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Senior Contributor

Re: Amen, Brother! ... Well Said!

It is not I, walking around with my head up my assk. If you have brains enough to add 2+2, even YOU can figure it out. 2% of the people own 25% of the economy. 98% own the rest, and those 98% use their money to pay the bills, mortgage, food, clothes, gasoline. Now you tell me who's going to add the most to the economy? The rich britches, have found ways around paying taxes with tax shelters, tax free annuities, something the poor don't have the luxury of doing, they have to use their money to survive. That's why trickle up works, and trickle down was a farce. You don't need to be a economic professor to figure that out, all you have to do is THINK!

Veteran Advisor

Re: Amen, Brother! ... Well Said!

They're making a bundle inside the Beltway, while across the country it takes $2 million to create a pothole-filling job. Never has Washington spent so much to get so little real work.

When the Democrats are in charge, the rich just get richer. Wait — isn't that what we're supposed to say about Republicans?

Not so when federal stimulus funds are being spent.

Washington has taken trickle-down economics to a whole new level of inefficiency. Those closest — literally — to the seat of federal power get the most. By the time the funds make their long journey to paychecks for people doing productive work, there's not a whole lot left.

Take the example, revealed this past week, of how $111 million in stimulus money has so far funded a paltry 55 public-works jobs in Los Angeles. City Controller Wendy Gruel says two municipal departments, Public Works and Transportation, plan eventually to create or retain 264 jobs with that money, but the contracting process is so slow that most of the money is still waiting to be spent.

So the price tag per job is $2 million at this point. Even if the city departments meet their target of 264, it will drop to only $420,000. This is still several times what workers will actually get paid.

So where does all the money go in cases such as this? In part it goes to the capital costs and profit of the contractors. But much of it also gets absorbed into the normal process of government contracting, in which public employees are paid to ensure (ideally) that the taxpayers are getting the most for their money and aren't being cheated by favoritism.

Of course, bureaucrats typically feel no need to rush things along. They don't get paid any less if a street gets repaved a few months late.

L.A. may be worse than most at getting people to work, but its low return on stimulus spending is certainly not unique. Even projects touted by the Obama administration have this problem.

Vice President Joe Biden on Friday cited one in which the New York City Department of Transportation is spending $175 million to renovate bridges and a parking lot, putting all of 120 people to work. That's $1.46 million per job. Another job on Biden's list, a highway project in Ohio, has created 300 jobs and costs $138 million — $460,000 per worker.

The one area where stimulus spending unquestionably has created jobs — and quite a few — is in and around Washington. Unemployment there at last report (as of July) was 6.3%, well below the national average. Year over year, employment increased by 41,800 jobs, the largest total for any metro area.

Los Angeles, by contrast, has an unemployment rate of 12.5% and has lost 23,500 jobs over the previous year.

What's pumping up the D.C. job numbers is no secret. No doubt some folks are being put to work filling potholes, but the real gold mine is in the administrative overhead game. The task of dispensing all that federal money demands the services of private firms that draw up contracts, audit spending, see to the required disclosures and so forth.

It's no shock that, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the stimulus outlay in D.C. and two adjacent congressional districts has hit $2,000 per resident, almost triple the national average.

This is where the trickling-down starts, and there's a lot less left to trickle once the Beltway locals have had their fill.

Senior Contributor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

I bet I make less than you. Most of the giving in this country comes from people making under $50,000.(Look it up) So If I give 15% of my income to charity and you give 5% I should remember you deserve yours more? I spent an entire semester at NC state in a class that dealt with social issues like this. I can't remember one study showing where government helped anyone over the long haul. On the other hand the "nuts" running the food pantries help people all the time. There are rehabilitation programs and wellness programs. Christian out reach programs. Job programs. And it does not take 10 government workers to help 2 people. More like 1 person helping a 100. And it does not cost "you" a thing. You people talk about care, but I never see "your" kind helping the poor unless there in some notoriety in it. Most of the giving comes from "Christians" not atheists. And why would it? If you believe in nothing, why really care about your fellow man. Taxes are a way of controlling us. The super rich are 70% liberal and they don't mind the taxes because....... We don't tax wealth, we tax income. Income tax applies to me and you.

Senior Contributor

Re: Amen, Brother! ... Well Said!

oh so not great one you forgot to add that those 2% provide 88% of the jobs in america --let them do without one as obamo has forced them into and see how long they buy food and pay utilities

Senior Contributor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

R3020, I too am worried about more years of Pelosi and Reid running things.  But at the same time there are still many incumbent Repubs that have been in DC for some time spending money like crazy to both bring home the bacon and to repay special interest groups that helped bank roll their election campaigns and many of these Repubs are now wearing a wig and kissing up to the Tea Party and promising us all a new "Pledge" to act conservative when their track record shows the opposite. I don't recall these Repubs worried to bad about holding down spending or securing our borders before Obama came along.

 

Very well said Greenhouse man.  While I believe many times the intentions of politicians are noble the results of their spending our tax dollars in an attempt to help out others or even to regulate and monitor industry has been very poor and results in little bang for the buck.   Where were are government regulators when Wall Street banks were running a muck?  Where were they when Fannie and Freddie were heading for choppy waters and under corrupt and greedy leadership and several people were warning of the icebergs ahead?  Did we get our moneys worth from our government watch dogs watching over our mining industry or oil drilling industry?  Where were they when DeCoster's factory chicken farms were repeatedly testing positive for salmonella and one government agency did not report the disturbing finding to another so they can act on it before a major out break similar to what we saw before 9-11 when our law enforcement / intelligence agencies could not and did not communicate with each other to help avoid a large scale terrorist attack? 

 

We need to cut government spending but more importantly we need to demand better results from the money we do spend.  Look at the enormous waste in rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan?  Look at the money pump into to school and to create jobs?  Seems like we spend an awful lot of money yet see little positive results.  Look at the amount of fraud in Medicare.  It's time we get a Spitzer type to be a watch dog to watch over the government and monitor how good of job they are doing with their / our money.

Senior Contributor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

Well aren't we just the expert? You, sir, seem to think you know all the answers, right? Well, I've got a little news break for you there, son. You don't know squat. I'm sorry your folks spent any of their hard earned money for your education, they got gypped.

So the Salvation Army returns 900 dollars of every 1000 dollars it takes in? You seem to think that is a real accoplishment? What if I told you Social Security uses less than 0.9 percent of total spending on administration? To privatize Social Security it would cost 5 cents for every dollar spent, you think that is a bargain?

Senior Contributor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

 It's time we get a Spitzer type to be a watch dog to watch over the government and monitor how good of job they are doing with their / our money.

Hurray! Something you and I can agree on!

Senior Contributor

Re: Amen, Brother! ... Well Said!

Nice cut and paste, there, Craig. Where'd you get that priceless piece of BS? Straight out of the Republican Tea Party, newletter? If the stimulus was such a failure as you say, why was so many of the GOP Congressmen, and Senators suckin' it up as fast as they could? They sure do enjoy those ribbon ceremonies, don't they!!

 

Senior Contributor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

Dag, those repubs better wake up. Conservatives are done with them. If you want to see anger, just watch the tea party movement if a bunch of repubs act like Reid and Pelosi.

Veteran Advisor

Re: The "new" Pledge to America?

Dagwud pretty well summed it up-----To much insider stuff and the reason it happens -people believe anything that is heard from each side of the Washington isle---Iraq being a prime example--weapons of mass destruction---cap & trade---Nafta---we could go on & on---maybe the Washington group should just level with us ????  Washington is so far off the mark --Dems & Rep. both can't keep a straight face and look anyone in the eye---Like the EGG on their face hearing in Washington--take the 5th- what a joke---say they will clean up etc.   To Big to fail or to BIG to jail or to Big to succeed  ??? Greed - Greed - Greed !!!