How much of Porkulus has the Obama administration spent?

When Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi jammed the stimulus bill down the throat of the GOP in February, they insisted that the country didn’t have time for a more careful and open debate over the merits of their approach.  They needed to kick-start the economy now, and the time had passed for deliberation to determine the most effective methods of stimulating the economy.  Now, two months later, the New York Times reports that they have spent 5% of the package, and that states will start laying off thousands:

Nearly three months after President Obama approved a $787 billion economic stimulus package, intended to create or save jobs, the federal government has paid out less than 6 percent of the money, largely in the form of social service payments to states.

Although administration officials say the program is right on schedule, they have actually spent relatively little so far. …

The intent of the stimulus program was to pump money into the economy quickly, and many members of Congress said at the time of its passage that speed was of the essence. But the huge program has been a challenge to administer for both a new administration and for states and local governments grappling with their own fiscal problems.

Some states and cities are beginning to complain that the money has yet to reach them.

Spend in haste, go broke at leisure.  That seems to be the motto of Democrats these days.

Republicans warned that the package passed by Congress was too unwieldy to be effective.  The real stimulus items only amounted to a small percentage of Porkulus.  It mainly consisted of long-term Democratic Party agenda items, none of which could roll out quickly and none of which would stimulate the economy in the short run.  The GOP wanted to slow down the process to split the real stimulus into a fast-track bill of around $180 billion and leave the rest for debate, which would have allowed the government to handle the stimulus with more efficiency.

Once again, the Republicans have been vindicated by the results.  The economy has not been stimulated; retail sales continue to decline, housing foreclosures continue to skyrocket, and unemployment keeps moving up.  The latter will get even worse if the states don’t get the stimulus money they need to keep bureaucratic jobs open.

But what does the administration say about this?  They claim everything’s hunky-dory, while Joe Biden is happy to play with his toy choo-choos:

Obama administration officials, however, say the pace of the stimulus program is on schedule, and even if the federal checks are not yet in the mail the effects of the stimulus are beginning to reverberate: the promise of the federal money has been enough to get states to start construction work and to retain some jobs that were in jeopardy.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who writes in a report on the stimulus bill to be released this week that it remains “ahead of schedule in most programs,” said in a telephone interview Tuesday that the bill was helping people grapple with the recession, getting money to the states and into the economy, and laying a foundation for long-term aspirations like high-speed rail.

High-speed rail will wind up being the poster project for this administration; it will be much like John Murtha’s subsidized airport that almost no one uses.  We’ll spend billions of dollars to make trains arrive a few minutes earlier than they do now, with the same inadequate number of riders, requiring even more government subsidies in the future.