Bryan Fischer
States already squirming under stimulus bill reporting demands
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By Bryan Fischer
March 16, 2009

Just as the politicians in my home state of Idaho have decided to hold their collective noses, stick them deeper into the federal trough, and start squabbling over how to divvy up "stimulus" funds, word comes that other states are already starting to complain about the cumbersome reporting demands the Obama administration has attached to every dollar.

The White House is requiring states to develop detailed spending data, assemble sweeping audits, and identify which jobs are created by so-called stimulus dollars rather than by other programs.

Arkansas has already seen the need to bleed off enough so-called stimulus money just for a new database to conform to the new rules. Pressure is coming to create a special coding for all so-called stimulus projects so they can be tracked county by county and zip code by zip code.

I hazard a guess that it may not be long before we start hearing from Idaho officials that taking so-called stimulus money is turning out to be more trouble than its worth.

Meanwhile, you'll be happy to know that President Obama's handpicked watchdog for spending so-called stimulus dollars says that "waste and fraud" are "unfortunately inevitable" in the program, and that the administration's website to track spending (recovery.org) won't be up and running properly for a year.

As a side note, more than $2 million is scheduled to flow to northern Idaho to prevent wildfires by reducing hazardous fuel accumulations.

This is a perfect example of what is wrong with the so-called stimulus plan: while it does make work, it does not create jobs that create jobs. Only the latter has any ability to actually stimulate the economy. Once the fuel load is cleared, for instance, these 55 people are right back to being out of work.

Sadly, were it not for environmental radicals, this is work that lumber companies would be doing every day at no cost to taxpayers while at the same time putting people to work. If we want to stimulate the economy of north Idaho, all we have to do is get rid of job-killing environmental regulations.

Environmentalists get activist judges to shut down logging, which trashes jobs, closes down sawmills and shutters communities. This in turn causes unacceptable fuel loads to build up on the floor of unlogged forests, which drastically increases the risk of devastating wildfires, which then prompts politicians to require taxpayers from all over the country to pay people to go in there and pull that fuel load out of there, which the lumber companies would happily have done for free.

Accounting Demands for Stimulus Spending Worry States WSJ.com

Washington Times Stimulus overseer: Waste 'inevitable'

Idaho Press-Tribune: Stimulus money to help in N. Idaho fire protection


© Bryan Fischer

 

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