Friday, April 10, 2009

So much for spending scrutiny

Remember how Obama was going to scrutinize the budget line by line looking for wasteful spending, while making his administration the most open and transparent in history? Now it seems that Republicans in the Congress which authorized trillions of dollars in new spending can't even find out what the money is being used for.

So Republican congresspeople are reduced to doing Google searches looking for news accounts. These show that local communities are being showered with grants they didn't ask for and can't use. One such $1.5 billion gusher of cash is laughingly called the "Homeless Prevention Fund."

"Such searches led the Cantor-Thune group to the Binghamton, New York Press & News-Bulletin for a glimpse into how HUD is spending that $1.5 billion in the Homeless Prevention Fund. In early March, the paper reported that the small town of Union, New York would receive $578,661 from the Fund, even though 'Union did not request the money and does not currently have homeless programs in place in the town to administer such funds.'

An article in the Altoona Mirror reported that the small central Pennsylvania town was going to receive $819,000 from the Fund even though Altoona officials "may not have enough of a homelessness problem to use it." And a Google search turned up a report from WHP-TV in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania saying the city would receive $855,478 from the Fund, but does not know what to do with it."

These are presumably representative examples of the careful use of your taxpayer dollars to "stimulate" the economy. Hang on to your wallets - it's going to be a rough ride.

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