Tracing the Path of Stimulus Money

As more news on begins to surface years later on the distribution of the 2009 Stimulus funds that were passed in the early days of the Obama administration, does it really surprise anyone that money did not get injected into the U.S. Economy? 

A recent article by ABC describes how $529 Million federal dollars went to Finland to manufacture electric hybrid cars.  Another $7 Million dollars intended for Oregon unemployed workers went to foreign timber workers, as another boost to foreign economies. 

The stimulus bill enacted by President Bush in February 2008 was $152 Billion.  The one enacted by President Obama right after entering office was 5 1/2 times larger at $862 Billion.  So where did all this money really go? Radio Talk Show host Rush Limbaugh stated 80% of the 2009 Obama stimulus went to public sector unions.  Did this really happen? 

Yes, indirectly when one follows the money the vast majority of the funds went to surplus the bankrupt public sector union coffers.  Public sector union employees are forced to join their unions, and union dues are automatically from their paycheck.  Read more about this here. 

The effort to direct these funds to public sector unions was a move by the Democratic Party to hope to guarantee a successful election in 2010.  The one aspect that no one expected was the emergence of the Tea Party as a grass roots movement of American Citizens banding together in organized protests of wasteful government spending.  Additionally, these people took their votes to the ballot box, and unseated many incumbents, a gross percentage of which were Democrats after this bill was passed.   In fact, 53.6 Billion of the Obama Stimulus went directly to public sector and goverment services.

Where else did some of this money go?  41.4 Billion was earmarked for Department of ‘Energy’.  $12.2 Billion went to special education for individuals with disabilities.  $15.8 Billion went to Pell Grants for higher education.  $19.9 Billion went to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistence program (Food Stamps).  Another $98.3 Billion went to ‘Transportation and Infastructure’ which is where we see some money being directed to foreign countries as defined in the second paragraph of this article. 

How does expanding the availablility of food stamps help stimulate the economy you might ask?  Well it does not.  However, it does create a dependency on government, which in turn expands the voting base for the Democrat party, or so it is thought of in theory.

Isn’t it nice to know where your tax dollars are going?  This last question is of course directed at the 48% of Americans who actually pay federal income tax, and not the ones who have become exempt from it through government loopholes like the ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistence’ program, Section 8 housing program and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) among the many other rewards provided by the government for not working.

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