Memo To the Candidates...

Mining “ARRA” The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act aka The Stimulus provides plenty of ammo for the demolition of the FLOP (Failed Liberal Obama Presidency) and its political allies. ARRA is a big part of the Obama admin’s “accomplishments” and due credit (no pun intended) should be given. GOP candidates don’t have to wait for the general to start detailing the incredible waste that is ARRA.

I actually read this monstrosity back in 2009 and sensed President Hope and Change had been badly rolled by Reid/Pelosi et al. Much of the act was a naked bail out/hand out to buttress various liberal programs and political friends.

Page 14 contains $650 million for the conversion of TV’s from analog to digital. Ninty million of this is set aside for teaching so-called vulnerable populations how to make the change.

Since then I have followed the expenditures on Recovery.gov and have noted how the money is being spent. I wish I had been nimble enough to join in the fun. Nimble? Heck it was easy. The various “reports” are virtually identical no matter the contractor. Like all reports the latitude and longitude of the project is included! Very helpful if, for example, you don’t know where Miramar, FL is. Miramar was one of the areas serviced by  Hernandez Consulting LLC which dutifully reported that  it “connected up to 2 of households existing coupon-eligible digital to analog  converter boxes to existing broadcast (sic) antennas and TV(s)” Hernandez meant  reception antennas.

About those coupon-eligible converter boxes: Much of the $650 million is for additional coupons. These you might recollect allowed the coupon holder to buy a converter for a very nominal sum, usually five bucks or less. Consumer Reports had a top-rated model that retailed at $43 and the coupons were worth $40.

As an aside I have not yet found any converter box made in the USA. Might be one, but I haven’t found it. So a subsidy here for foreign manufacturers. Another aside: Was there hanky-panky with the coupons? I have no idea but this bears a look see.

So with just this one example we begin to see just how lame ARRA was and is. Two-thirds of a billion dollars for few if any long-term jobs. Two-thirds of a billion of tax-payer dough to convert TVs made obsolete by HDTV which was years in coming and should have surprised no one.

And this isn’t near the worst example of stimulus folly. More to come.