American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
As a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, private sector job growth has seen a steep drop, while public sector jobs continue to increase. Government employment has increased by 590,000 while the private sector has lost nearly 8 million jobs since the beginning of the recession. After the passage of the Recovery Act, these trends have continued: the private sector has lost an additional 2.7 million jobs, or 2.5% of total private employment, while state and federal governments have continued to grow, adding an additional 400,000 jobs.
The stimulus program provides money for low-income people to make their homes more energy-efficient. The Weatherization Assistance Program overwhelmed federal and state agencies, bottling up billions of dollars in funding and halting the weatherization of homes for almost a year.
In Texas, state inspections of a $22 million weatherization contract in Houston found workmanship flaws, administrative overhead running at about 50 percent when the legal limit is 5 percent, and missing documentation. The weatherization work was conducted in February and March 2010.
On November 16 and 17, 2009, many errors were found in the $747 billion plan that showed the plan set aside money for districts that do not exist. According to Recovery.gov, the plan shows its funds will go to 884 Congressional Districts, though there are only 435.
The administrators at Recovery.gov eventually consolidated the fictitious Congressional Districts into "unassigned congressional districts."
Arkansas’ 6th District received more than $360,000 from the stimulus package, according to ARRA's tracking website. However that District has not existed since 1963. In total, the website shows it send money to 9 fake Districts.
Connecticut's 8 new phantom districts, according to the ARRA website, had explosive job growth in the fictitious 42nd District. There were 25 jobs created there, despite receiving 0 stimulus dollars.
The ARRA contributed $2,284,000 to Hawaii in federal stimulus funds for the 11the Congressional district, $40,903,941 million for the 15th Congressional district, $1,651,811 for the “00” Congressional district, and $799,656 in the 99th congressional district creating a combined “3.4” jobs or $13,423,355 per job. Hawaii has just two congressional districts.
Indiana gained five fictitious Congressional Districts through the ARRA website. The 18th District, for example, was given $2.2 million. Indiana’s population would have to double, in order to have 18 districts.
The ARRA website created 4 fictional districts, creating or saving 5,934.8 or 5,940.37 jobs in Kansas including 10 in the 9th Congressional district, nine jobs in the 8th District and three in the 6th district and two in the 14th. The 00, 99th, 5th, 76th, 68th and 36th districts saw no job creation. Of course Kansas only has four Congressional districts.
The ARRA tracking website sent money to nine non-existent Districts in Kentucky. According to recovery.gov, Kentucky's 7th District received more than $31 million from the stimulus package, despite being eliminated in the 1990 census.
In addition to the eight non-existent Districts the ARRA website sent money to in Louisiana, the state’s 8th Congressional District reportedly grew by more than 300 job through the stimulus package. However, the 8th District does has not existed since 1990.
The state of Massachusetts has 10 congressional districts, but the ARRA website shows there are six more to receive funding. Non-existing districts are alloted to receive $29,882,326 to create/sustain at total of 189.9 jobs.
The ARRA website created 10 non-existing districts in Michigan, as well, awarding them $5,387,945 to "create/save" 49.5 jobs.
The ARRA website lists the Michigan capital, Lansing, ZIP code as receiving $1,217,275,548 and creating 17,966.9 jobs. The website credits Michigan with “creating/saving” 22,514 total jobs, meaning Lansing accounts for almost 80 percent of the jobs “created.” statewide.
The ARRA website created 11 new Congressional Districts in Minnesota, adding to its existing eight Districts. The website lists Minnesota as having a total of 19 congressional districts. Altogether, the eleven extra congressional districts posted received more than $7 million in stimulus spending, creating or saving about 50 jobs.
Missouri's 14th district, eliminated after the 1930 census, is to receive $600,000 in stimulus money, according to the ARRA website. It was joined by a handful of other non-existent districts to receive stimulus dollars, totaling $928,566 to create/sustain 8.5 jobs.
Though Montana only has one Congressional District, the ARRA website shows it gave funds to 13 Districts. The twelve fictional Districts received $292,383,105 in funds to "create/save" a total of 1214.2 jobs.
Nevada has only 3 congressional districts, however, the non-existent 32nd District collected more than $6.3 million and produced only 12 jobs, according to ARRA's website. A total of $14,038,524 went to non-existent Congressional Districts to "create/save" 18 jobs.
The ARRA website invented three or four more Congressional Districts in New Hampshire, creating 2,879.1 jobs in these non-existent Districts (2,873.9 of which were in the 00 Congressional District, though one does not exist), using $197,167,473.
New Jersey’s number of Congressional Districts grew from 13 to 31, according ARRA's website. Millions of stimulus dollars were distributed to 18 Garden State districts that do not exist, totaling $25,630,567 to "create/save" 574.6 jobs.
The first of the errors was uncovered in New Mexico, where there are only 3 Congressional Districts. The ARRA website reported that $26,462,307 in funds would go to 10 fictional districts to "create/save" at total of 61.5 jobs.
New York has 29 Congressional Districts, but it's 00 District produced 31 jobs after taking home $3.8 million in stimulus funds. District 00 typically stands for the population of a whole state when the state has only enough population to have an at-large representative. In total, the ARRA website attributed 11 extra, non-existent Districts to New York and gave them a total of $12,025,926 to "create/save" 128.2 jobs.
North Carolina has distributed more than $5.7 million in federal stimulus money to six congressional districts that do not exist, according to ARRA's website.
The labels for the districts include 00 and 91.
The ARRA website reports that more than $2 million was given to the 99th District of North Dakota, a state that has only one Congressional District. In order to qualify for 99 districts, North Dakota would have to have a population of about 60 million people, almost 24 million more people than California. The non-existent Districts received $119,260,169 to "create/save" 264.2 jobs.
Northern Mariana Islands
ARRA's website overestimated Ohio's Congressional Districts by 10. Congressional District 00 and 99 were two of ten new congressional districts listed as receiving federal stimulus dollars this year. Eight of those districts received money but did not create any jobs.
Oklahoma has five Congressional Districts, yet ARRA has given $1 million to its 6th District. The 6th District was eliminated by the 2000 census.
The state’s non-existent 51st District received $10.6 million in stimulus funds. In all, the phantom districts accrued more than $19 million, used to create or save 15 jobs. This amounts to nearly $1.3 million per job.
According to the ARRA website, Oregon’s Congressional Districts almost tripled from 5 to 14, including a non-existent District 00, which took home nearly $3.4 million in stimulus funds. The website shows that $4,932,024 went to fictional districts to create/sustain 15.1 jobs.
The ARRA website reported that nearly $2 million was directed towards Pennsylvania's 21st District, which ceased to exist after the 2000 census. Almost $1.5 million was sent to another retired District, the 23rd, which was done away with after the 1990 census.
There were $12.6 million distributed to six districts, which do not exist.
Recovery.gov lists millions of dollars being awarded to “congressional districts” bearing such distinctions as District 00, 99 and simply “congressional district” in Puerto Rico, though the territory has one non-voting, Congressional delegate.
According to the ARRA website, Rhode Island’s fictitious 86th Congressional District saw nearly 60 new jobs develop in their community with the help of more than $10 million in stimulus funds. However, Rhode Island has only two Congressional Districts. In total, $11,917,875 went to save or create 57.9 jobs in non-existent Districts in Rhode Island.
ARRA's website shows that more than $27 million in funds went to the 7th District of South Carolina, which has not existed since the Great Depression. The seven phantom districts have received a total of $40,729,993 to create or save 52.4 jobs.
More than $288 million in stimulus money went to phantom districts in South Dakota to "create or save" 862 jobs, according to the ARRA tracking website. About $280 million of those funds are locked in a district that has not been seen since the 1980 census. South Dakota has only one Congressional District, represented by an at-large Representative.
A non-existent District in Tennessee received nearly $41 million in stimulus funds and used that money to produce 0 jobs, according to recovery.gov. District 00 received all but $13 million that was sent to the seven phantom districts in the state, but produced fewer jobs than the non-existent 11th district, which created or saved 3 jobs using $39,000, according to the site.
The 29th District, also non-existent, received the next largest sum of money, using nearly $10 million to create 20 jobs.
The ARRA website reported that the stimulus package sent more than $14.7 million to seven Congressional Districts in Texas that do not exist. Two fictitious districts combined to receive $12.5 million of that sum, District 52 was given nearly $9 million and District 58 received nearly $3.7 million.
District 58 claimed to create or save 45 jobs, while District 52 did not produce any jobs, despite more than twice the amount of funding.
The stimulus package sent nearly $1.7 million to four congressional districts in Utah that do not exist, according to the ARRA tracking website. Utah has only 3 congressional districts, saw the majority of that money distributed to two non-existent Districts. District 4 was given more than $1.1 million and District 00, a label reserved for states with only one congressman, received nearly $540,000.
District 00 claimed to create or save 26 jobs, while District 4 did not produce any jobs, despite twice the amount of funding.
According to the ARRA website, the stimulus package sent almost $4.6 million to six Congressional Districts in Vermont created 7.5 jobs. An additional $368 million was sent to two other districts in the state. However, Vermont has only District 00 and is represented by one Congressman. That district received nearly $320 million less than the non-existent District 1. Vermont’s fake Districts received a total of $398,601,110 to "create/sustain" 1,909.2 jobs.
Virginia’s 12th District was written off at the start of the Civil War, but it received more than $2 million, according to ARRA's website.
The ARRA website overshot the number of Washington Congressional Districts by nine. Washington’s 39th Congressional District received over $300,000 in federal stimulus funds without a single job created.
The government-run website notes that the 99th Washington, DC congressional district received $136,717,784 in stimulus which created 41.9 jobs. The 98th Washington, DC congressional district received $23,258,609 which created 22 jobs.
If the federal capital was sliced into 99 districts, there would be a congressional district every two-thirds of a square mile.
The ARRA website added eight non-existent Congressional districts in West Virginia, allotting $2,387,321 to eight fictional Congressional districts: the 54th, 9th, 4th, 6th, 12th, 13th, and 00, "creating/saving" a total of 5 jobs.
According to the ARRA website, the stimulus package sent almost $1.5 million to five congressional districts in Wyoming created 6.3 jobs. An additional $471 million was sent to two other districts in the state. However, Wyoming has only one district, District 00. And that district received just under $30 million, which is $410 million less than District 1, a non-existent district. In total, $442,318,511 went to 6 fictional Districts to "create/save" 785.3 jobs.
Information about the initial release of funds is provided on the U.S. Department of Education website, plotting each state's share.
An example of the the Recovery Act's effect on the public school system in the United States is that in order to receive the money, states are obligated to restore school funding for the coming year back to the levels provided in the 2005-06 school year. The Act outlines that if states could not do that, as Florida said it could not, then they needed to apply for a waiver and show that state education funding for the impending year was the same or more as the current school year, percentage wise.
The U.S. Department of Education's website provides the budget news concerning the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as a slideshow explaining how money is allocated to the states from the act.
The following are the school district allocations of Recovery Act funds for each state:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a significant amount of money is to be spent on improving roads. The following chart lists 74 counties in 24 states, with the corresponding miles of roadway deemed unacceptable in each county, and the amount of money allocated from the bill to be spent on road repair in each county. The chart lists the latest data as of August 28th, 2009 
Funding for roads under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan has been criticized on grounds that the funds are unfairly distributed. Many of the counties that have the worst roads in the country have not received proportionately more, or even more at all, funds than counties whose roads demand less repair. According to one news report, "Half of the nation's worst roads are in counties that will only get about 20% of the stimulus money allocated by state and federal officials for street repairs."
The allegedly unfair allocation of funds is due in large part to the nature of the stimulus package; its aim is to boost the economy as quickly as possible. Projects that can be done in the short term are therefore more suited for allocation of funds than projects that would require a long term investment. In the case of the worst roads in the nation, often they are longer term projects. In addition, there often aren't enough funds for the worst roads.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan opened a program with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called the [ Neighborhood Stabilization Program] (NSP) wherein funds are allotted to areas of the county hit hardest by the recession. Cities use the funds to buy foreclosed homes, fix them up and sell them to low income buyers. Most of the homes will be sold back to buyers with incomes at least 120 percent under the median income for the area, but 25 percent of the buyers must have an income of 50 percent of the median in the area. The plan designates five eligible uses: establishment of financing mechanisms for purchase of foreclosed homes, purchase and rehabilitation of abandoned or foreclosed homes, land banking of foreclosed homes, demolition of blighted structures, and redevelopment of vacant or demolished property.
However, as of October 2009, a year after the funds were awarded, cities like Denver, Colorado have not spent their funds. Experts say one of the factors is an overload of bureaucracy from the city, state and federal levels.
Ten of the big banks that received aid last fall under the Treasury Department's Troubled Assets Relief Program, known as TARP, repaid a total $68 billion in bailout funds in July 2009. They are: American Express Co., Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., U.S. Bancorp, Northern Trust Corp., State Street Corp., BB&T Corp. and Capital One Financial Corp. 
- See also: Taxpayer-funded lobbying
Money received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, or the stimulus package, by private entities has been spent to lobby.  The eight large banks that first received bailout funds back in October spent more than $12.4 million in the first half of 2009, and more than $20 million if including car companies.  Some examples include:
Bank of America Corp.: Received $45 billion, spent $800,000 in the April-June quarter on lobbying, (up from $660,000 in the first quarter). 
Citigroup Inc.: Got $45 billion in bailout funds, upped its lobbying spending to $1.7 million in the second quarter (from nearly $1.3 million in the January-March period). 
JPMorgan Chase: Repayed $25 billion it received. It spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying in the latest quarter (up from $1.3 million in the first quarter).
Goldman Sachs Group Inc.: Goldman pared back its lobbying outlays in the quarter to $630,000 (from $670,000 in the first quarter).
Morgan Stanley:' Lobbying expenditures jumped to $830,000 (from $540,000 in the first three months of the year). 
General Motors: Spent about $2.8 million on lobbying Congress and the federal government, about the same as in the first quarter.
Stimulus Watch 2.0 launched, improving the original Stimulus Watch website, which featured proposed stimulus projects taken from the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey. The new version has actual stimulus spending in users' neighborhoods, the data for which came from the official recipient reports from Recovery.gov. Users can search for contracts and grants awards by state and city, by awarding agency, or by recipient.
In hundreds of cases recipients of stimulus funds ignored the law the would require them to report how they spent it.
“Government owes it to its citizens to share how tax dollars are spent. When it is left to journalists, grant recipients and ordinary citizens to report the truth – but not government — transparency suffers. And that is what has happened with this “stimulus” program. The burden of reporting has fallen on those receiving the money – not those giving it out,” said Michael Barnhart, president of Sunshine Review.
The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity's investigation in November 2009 found recipients of millions in tax dollars filled out forms incorrectly – often using incorrect zip codes or congressional districts. This meant false information was shared with the public.
Federal government documents indicate that for the first quarter of 2010, there were nearly 700 instances where “prime” recipients failed to provide their stimulus funding reports by an April deadline.
- ↑ American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan
- ↑ West Virginia Watchdog, WatchBlog: Government Employment Increases, Private Sector Tanks, July 6, 2010
- ↑ "47 homes retrofitted, $3.7M spent in Texas through Dec. under program to improve low-income homes" - Texas Watchdog, Feb. 1, 2010
- ↑ "Shoddy workmanship found in $22 million federal stimulus contract to improve the homes of the poor" - Texas Watchdog, May 13, 2010
- ↑ $6.4 Billion Stimulus goes to Phantom Districts, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Creates Jobs in Non-Existent Congressional Districts, Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Recovery.gov Phantom Districts Are No More, Watchdog.org, November 18, 2009
- ↑ Alabama, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Alaska, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ American Samoa, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Arizona, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Arkansas, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ California, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Colorado, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Connecticut, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Delaware, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Florida, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Georgia, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Guam, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Four Hawaii Phantom Districts Receive $45,639,408 Million in Stimulus Funds for 3.4 Jobs, Hawaii Reporter, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Idaho, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Illinois, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Indiana, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Fed Stimulus Creating Congressional Districts, Kansas Watchdog, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Kentucky, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Louisiana, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Maine, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Federal stimulus site gives Maryland 15 new congressional districts, Maryland Reporter, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Massachusetts, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Michigan stimulus dollars
- ↑ The Luckiest Zip Code in Michigan, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus and Jobs, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Mississippi, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Missouri, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Adds 13 Congressional Districts to Montana, Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Nebraska, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Nevada, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ New Hampshire, Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- ↑ New Jersey, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Creates Jobs in Non-Existent Congressional Districts, Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- ↑ New York, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ North Carolina, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ North Dakota, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Northern Mariana Islands, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Brings New Jobs and Congressional Districts to Ohio, Ohio Watchdog, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Oklahoma, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Oregon, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Pennsylvania, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Rhode Island, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ South Carolina, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ South Dakota, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Tennessee, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Texas, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Utah, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Vermont, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Washington, ‘’Evergreen Freedom Foundation’’, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Washington, DC Stimulus Funds 99th Congressional Districts, La Raza, AARP, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ Obama Recovery Act Increases W.Va. Congressional Districts by Eight!, West Virginia Watchdog.org, November 16, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Spending Record Keeping is a Joke, MacIver Institute, November 2009
- ↑ Wyoming, Watchdog.org, November 17, 2009
- ↑ [News - Nation, Stimulus funding for road repairs.]
- ↑ News - Nation, Stimulus funding for road repairs
- ↑ News - Nation, Stimulus funding for road repairs
- ↑ 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 65.4 65.5 65.6 "Some bailout firms up lobbying spending in 2Q", Associated Press, July 21, 2009
- ↑ America Blog, "Your tax dollars at work", July 21, 2009
- ↑ Cato@Liberty, "Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying", July 23, 2009
- ↑ "Bailed-out Companies Spend Millions to Lobby Congress", ProPublica, July 22, 2009
- ↑ Truthout, "Autos, Banks Spend $20 Million Lobbying", July 21, 2009
- ↑ Stimulus Watch 2.0 website
- ↑ "Accountability law ignored by recipients of stimulus money," Watchdog.org, July 2010