AUGUST 26, 2009
In the latest of many examples of the fraud that has infested the president’s stimulus plan is $1 million in spending cash for incarcerated murderers and rapists and a $15 million infusion for a seldom-used checkpoint in a remote Great Plains town with influential politicians.
President Barack Obama promised that his coveted $787 billion stimulus plan would jump start the economy and put Americans back to work, but instead millions have been lost to waste, fraud and abuse as well as highly questionable projects that are unlikely to fulfill any of the plan’s goals.
Just weeks after a U.S. Senator’s scathing report (A Second Opinion on the Stimulus) documented $55 billion in wasteful projects—including a multi million-dollar turtle crossing and government checks to 10,000 dead people—nationwide, a pair of news reports expose the latest scandals involving stimulus fund recipients.
The first reveals that about $1 million went to nearly 4,000 jailed convicts, including murderers and rapists, who received $250 stimulus checks that they did not qualify for. The money came from the Social Security Administration, which previously mailed out stimulus checks to 10,000 dead people. Additional stimulus checks were also mailed to fugitive felons and people that had been deported.
A separate news report says that, despite Obama’s promise of a transparent stimulus plan free of politics, the government is dishing out hundreds of millions of dollars under a cloak of secrecy that is clearly susceptible to political influence. Among the undercover allocations is $15 million for a rarely-used Canadian border checkpoint in Montana. Although the project was low on the government’s priority list, the state’s two powerful Democratic senators persuaded the White House to fund it.
A Mexican border station in Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s home state is getting almost five times more than any other station (nearly $200 million) and a North Dakota checkpoint that serves only 70 people a day will receive nearly $15 million for renovations even though it ranks among the lowest priority projects. In the meantime, a busy Texas checkpoint that serves tens of thousands of travelers daily and ranks among the government’s highest priorities is getting no stimulus cash.
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