After many of my fellow conservative bloggers took to the Web yesterday and spread news about jobs being reported in non-existent congressional districts, ABC News reported, giving it national attention. Yesterday I posted about jobs and funds that were falsely being reported in Missouri. After more research, ABC's finding the problem is much more widespread:
For example, recovery.gov says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent in Arizona's 86th congressional district in a project for the Navajo Housing authority, which is actually located in the 1st congressional district.
The reporting problems are not limited to Arizona, ABC News found.
In Oklahoma, recovery.gov lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- in yet more congressional districts that don't exist.
In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent – and 39 jobs created -- in nonexistent districts.
[# More #]
$68.3 million spent and 72.2 million spent in the 1st congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$8.4 million spent and 40.3 jobs created in the 99th congressional district of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
$1.5 million spent and .3 jobs created in the 69th district and $35 million for 142 jobs in the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands.
$47.7 million spent and 291 jobs created in Puerto Rico's 99th congressional district.
Of course, the people responsible for this problem have an excuse:
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.
So no alarms went off with the Recovery Board when $47.7 million was spent in Puerto Rico's 99th congressional district? The only accountability we have on tracking where $787 billion in taxpayer dollars went is by what people wrote down on a form and mailed to the government?
This kind of operation would be like my bank blindly accepting the balance I report in my checkbook register over what they have on their books. Haha, I wish! But we all know the bank would not operate like this because they want to continue doing business. But the government bureaucracy doesn't have to worry about that, does it?
Here's the question the media really need to be asking: Where is the money going? And is the Recovery Board just incredibly inept or (gasp!) are they purposefully fudging numbers?
Stay tuned... I have a feeling there will be much more info coming with this story.