Follow Sunlit Uplands by E-Mail

Showing posts with label Stimulus Funds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stimulus Funds. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Illegitimate Administration Makes Illegitimate Claims of Success

Jobs 'Saved or Created' in Congressional Districts That Don't Exist

From ABC News
By Jonathan Karl

Here's a stimulus success story: In Arizona's 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that's what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There's one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.

And ABC News has found many more entries for projects like this in places that are incorrectly identified.

Late Monday, officials with the Recovery Board created to track the stimulus spending, said the mistakes in crediting nonexistent congressional districts were caused by human error.

"We report what the recipients submit to us," said Ed Pound, Communications Director for the Board.

Pound told ABC News the board receives declarations from the recipients - state governments, federal agencies and universities - of stimulus money about what program is being funded.

"Some recipients clearly don't know what congressional district they live in, so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes," Pound said.

The issue has raised hackles on Capitol Hill.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wisc, who chairs the powerful House appropriations Committee, issued a paper statement demanding that the Web site be updated.

"The inaccuracies on that have come to light are outrageous and the Administration owes itself, the Congress, and every American a commitment to work night and day to correct the ludicrous mistakes."

Read the rest of this entry >>

Friday, July 31, 2009

'Stimulus' Grants Going to Porn Producers?

"Stimulus" funds awarded to the National Endowment for the Arts may be being used to produce pornographic material.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions that some may find offensive.

From OneNewsNow
By Charlie Butts and Jody Brown

The NEA was allotted $80 million out of the $787-trillion stimulus bill approved earlier this year by Congress and President Obama. Alliance Defense Fund special counsel Pat Trueman shares what he found upon close examination of the NEA's expenditures.

"The National Endowment for the Arts is using money from the stimulus bill, which was supposed to create economic activity, for the production of pornography," he states. "They've specifically given grants to companies that they know produce pornography -- primarily homosexual pornography."

Among the recipients of federal stimulus money, according to a Fox News report:

• Frameline, a "gay and lesbian" film house which recently screened Thundercrack, which is described as "the world's only underground kinky art porno horror film, complete with four men, three women, and a gorilla." ($50,000 grant)
• San Francisco-based CounterPULSE, a group that produces the weekly "Perverts Put Out" -- a performance that invites guests to "join your fellow pervs for some explicit, twisted fun." ($25,000 grant)
• "The Symmetry Project" -- a dance piece that Fox News says "amounts to two people writhing naked on the floor, a government-funded tango in the altogether." ($25,000 grant)

Pat TruemanTrueman says it is an "outrage" that federal monies are being given to porn-producing organizations. "The National Endowment for the Arts has long been fought by American Family Association and other pro-family groups because year in and year out, they fund pornography and blasphemy," he tells OneNewsNow.

And of the allegedly misspent stimulus funds? "This is an outrage," he exclaims. "People are hurting financially, and our federal government is funding pornography?"

Trueman believes the public ought to call on members of Congress to take a closer look at the National Endowment for the Arts and pull its federal funding.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Governor Sanford Applies for Stimulus Funds "Under Duress"

Governor Mark Sanford has submitted the following cover letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan after being ordered by the South Carolina Supreme Court to apply for stimulus dollars. It is little consolation to know that truth is the daughter of time; for in a short time Governor Sanford will be tragically vindicated when Obama's policies have destroyed America's economy and caused ruin and widespread suffering.

Dear Secretary Duncan,

By order of the South Carolina Supreme Court, I am submitting the attached application for South Carolina's portion of the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. In doing so, however, I'd offer a few observations.

First, it's important to state one last time for the record what a monumentally terrible idea I believe the entire so-called stimulus act is, and why in particular utilizing this money as our General Assembly has done is ultimately going to cause more harm than good.

In simplest form, this stimulus represents forcing taxpayers of tomorrow to pay for government services of today. No matter how well-intentioned it may be, borrowing from future generations who have no say in the matter is to me wrong, and strikes me as being akin to the same "taxation without representation" that led to the formation of our Republic more than two centuries ago. We will never solve a problem created by too much debt with still more borrowing, and in fact will exacerbate our problems in the long run by devaluing the dollar, rendering any short-term stimulus moot.

Compounding the problems brought by this destructive federal policy was the way it was implemented by our own legislature in South Carolina. At a practical level, once the stimulus passed this is what my stand against spending the $700 million in question was all about - I believe there will be less employment and opportunity as a result of the restructuring forgone, and the spending incurred, due to spending this money. The leadership of our General Assembly - and in this case with the indirect blessing of the federal Administration - made base state spending reductions across education and law enforcement agencies and backfilled those reductions with federal stimulus dollars. As a consequence South Carolina will face up to a $1 billion budget hole when these stimulus dollars dry up in less than twenty-four months. That frightening budget reality is compounded by the fact that having federal money available has provided yet another excuse for our legislative leadership to forestall long needed changes to our government structure and operations - changes that would have yielded better results from the government we already pay for. An example of this is the TERI program which was put in place years ago to reward excellence in teaching. After its passage a court decision came down that said it couldn't apply to just teachers, but instead to every state worker. Rather than producing its intended result of keeping great teachers on the job longer it became a financial windfall to every long-serving state worker, by allowing them to retire twice and reap the financial rewards of doing so. It created more than a billion dollar financial hole in our retirement system, and were it not for the financial windfall the federal government sent this way this is the year that long overdue changes to things like the TERI system would had to have occurred.

We'd all like to have unlimited dollars to fill the very real needs that exist in our state, but we have to do so on both a state and federal level in the context of what is sustainable - because by spending unsustainably, we will only make our problems worse. In this regard the Obama administration’s financially reckless advocacy of borrowing nearly fifty percent of every dollar being spent in Washington is being exported to state like South Carolina. In the long run I believe it is a financial certainty that this will hurt schools, teachers - and more than anything students who will be paying these debts.

Second, I want to be clear that while I'm signing these documents under duress, I have no ability to promise that many of the mentioned conditions and guarantees will indeed be met. For example, this application requires the state to "take actions to improve teacher effectiveness and comply with federal law to address inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers between high- and low-poverty schools"; to "establish a longitudinal data system"; and to "comply with all of the accountability, transparency, and reporting requirements that apply to the Stabilization program."

Our General Assembly may or may not choose to meet those conditions at a later date - I have no way of knowing if they will, and no way of compelling them to do so. In reviewing this application, for me it again highlighted the absurdity of ramrodding federal dollars into the states when I suspect more governors than myself have little ability or wherewithal to say with certainty that these and other conditions under the law can, or will be, carried out. In this case it makes something of a mockery of the law itself given the conditions that were supposedly to be a part of receiving these monies.

Finally, I would appeal to you in your capacity as Secretary of Education to look beyond this idea of money being a cure for all that ails education in our country. I join many others in continuing to believe that we ought to have a diversity of educational choices that fit with the diversity of different young people in our country. We need to give children real options for exiting schools that have consistently failed despite more and more money. We need to work toward expanding the establishment of and access to charter schools. We need transferability options under federal laws that expand educational choices not only in the public sector, but in the private sector as well. My administration would certainly welcome a chance to work with you on these fronts, and I hope to do so in the near future.


Mark Sanford
Mark Sanford