Over at Bloomberg, Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy writes about the misdirection of stimulus funds:
With a few exceptions, the data show little correlation between the level of unemployment and stimulus spending. In fact, the opposite is true. The federal government has given far fewer stimulus dollars to states with high unemployment than it has to states with low unemployment.
Here is a chart that compares the five states with the highest and lowest unemployment rates and the amount of stimulus money per capita:
State Unemployment Rate Stimulus/capita
Nevada 14.3 percent $561.55
Michigan 13.1 percent $648.91
California 12.3 percent $546.34
Rhode Island 11.9 percent $164.83
Florida 11.5 percent $475.67
Vermont 6.0 percent $522.42
New Hampshire 5.8 percent $852.53
Nebraska 4.7 percent $591.17
South Dakota 4.4 percent $1,084.73
North Dakota 3.6 percent $1,059.95
…The Obama administration was wildly successful if its objective was to spend a lot of money in a short amount of time. Whether that money has done or will do anything for the people that need it most has proven far more elusive. As the saying goes, You can have it fast, you can have it good, or you can have it cheap—pick two.
Sadly, we did worse than that: We only got one.