States Can't Afford to Track Stimulus - Denver Post, AP Forget to Ask Why

April 17th, 2009 10:11 AM

Apparently, one-tenth of one percent is too much money spend tracking, ah, your money.  The states are now starting to complain that they don't have enough money to track and publicize all the spending they're doing:

When it comes to the $787 billion in federal stimulus money flowing from Washington to the states, it will cost money to spend money.

Nebraska's governor's office told lawmakers it expects to spend more than $1.2 million over two years to oversee disbursement of about $1.5 billion Nebraska stands to receive in federal stimulus funds.

Other states, including Colorado, are in similar straits. But Washington — at least for now — isn't handing out money for states to hire auditors and accountants, and the stimulus law requires stringent reporting from states to ensure transparency and curb abuses.

Among the questions the Post and the AP decided not ask were:

  1. Why not take the money out of the state programs being supplemented? Don't these states already have offices devoted to tracking spending?
  2. Why didn't Governor Ritter think of this before he agreed to take "all of it," that is all of what was available?
  3. Why didn't our representatives think of this before voting for this bill?  Aside from, you know, the fact that they apparently didn't read the bill. 
  4. If transparency is important for stimulus spending, why are the state Democrats blocking actual transparency in both school and the general budget?

You can see why having local newspapers around is so critical to a functioning democracy.