Stimulate That!

         Rememeber the stimulus legislation? The one that was supposed to get a bunch of “shovel-ready” state projects that would provide needed employment, and all that other good stuff?

        Guess what? Today’s USA Today reports that things aren’t working quite as advertised. Surprise, surprise!

         “The [GAO] report says that as of mid-June, states had received about $29 billion out of the estimated $49 billion in stimulus funding they are scheduled to get before the federal budget year ends Sep. 30. More than 90% of the money given to the states so far is for Medicaid and a fund meant to prop up states’ budgets for schools and other basic services such as public safety.” Matt Kelley, Report: States Aren’t Using Stimulus Funds as Intended, USA Today, Jul. 8, 2009, at p. 4A

         Not exactly what one thinks when hearing the phrase “shovel-ready.” But maybe those folks meant the other kind of shovel. You know, the kind you shovel BS with. D’you suppose?

Follow up. The New York Times reports that as of now most of the stimulus money is going to rural areas. — “of 5,274 transportatioin projects approved so far — the most complete look yet at how states plan to spend theor stimulus money — the 100 largest metropolitan areas are getting less than half the money from the biggest pot of tranportation stimulus money.” Also, far from creating new projects (what politicians like to call “investment”) “[t]he Times analysis shows that a little more than half the stimulus money will be spent on ‘pavement improvement’ projects, mostly repaving rutted and potholed roads.” This sounds more like maintenance than capital improvements. See Michael Cooper and Griff Palmer, Cities Lose Out on Road Funds Frim FederalStimulus, N.T. Times, July 9, 2009.