Dispatch from La-La Land: The Stimulus Isn’t Stimulating

The Los Angeles Times reports that the City of Los Angeles, having scrounged some $630 million from the Feds in 2009 as stimulus money, has only spent a fraction of it. (Maeve Reston, L.A. Lags Behind Other Big Cities on Spending of Federal Stimulus Funds, December 26, 2010 ( http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-stimulus-losangeles-20101227,0,1455825,print.story ))

These people are so screwed up that they can’t even spend the money they have. In the words of the Times:

“[N]early two years later, the city has spent only about quarter of that money, a rate of spending that trails that of New York, Chicago and several other large California cities. Though the bulk of L.A.’s stimulus money was awarded by last March, the city had completed only eight of its 108 projects by mid-October.”

It seems that some 2400 experienced city workers retired, and 300 were laid off. “On top of that, many city workers, including some who are handling stimulus projects, are forced to be on furlough 16 to 26 days a year.” So the implicit message here seems to be that the experienced city folks, those best qualified to do this job, aren’t there any more, and the second-stringers have to pitch in, many ona part-time basis. So in the words of that politically incorrect World War II joke, “Rots of ruck, guys.”

Coming attractions: the city plans to blow $100 million on purchasing foreclosed homes, fix them up and sell them.” We can’t wait.

Do read the whole L.A. Times article.

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