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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Obama Administration's partisan character - follow the money!


Cartoon attribution

We are indebted to Veronique de Rugy for doing a careful analysis of the allocation of stimulus funds, which show that the Obama Administration is remarkably partisan. Of course this study does not take into consideration whether the actual districts mentioned in the bill actually exist, such as the 12th district in Virginia listed as receiving, I believe, $6.4 million dollars without having the common courtesy of actual existence. So who did get that money? But I digress. The entire paper is linked and here are some excerpts:

Stimulus facts—Period 2 By Veronique de Rugy No. 10-15 March 2010

Using recipient report data from Recovery.gov and economic and political data from the

Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, GovTrack.us, and others, we have

compiled a series of facts about stimulus spending. My interest is simply to make use of

the tens of thousands of stimulus recipient reports recently published on Recovery.gov,

and to put the aggregate information contained in those reports in a larger context. This

report is part of a regular series as new recipient reports are released each quarter.


The information presented here encompass the data from calendar year 2009 Q4 (FY

2010 Q1) reports of Recovery Act contracts and grants only. More information about my

methodology is provided at the end of this document. Additionally, the complete dataset

used for this report is available for download at www.Mercatus.org


Basic Facts


A total of 65,084 contracts and grants totaling $170 billion were awarded in this second

quarter for which Recovery.gov reports are available. Thats only an additional $13.6

billion reported received this quarter over the previous one, roughly $1 billion awarded

each week.


The number of jobs claimed as created or saved during this period is 597,153 for the

entire $170 billion expenditure—an average of $285,814.61 per job. The total number of

jobs claimed shrunk from 693,000. It is important to understand this point. The total

number of jobs claimed to have been created by the entire stimulus fell overall, not just in

the last quarter. This apparent job destruction may have to do with the changes the White

House made on how to count jobs.


The total amount awarded to public entities (such as municipalities and state agencies) is

$93 billion. However, it is still the case that some of this money may have ultimately

found its way to private subgrantees or subcontractors. The total amount awarded to

private contractors and grantees is $78 billion. While public entities received 42 percent

of the number of all awards, these awards constituted over half of the dollars awarded (55

percent). In other words, public entities are receiving fewer contracts than private (27,230

vs. 37,854), but there is a higher average dollar value on the public awards ($3,417,412

vs. $2,050,484).


Party Affiliation


For my analysis, I looked at the 435 congressional districts in the United States plus the

District of Columbia, but excluded Puerto Rico and foreign stimulus recipients such as

Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The average number of awards per district is 148,

and the average dollar amount awarded per district is $385,932,979.


In the United States there are 177 districts represented by a Republican and 259

represented by a Democrat. On average, Democratic districts received 1.53 times the amount of awards that Republicans were granted. The average number of awards per

Republican district is 112, while the average number of awards per Democratic district is

171.


Democratic districts also received 2.65 times the amount of stimulus dollars that

Republican districts received $122 billion vs. $46 billion). Republican districts also

received smaller awards on average. The average dollars awarded per Republican district

is $26 million, while the average dollars awarded per Democratic district is about $472

million. In total, Democratic districts received 73 percent of the total stimulus funds

awarded and Republican districts received 27 percent of the total amount awarded.


Other Political Variables


I checked for correlation (see tables 1 and 2) and computed the predictive power of

political and economic indicators on stimulus fund allocation (see table 4).

A regression analysis (ordinary least squares) was used to determine whether either

political factors (Republican or Democrat) or economic indicators (e.g. unemployment in

a district) could predict the amount of stimulus funds distribute to a district. To estimate

the influence of those two variables, I included the district representatives political party,

tenure in office, leadership position, membership on the appropriations committee, as

well as the change in districts unemployment from 2007 to 2008 (the last year with

available unemployment data per district), mean income (i.e., the average income of a

given wage earner in the district), and the percentage of employed persons working in the

construction sector in 2008. The analysis finds that a districts representation by a

Republican decreases the stimulus funds awarded to it by 41.7 percent. This result

underscores the findings from the previous Stimulus Facts report.


This effect is statistically significant at the p < .004 level (See regression table at end of document.) The regression analysis does not seek to explain (nor does it explain) precisely how funds were allocated (my R-squared = .05). That would require a more complete dataset than has been used for these results. That is, I wanted to know how much political and economic factors could explain the distribution of funds. That is different from saying I want to know all of the factors that control distribution of the funds. I do not have that data nor is it particularly interesting for my purposes. I have confidence I know how much influence these two variables have, although I do not know how other factors influence the decisions. In my political calculation, I find that there is a slight effect on the amount of stimulus funds allocated based on whether a district voted for John McCain or Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. Concretely, while $109 billion has been allocated to congressional districts that voted for President Obama (or 65 percent of the total amount allocated), $59 billion (or 35 percent) have been allocated to congressional districts that voted for McCain. It should be noted, however, that there were many more congressional districts that voted for Obama than voted for McCain. President Obama won 55.6 percent of congressional districts and McCain won 44.4 percent of these districts.



The districts that voted for President Obama received 40,037 awards (or 69 percent of the total number of awards allocated), much more than the districts that voted for candidate McCain; they received 24,483 awards (or 31 percent of the total number of awards). The average awarded to marginal districts—districts with votes that did not vote overwhelmingly for one candidate or another (5 percent or less difference)—is $22 million. Thats significantly less than the average awarded to non-marginal districts of $419 million. My regression analysis finds that the stimulus funds awarded to marginal district are decreased by 41 percent. This effect is statistically significant at the p < .033 level. (See regression table at end of document.) However, as with Republican representation, the regression analysis does not seek to explain (nor does it explain) precisely how funds were allocated (my R-squared = .05).


To read the entire paper and see the tables listed you can click here.



So much for "Hope and Change." Welcome to the world of Chicago politics now brought to you nationwide by the Obama machine. Hat tip to the NRO guys for pointing this out! Are you going to do anything about it? Are you going to look for candidates that might in fact want to represent you and might in fact want to help the country rather than fatten up their favorite fat cats?
Trust me, the fat cats come in both D and R. I would not trust either national party organization.

Here is the way it is. Washington is broken and getting broker every minute. I yield the floor to my first pastor, still kicking it at plus 70 (and we will leave it at that)!

Presenting author, teacher, preacher and mentor Charles R. Wood:

MAY BE DUMB, BUT I AM NOT STUPID:

What was once Liberalism has not largely turned in to what I call Retrogressivism (they claim to Progressives, but what is progressive about trying things that have been tried countless times and failed over and over again - one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results). Some of the positions that generally characterize those who hold to this viewpoint are elitism, a sense of entitlement and a complete conviction that everyone else is just really too rock stupid to know how to do much of anything (and anyone who resists the decisions of this socio-political elite is either simply perverse or just plan too dumb to know any better. To anyone who is more than casually observing the current political scene, Speaker Pelosi exemplifies this viewpoint and demonstrates it virtually every time she speaks or even appears in public.

In brief, those who oppose statism and other forms of Socialism are too stupid to know how to live their lives, so the political elite must intervene and live their lives for them in order to bring them into the utopia promised for all by Retrogressives.

Unfortunately for these “social saviors” of our world. Most of us poor-benighted souls who believe in democracy, free-enterprise, “unacceptable religions,” right/wrong categories and an host of other primitive, archaic and obscurantist belief systems are a little smarter than our elite friends realize. In fact, many Retrogressive “intellectuals” demonstrate remarkable amounts of either ignorance or absolute chutzpah. They are largely parrots who stroke each other’s egos by repeating to other”thinkers” what those “thinkers” have already said, and who expect those other”thinkers” to do the same for them. It would be funny, were it not so tragic and the consequences so very apt to be terminal for our country.

Fortunately for those of us who sit in the ”stupid seat,” most of these pseudo-intellectuals and power-hungry politicians are extremely arrogant (just my opinion, but Lady Pelosi is absolutely arrogance personified). With arrogance usually goes a significant amount of ignorance, and that ignorance couples nicely with arrogance to produce some incredible contradictions and to leave “a trail of bread” back to the meeting places where such people energize each other with hypocritical praise for spurious “achievement.”

I would hardly present myself as an intellectual or even as a bad counterfeit of one. In the presence of Al Mohler and men of that caliber, I would remain silent. I am smart enough, however, to know that I am a great deal smarter than the political elite that seeks to impose their own skewered pipe dreams on everyone else. Don’t let them awe you or sway you. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, you are way ahead of them from the start (I believe it is impossible to cling to Retrogressivism and to experience any genuine Biblical relationship with our sovereign God). When people shake their heads in disbelief at my beliefs, I endeavor to more clearly express those beliefs and to press my case with greater vigor. They may think I am stupid, but I am convinced that they are dumb beyond comprehension.

One of the few optimistic things I find in our current situation as a nation is the fact that the arrogance of the elite, coupled with their ignorance, increasingly will lead them into obvious contradictions to their own principles and to more and more egregious tactical errors (you know, “Once Obamacare is passed, people will see how good it is for them and immediately forget their opposition and move on” - which I am sure must account for the tanking approval ratings of our President and the ever-growing opposition to the destruction of the American health care system. All of us poor ignorant slobs may be dumb, but we are not stupid and that is being proved with each succeeding day.

Yeah, what he said!

5 comments:

Chaos Engineer said...

An update on the stimulus fund thing...Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight.com did some analysis and found some factors that Veronique de Rugy had overlooked. There's an ongoing debate:

Nate Silver's article
Veronique de Rugy's rebuttal
Nate Silver's follow-up


As to the Charles Wood essay, I noticed this:

"I believe it is impossible to cling to [Progressivism] and to experience any genuine Biblical relationship with our sovereign God".

My interpretation is that he's saying that his political opponents aren't just having an honest disagreement with him, or even that they're mistaken. He's saying that his opponents are the Enemies of God.

I'm used to hearing that kind of rhetoric from people like Osama bin Laden, but I always find it chilling to hear it coming from a purported American.

Hawkeye® said...

Radar,
"Chicago politics now brought to you nationwide by the Obama machine." I couldn't have said it any better. 'You gotta pay off your cronies, man.'

radar said...

I understand what he is saying, not that his enemies have to be enemies of Christ, but rather that the principles of retrogressivism come from humanism and BLT comes from communism and the concept of revolution by violent overthrow much like Islam espouses. It is not possible for a man to know what is in another man's heart, but stated philosophy can be a pretty good clue.

radar said...

Also, Charles Wood is not in favor of violently overthrowing anything of substance or any person (maybe go after a couple of weeds in the yard) but rather is pointing out what lies at the heart of the discussion. Will you follow Christ?

See, those fruitbats in Michigan were labeled "Christian" and the horrific individuals of the Phelps family who call themselves Westboro Baptists have as much to do with Christ as an an executioner would be related to a nurse - less. Christian = like Christ. Some of us are trying to be like Christ and no one does it perfectly. But some labeled Christian are the antithesis of what God is.

Retrogressives come from Darwinism, Eugenics, fascism, communism, Skinner etc. It is humanism, the worship of man above God. You cannot really have it both ways. Those who think they can are living a dichotomy and eventually they will become aware and make their choice.

radar said...

Chaos thanks for the links. Silver has a point and I think both parties are not yet to the point where we know exactly what has been going on with the "stimulus" other than being certain much of it was wasted (this we KNOW) and being pretty sure money going to the big districts may well have gone right into pockets.

Did you know that lobbyists set a record for most monies paid to DC politicians last year in this Obama HopeAndChange environment? Is that explicable?