.
There's one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts. Discrepancies on government web site call into question stimulus spending.
The recovery.gov Web site was established as part of the stimulus bill "to foster greater accountability and transparency" in the use of the money spent through the stimulus program.
The issue has raised hackles on Capitol Hill.
Rep. David Obey, D-Wisc, who chairs the powerful House appropriations Committee, issued a paper statement demanding an explanation.
"Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it. We've got too many serious problems in this country to let that happen," Obey said in a statement. "Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now."The site is a well-funded enterprise; the General Services Administration updated it earlier this year with an $18 million grant. I'll repeat that.....$18 MILLION DOLLARS.
ABC News reported it was able to locate several examples on the government's Web site outlining hundreds of millions of dollars spent and jobs created in Congressional districts that have been misidentified or non-existent. For example, recovery.gov says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent in Arizona's 86th congressional district in a project for the Navajo Housing authority, which is actually located in the 1st congressional district.
The reporting problems are not limited to Arizona, ABC News found.
In Oklahoma, recovery.gov lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- in yet more congressional districts that don't exist.
In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent – and 39 jobs created -- in nonexistent districts.
In Connecticut's 42nd district (which also does not exist), the Web site claims 25 jobs created with zero stimulus dollars.
The list of spending and job creation in fictional congressional districts extends to U.S. territories as well.
$68.3 million spent and 72.2 million spent in the 1st congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$8.4 million spent and 40.3 jobs created in the 99th congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$1.5 million spent and .3 jobs created in the 69th district and $35 million for 142 jobs in the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands.
$47.7 million spent and 291 jobs created in Puerto Rico's 99th congressional district.
Has anyone asked where the money actually went? Some of it could have been honest mistakes but that’s a lot of money floating around unaccounted for. The same “mistakes” happening again and again in several states? It might be possible to claim human error in not knowing that a particular district doesn't exist (99 congressional districts in the Virgin Islands?) Please! However, a light should have gone off in someones head when they input the data showing we've spent 19 million dollars to create or save only 15 jobs!
In the mean time, the media reports phony numbers and wah-la , we got us a economic recovery! But hey, with tingles going up their legs when Obama speaks and that crazy Palin chick running around loose, guess they just don't have time to really check it out.
BTW, how's that hope and change working for ya?