Now That We've Got All This Stimulus Money, We Need Some More Money To Track How We're Spending It!


The truly indispensable and always-fascinating mag Government Executive reports:

The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced on Tuesday that he will sponsor a bill to provide funding for state auditors who are struggling to keep pace with the demands of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"With individual states receiving billions in stimulus funding, it makes sense that the states also be fully equipped to closely monitor those taxpayer dollars," said Democratic Rep. Edolphus Towns at a committee field hearing here in his home district [in New York]. "Not initially providing funds for state auditors under the Recovery Act was an omission that should be rectified as soon as possible."

The American Recovery and Resident-Ripoff Act did kick over $200 million for audits and oversight of how funds would be spent at the federal level. But what about sad-sack, busted-and-broken-down state and local folks? Shed a tear for them, kind souls.

New York state and city officials said on Tuesday they would be forced to spend non-stimulus funds to hire independent accounting firms or contractors, further depleting their already thin coffers.

But wouldn't hiring bean counters be…stimulative? Rep. Towns is pushing for new money to be given to states so that they can track the money they just got, but he doesn't have an exact amount in mind, though it's pretty freaking urgent.

The GovExec article goes beyond documenting the incredibly self-pitying emotions of folks who are getting $26.7 billion in Recovery Act funds to note that the feds themselves have offered precious little guidance to states and municipalities in terms of counting the number of jobs "created" or "saved." Ah well, maybe next year.

More here.

Now, I'm just a broken-down old taxpayer with a double-digit IQ, but can't these goddamn entities take, say 1 percent of stimulus funds at all levels to let people know how the funds are being spent and how they calculate their bullshit saved-and-retained jobs figures? Or get some of those newly flush-with-cash AmeriCorps altruist zombies to turn their prodigous energy and insights to this mess?

Or just let the private sector track spending for free (at least to the taxpayer)?

Seriously, folks, does anyone know the way out of this rabbit hole? It's getting pretty goddamn scary down here. When the teenagers learn about this, they'll be demanding, what 10 percent or more in extra funds just to be able to keep track of their goddamned allowances. Isn't this what happened to the Mayans and the dinosaurs?