Saturday, November 21, 2009

Imaginary Congressional Districts

By now, you've probably read that money from the Stimuloid Porkgasm™ is completely out of control - that it's been going to congressional districts that don't exist, that it's creating jobs when it hasn't even been disbursed yet, that there is case after case where the job creation claims are quickly and easily debunked. It's a good bet that the government agencies whose budgets have been goosed by tens of billions of dollars have simply blown it. They'd have to, as they are obligated to spend their budgets after a certain period of time. Why was it blown? The simple explanation is that those government agencies don't have the staff to manage an additional, say, $10B of contracts, particularly when they're trying to let those contracts to lots and lots of small companies.

In short, the money may be going up in smoke because there's just enough staff to spend it, but not enough staff to monitor its use. Now if the contracting professionals within these organizations are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the budgets, imagine how the Inspector Generals and auditors are overwhelmed. It's a good bet that these errors in accounting will never be tracked down for the simple reason that there's no one available to do it.

Allow me to suggest a darker possibility. The nation is simply being looted right before our eyes. So we've discovered that money is going to New Hampshire's non-existent 00th district. Now what? After a few barbed questions to Robert Gibbs in a press conference, we will ... do what? How will you, the private citizen, ever reliably find out where the money really went? Do you have any confidence that there is any tracking of this money?

Don't you think the people running those budgets know this?


Anonymous said...

What's gone unsaid is that the money clearly went to actual districts, but the people filing reports couldn't fill out the forms properly. Imagine the discussion in the Northern Mariana Islands... "What's our congressional district? I didn't know we even had a congressman. Let's put in all nines, like we do on other N/A boxes. Then the stupid javascript will stop bothering us to enter something."

It's another case of the reporting being so bad that it reflects badly on the actual product (as if the porkulous could look good).

We see it all the time at the day job... fill out a 20-page form to justify buying a $20 piece of software (then pay another $200 to use the corporate credit card). Or engineers whose writing skills cause you to question their engineering skills.

(hmmm... flognart suddenly became delet. Guess even the captcha engine saw the farce without your snark).

K T Cat said...

So when the government agency sent out the checks according to the purchase order they had agreed to, they left all the incorrect data there? There was no checking of the information when it was entered into the system? They were just trying to get the money spent as fast as possible and had atrocious record keeping? They relied on the inputs from the companies they were paying and never looked over what they had done?

My point exactly. At best this is government incomptence of the first order. At worst, Pelosi and Reid are looting the country.

Anonymous said...

"At worst, Pelosi and Reid are looting the country."

I would think that's a best-case scenario. The more realistic one is that the administration is working hard to ensure the United States loses any authority in area -- fiscal, social, foreign policy, etc. I remember the Jimmy Carter days, and it seems Obama is trying to out-Carter Carter.