$6.4 billion in Porkulus money spent in phantom districts?

posted at 12:14 pm on November 17, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this morning, Sammy Benoit asked me how it felt to live in a much larger Minnesota, with new Congressional districts popping up all over.  Any thrill of getting extra representation in Congress got muted by the fact that the Obama administration apparently added more phantom Congressional districts (440) than actually exist now (435), and that they somehow showed $6.4 billion in Porkulus money going to these nonexistent districts.  Watchdog.org has tracked down the massive failure to check data at Recovery.gov, the reporting arm of Porkulus for the White House:

Just how big is the stimulus package? Well for one, it has doubled the size of the House of Representatives, according to recovery.gov, which says that funds were distributed to 440 congressional districts that do not exist.

According to data retrieved from recovery.gov, nearly $6.4 billion was used to “create or save” just under 30,000 jobs in these phantom congressional districts–almost $225,000 per job. The web site operates on an $84 million budget and is tasked with monitoring the distribution of the $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress–which, for the record, counts 435 members–in early 2009.

The site’s monitors, however, are not too savvy about America’s political or geographic landscape. More than $2 million was given to the 99th District of North Dakota, a state which has only one congressional district. In order to qualify for 99 districts, North Dakota would have to have a population of about 60 million people, almost 24 million more people than California.

The stimulus revived 8 recently retired congressional districts. Pennsylvania’s 21st District has received just under $2 million in funds. Mississippi’s 5th District and Oklahoma’s 6th received $1 million from the legislation, respectively. All three were eliminated by the 2000 census.

Many other recipients carried the banner for congressional districts that have been defunct for decades. South Carolina’s 7th took the cake, garnering more than $27 million in stimulus funds, despite being eliminated in 1930. And Virginia’s 12th District may have been written off at the start of the Civil War, but it must carry some sentimental value in Old Dominion–it received more than $2 million, according to recovery.gov.

Some may feel that a $6.4 billion error is simply a rounding problem, but I recall a time when that used to be considered real money.  For instance, that would have been about a seventh of the federal deficit for September, but only about 3% of the federal deficit in October.  Who knew the Obama administration could point to that level of improvement!  Doesn’t that make you feel better about your government’s ability to handle money?

As a former database administrator myself, I am not unaware of the challenges of bad data.  However, that just means that database administrators have to set proper filters to restrict entries to prevent the infiltration of bad data.  One particular strategy for a database built on Congressional districts for reporting would be to load a list of legitimate districts by state as a filter.  That would have caught records for 35 Congressional districts in Washington DC, as an example … since Washington DC doesn’t have any Congressional districts at all.

This again demonstrates the rank incompetence of the Obama administration, and the folly of trusting government to spend our money more than we trust ourselves.  The ostensible reason for Porkulus was to boost the economy, which Obama proposed to do by taking capital out of the markets and spending it on a raft of Democratic pork projects and progressive wish lists.  We knew that the list of spending priorities would do nothing to boost the economy, but even we didn’t foresee just how incompetent the White House would be in tracking the money.  How hard is it to get a list of actual Congressional districts, for Pete’s sake?

Meanwhile, I’ll claim my house as Minnesota’s 27th Congressional district, and the $3.159 million the government apparently wants to throw at it.  Please deliver it in small, unmarked bills.  I promise it will stimulate the local economy, especially the Blu-Ray and computer-equipment industries.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Phantom recovery

faraway on November 17, 2009 at 1:53 PM

This is transparency for the totally blind.

Hope N Change

mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm

bluegrass on November 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Luckily Obama sees the Post Office as a model /

CWforFreedom on November 17, 2009 at 2:08 PM

And they wonder why people are afraid to let the Obama administration control health care.

Terrye on November 17, 2009 at 2:12 PM

So, who’s going to look further into this? Congress? The DOJ? The Media? ABC? Hellooooooooo? Anyone?????

Susanboo on November 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Hey. What happened to the Moby? I guess he got harpooned.

kingsjester on November 17, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Yep….saving and creating DISTRICTS daily!!
mmm mmm mmm

MaggieMae on November 17, 2009 at 2:24 PM

What a disapointment. I live in a Republican District. Not a chance in the world that I would get a dime of stimulus money by claiming my home as a congressional district. No wait! I just remembered that I have not changed my voter registration from the pre-socialist democrate party. I am saved! No wait again. I voted republican (best of two democrats running) and I am sure they have that in my dossier. They might over look everything else but doubtful they would over look my not being comunist, socialist, a liberal, pro baby killer, anti gun ownership, or failure to be a diciple of the almighty and unfailable The One or approve of him showing his shiny ass to the world as he bends over infront of national and muslim leaders in the name of America.

Franklyn on November 17, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Can we stop this based on misappropriation and incompetence? We have no idea where a trillion dollars is going! OMG

marklmail on November 17, 2009 at 2:26 PM

some comments:

1) there are probably typos since nobody is that stupid

2) some of the districts may be state districts and not federal districts

3) The quality control at Recovery.gov leaves much to be desired; which does not bode well for the efficiency of health care “reform”.

4) The blame game by the WH on this is disturbing; which does not bode well for the efficiency of health care “reform”.

Jed_Eckert on November 17, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Exactly.

Doesn’t this and the vaccine debacle SEAL the case against ObamaCare? Seriously.

marklmail on November 17, 2009 at 2:33 PM

Exactly.
Doesn’t this and the vaccine debacle SEAL the case against ObamaCare? Seriously.
marklmail on November 17, 2009 at 2:33 PM

It should for any reasonably thinking person that doesn’t care about exerting absolute control over the electorate.

Juno77 on November 17, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Below shows the states, their official congressional representation and the number of individual districts in the recovery.gov reports.

Very poor quality control and it allows for obfuscation or even downright fraud.

State Rep Recovery.gov
AL 7 11
AK 1 15
AZ 8 32
AR 4 13
CA 53 62
CO 7 17
CT 5 13
DE 1 6
FL 25 31
GA 13 20
HI 2 6
ID 2 12
IL 19 25
IN 9 14
IA 5 13
KS 4 14
KY 6 15
LA 7 15
ME 2 5
MD 8 23
MA 10 16
MI 15 25
MN 8 19
MS 4 10
MO 9 15
MT 1 13
NE 3 15
NV 3 7
NH 2 6
NJ 13 31
NM 3 13
NY 29 40
NC 13 19
ND 1 14
OH 18 28
OK 5 14
OR 5 14
PA 19 24
RI 2 5
SC 6 13
SD 1 10
TN 9 16
TX 32 39
UT 3 7
VT 1 8
VA 11 23
WA 9 18
WV 3 10
WI 8 14
WY 1 7

Puerto Rico () 9
Amer. Samoa () 3
Guam () 6
N.Marsh. Isl. () 5
D.C. () 12

SouthernRoots on November 17, 2009 at 2:53 PM

If any Congressman or Senator votes for a 2nd round of “stimulus” after this cataclysmic debacle of false or outright fraudulent reporting, I sincerely hope he or she is drawn and quartered.

This would be great stuff — high comedy — in another country. It is a painful embarrassment here in the US. President Obama, whether by accident or design, you have turned us into a banana republic. I never thought I would see the day. I am completely disgusted.

jwolf on November 17, 2009 at 2:57 PM

It is possible, even likely that the phantom districts are just what the RATB (Recovery Acoountability and Transparency Board) says–coding errors, and that the money went to legitimate entities within the states. For instance, some school disrict might be in the 1st or 8th rather than the 86th(!!) or 00th(!!) Congressional District of Arizona.
But since the board failed to order even a comparatively a simple check of whether reported congressional districts matched real ones, we cannot trust that it did anything more complex.
How much money was wasted on bogus projects that created no jobs? How many claims of job creation are inflated? Are there bogus entities hidden in the lists of recipients in real districts? Are the cases so far reported just the tip of the iceberg? We don’t know, and we cannot trust recovery.gov to tell us.

Confutus on November 17, 2009 at 3:12 PM

The stimilus is much like the ACORN organization. It’s all a shell game. That way no one can actually track where the money is, where it is going, and who is getting it. Typical for the ObowMao administration. Much like the magician at a kids birthday party, “keep your eyes on the right hand” all the while the left hand is stealing you blind. ObowMao taught this type of shell game while he was “organizing” for ACORN. Why not carry out that very successful shell game throughout the enitre administration? Lying, cheating, and stealing is all the guy knows.

milwife88 on November 17, 2009 at 3:17 PM

milwife88 on November 17, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Yes, and the larger the size of government, the worse it will get because no one will be able to track it.

As someone said the other day:

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon we’re talking about default.
Mike Honcho on November 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Juno77 on November 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Of course this is all accidental. It’s not like Obama is looting the Federal Treasury and giving uncounted money to party loyalists. Money that will forever be unaccounted.

How many trillions will G. Soros get? We’ll never know.

Skandia Recluse on November 17, 2009 at 4:02 PM

When will the media get tired of being lied to ?

ColdWarrior57 on November 17, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Using SouthernRoots on November 17, 2009 at 2:53 PM tabulation, the recovery.gov site lists 890 congressional districts an extra 445!

peterargus on November 17, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Again. We miss the point. Obama’s fantasy program created 440 new congressional districts and all those representatives and office staff that come with it. Those districts are not saved; they were created!

The districts will be designated as majority-zombie districts as reparation for past and current failures of our corrupt capitalist culture. ACORN is hiring folks to homestead the virtual territories pursuant to a special grant and prosperity will result.

Joe Biden is on the case. Just bow and say pass the cheese. Someone else is paying for all this stuff. It’s all free.

clorensen on November 17, 2009 at 4:45 PM

So how many congressional districts have now been created or saved in the last year?

eforhan on November 17, 2009 at 4:48 PM

When will the media get tired of being lied to ?

ColdWarrior57 on November 17, 2009 at 4:14 PM

When they stop being liars themselves.

Liam on November 17, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Phantom recovery

faraway on November 17, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Phantom Presidency

PatriotRider on November 17, 2009 at 4:53 PM

This shows that the folks filling out these forms had very little knowledge of their local, state, and national government.

Unfortunately, our government seems to SHARE in that ignorance.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2009 at 4:53 PM

This shows that the folks filling out these forms had very little knowledge of their local, state, and national government.

Unfortunately, our government seems to SHARE in that ignorance.

hawksruleva on November 17, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Something tells me this is worse than ignorance. But I am not a cynic: I do believe the Treasury Secretary and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

clorensen on November 17, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Audit…

Seven Percent Solution on November 17, 2009 at 5:01 PM

They must be in those other 7 states that only Obama has been in.

wildcat84 on November 17, 2009 at 12:17 PM

minor correction!

Sweet_Thang on November 17, 2009 at 5:23 PM

These guys are dumber than a bank robber who drops his wallet.

But not dumber than the cops (MEDIA) who are willfully ignorant of it.

Sonosam on November 17, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Oops. Typo
State Rep Recovery.gov
AZ 8 22 (not 32)

Making the total 880, not 890. But that’s still 440 more than actual districts – a pretty glaring error.

SouthernRoots on November 17, 2009 at 5:29 PM

taney? You still there? Hello? taney?

Ronnie on November 17, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I think is was right about here…

Wow… that list that they were showing at the link was a list that THEY created, it didn’t come from Recovery.gov. They compiled a list of their own showing the number of districts that they found to be false.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 17, 2009 at 1:24 PM

taney decided to take her butt hurt and go home…

BigWyo on November 17, 2009 at 5:35 PM

snort. Seriously, who thought this was actually going to solve any of our nations problems, anyone? Epic failure. surprise surprise surprise. I know, let’s let them run our healthcare! Whoooppppeeee!

scalleywag on November 17, 2009 at 5:35 PM

Own it, O.

It’s all yours fuggah!

Lesson: Never hire a Community ACORN Organizer to run anything. Not even a 7-11. Not even a gas station, or a trailer park, or a massage parlor, or a sandwich cart, or a hot dog stand, or a carnival ride, or a gameshow, or a dolphin exhibit, or a car company, or a bank, or a country.

Never Forget. Never Again.

No, Barack. No, You Din’t and No You Won’t. Ever Again.

Key West Reader on November 17, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Bumper Sticker:

Barack Obama: Never Forget. Never Again.

Key West Reader on November 17, 2009 at 5:37 PM

I’ll take Christmas Vacation for $1,000, Alex.

The question: what did Clark W. Griswald say when he found out that his $6.4 billion bonus was spent by Obama’s Porkulus gatekeepers to enroll him in ObaMao’s “57th state jelly of the month club”?

Send these cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sacks of monkey sh!t directly to prison.

tru2tx on November 17, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Sweet_Thang on November 17, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Yea!!!!! Congressional districts with ZERO unimployment – who says the stimulous isn’t working

sclemens on November 17, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Yea!!!!! Congressional districts with ZERO unemployment – who says the stimulous isn’t working

sclemens on November 17, 2009 at 5:46 PM

The White House can’t manage a friggin’ website, and they have the gall to demand that we let them manage health care?

Hell no. We won’t let them.

BottomLine5 on November 17, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Yep….saving and creating DISTRICTS daily!!
mmm mmm mmm

MaggieMae on November 17, 2009 at 2:24 PM

So glad to see you woke up, Maggie!!

The morning sun when its in your face…

Uh, never mind!

(ducks under desk)

Sweet_Thang on November 17, 2009 at 5:59 PM

We’ll all be seeing numbers of a different kind, but equally meaningful to Osama Obama, from those phantom districts again…next November….

MrScribbler on November 17, 2009 at 6:04 PM

Holy Shit!

Pass the Tylenol….

Sweet_Thang on November 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM

I bet NOONE is fired

Sonosam on November 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM

No, NO, NO!
I’m beginning to think Obama is trying to fool me! Please, messiah, SAVE US!!!

Cybergeezer on November 17, 2009 at 6:44 PM

In a blog posted to the White House Web site Monday, DeSeve said, “We fully agree with those who find the mistakes in the data frustrating — and we’ve been working with the Recovery Board to find the mistakes and fix them.

Fix them? You can’t fix bogus numbers, you can not white wash lies to be truths!

DSchoen on November 17, 2009 at 6:45 PM

DeSeve also went on to downplay the impact of the mistakes, calling the inaccuracies “relatively few” and claiming they do not change the “fundamental conclusions one can draw from the data.”

The “fundamental conclusions with a 10.2% unemployment and bogus numbers is that the stim plan FAILED!

And these morons think they can run heath care? Are you willing to bet your life on it? Literally bet your life?

DSchoen on November 17, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla., issued a statement saying she went onto the Web site to see for herself how the money is being spent.

“I was alarmed to see that Democrats have spent $3,582,587 to create five jobs in Florida’s 86th congressional district. In the fighting 53rd they spent $460,000 of your taxpayer dollars to create zero jobs,” she said.

Florida has 25 U.S. Congressional Districts.

DSchoen on November 17, 2009 at 6:50 PM

I hope I live long enough to see Obama have a “senior moment”. If this is the way he behaves now, it should be earth shaking!
Obama has truly turned the office of President of the United States into an office for “challenged individuals”. (Anything he does is a challenge for him).
One day we shall have a paraplegic, blind, and deaf gay imam in the White House;
I know; The one occupying this position is close.

Cybergeezer on November 17, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Hey anyone remember this!

Biden: We Will Embarrass Those Who Misuse Stimulus Funds
February 25, 2009 9:09 AM

President Obama said his vice president would oversee the implementation of the $787 billion economic stimulus package.

Obama made the announcement today before the National Governors Association in Washington, saying Biden will not only ensure that the cash is distributed, but make sure it is “also efficient and effective.”

President Obama said last night that he put Vice President Biden in charge of the White House’s oversight effort on the implementation of stimulus funds because “nobody messes with Joe.”

DSchoen on November 17, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Idiots… complete idiots…

Khun Joe on November 17, 2009 at 7:45 PM

This better make people really really angry.

Bold faced, out-right, forged data for propaganda.

This is heavy stuff. I hope people really get this.

zeromusic on November 17, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Imaginary districts
Imaginary jobs
Imaginary promises and rhetoric
from an….
Imaginary President

Nalea on November 17, 2009 at 8:02 PM

you look like a DBA

jediwebdude on November 17, 2009 at 8:12 PM

Folks, watch for those districts to become a factor in the 2010 census, and the resulting gerrymandering that will result prior to the next elections. Who thinks this administration and this congress is above creating a situation that makes another election impossible, and therefore having it postponed indefinably under some “emergency” declaration?

MikeA on November 17, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Let’s see…

Obama doesn’t know how many states are in the union.

Recovery.gov doesn’t know how many congressional districts are in each state.

Who knew that “Saturday Night Live” would be running the country?

Stepan on November 17, 2009 at 8:30 PM

This begs the question, who are these districts? Is it ACORN, SEIU, or other liberal organs that are receiving this money? Does this administration think that this is a way to funnel OUR money to his cronies with the thinking that this will fly under the radar? Is this a mistake, or are they really funneling OUR money there?
Will I wake up with a horses head, or receive a dead fish in the mail for asking this question?
I wanna know, is this mere incompetence, or something that was supposed to be over looked?

M-14 2go on November 17, 2009 at 8:31 PM

Team Obama spent $18 Million to create recovery.gov and it doesn’t work!?

TN Mom on November 17, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Team Obama spent $18 Million to create recovery.gov and it doesn’t work!?

TN Mom on November 17, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Or does it?

M-14 2go on November 17, 2009 at 8:41 PM

Exit question:

How many congress members have now run out to buy homes in those non-existent districts, so that they can take tax deductions for those non-homes in non-districts?

Yoop on November 17, 2009 at 8:48 PM

This is GRAND THEFT from the Treasury and from the taxpayers. Impeachment should have been started months ago.

If this administration “loses” 6.4 BILLION to non-existent recipients on Porkulus, what is the chance that the same administration could ever deliver medical care to the citizens who need it? Under Obamacare, can we anticipate that all of the narcotic drugs in the nation would somehow end up in Chicago?

And as for the claims that the Obamacrats would remove fraud from Medicare: Does this mean that they are going to fire themselves???

landlines on November 17, 2009 at 8:49 PM

CART BEFORE HORSE
These are the districts that will come out of the 2010 Census. The database is only one year off.

..It makes me cry to watch…

WWCathodeRay on November 17, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Someone turn off the oven, these books are cooked!!!

Gwillie on November 17, 2009 at 9:48 PM

No wonder the Demo-rat Congress Critters and Senate Scumbags are not listening to or afraid of their constituents.

They have created more NEW districts than existed before and they are probably all 100% Dem guaranteeing the Dimwit Party 90% elections forever!

And we laughed at Saddaam Husseins Iran!
Must something unique to those Hussein guys creating or saving loving , adoring, lockstep voting districts and equally loving and adoring presstitute whores!

Barrack Hussein Obama Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm! Lyin Pinnochio!

dhunter on November 17, 2009 at 10:11 PM

OOppps Sadaam Husseins IRAQ

dhunter on November 17, 2009 at 10:12 PM

I think that district in Missouri is where all the dead voters live.

flyoverland on November 17, 2009 at 10:37 PM

Um.. I represent the 101st district of Va. Please send my porkulus ASAP.

faol on November 17, 2009 at 11:15 PM

C’mon guys just let him eat his waffle.

SG1_Conservative on November 17, 2009 at 11:31 PM

where is the GAO? And, where did the money actually go?

workingforpigs on November 17, 2009 at 11:47 PM

I don’t know about you, but I heard a second stimulus is possible. So I believe I’ll change my name to “Maine’s Congressional District Twelve,” and let the good times roll.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on November 17, 2009 at 11:51 PM

Remember when Obama said “I can say the words that have never been said about a construction project – that this project has come in on-time and under-budget”

And then we found out the project hadn’t even been started!!

It is a pattern of incompetence. All the fake speeches and phony jobs data won’t put food on kitchen tables this winter. People are losing their homes to foreclosure. Hope & Change is a sham.

TN Mom on November 18, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Actually TN Mom, Hope & Change is more of a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham, than it is a sham.

13blackcats on November 18, 2009 at 12:56 AM

Hand. What Hand?

Cookie Jar. What Cookie Jar?

Caught. RAAACIST!!!11!

BigAlSouth on November 17, 2009 at 12:22 PM

soundingboard on November 18, 2009 at 1:07 AM

$6.4 billion in Porkulus money spent in phantom districts

Upon reading this the first thing that came to mind was, “That figures.”

Not at all surprising.

Yakko77 on November 18, 2009 at 3:14 AM

And yet his approval numbers are creeping up! This doesn’t make any sense at all. Is it that no ones knows about all the lying? How can people disconnect Obama from the constant dishonestly coming out of the Whitehouse.

How do people still think the guy who lies as easily as he breathes is likeable.

I liked him once, but figuring out that all his talk was a bunch of hooey changed that really fast for me.

What is wrong with 52% of Americans?

petunia on November 18, 2009 at 4:43 AM

So, who’s going to look further into this? Congress? The DOJ? The Media? ABC? Hellooooooooo? Anyone?????

Susanboo on November 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Nope, this is it, this is all the looking anyone is going to do, this is all the accountability you can expect. This is Barrack Obama ripping you off to buy America right out from under you from your congressperson and your Senator.

doriangrey on November 18, 2009 at 7:28 AM

You know who this doesn’t help?

Michelle’s children.

fossten on November 18, 2009 at 8:09 AM

according to the local news, a few more congressional districts popped up here in Colorado.

tommer74 on November 18, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Oh yeah, Palin’s the joke, while Biden runs the Stimulus plan.
I get it. That explains the made up numbers…

Now Obama is talking double dip recession, what Dick Morris has been warning us about all year.

I cannot wait until we either impeach or vote out these losers in DC.

djn on November 18, 2009 at 8:19 AM

$6.4 billion in Porkulus money spent in phantom districts?

How else would ObaMao thank the phantom (ACORN) voters who put him in office?

Disturb the Universe on November 18, 2009 at 8:35 AM

Some may feel that a $6.4 billion error is simply a rounding problem, but I recall a time when that used to be considered real money.

Anyone who has seen Office Space knows “the pennies are for everybody.”

Disturb the Universe on November 18, 2009 at 8:36 AM

I was wondering how they were going to get that stimulus money into the dems pockets.

4shoes on November 18, 2009 at 8:36 AM

It’s Bush’s fault, or rather Cheney’s – obviously they are trying to stack the electoral deck for the 2012 elections. OMG what if those phantom electors actually vote for CHENEY. Either one – quick create jobs rather than districts – this whole thing is sprialing out of control. Blame Bush, whimper.

georgeofthedesert on November 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3