The stimulus bill spawned scads of sweetheart deals, you say? Where’s your evidence?
Mitt Romney and his pals want Americans to believe that President Obama’s stimulus legislation has been tainted by all manner of sweetheart arrangements and downright fraud.
But there’s one problem with that contention: It’s false.
Michael Grunwald EXPLAINS:
Overall, the federal government has distributed over $800 billion in stimulus money. Where are the sweetheart deals? Where are the actual outrages that are provoking outrage? During the debate over the stimulus, experts warned that as much as 5% to 7% of the stimulus could be lost to fraud. But by the end of 2011, independent investigators had documented only $7.2 million in fraud, about 0.001%. As I’ve written, reasonable people can disagree whether the stimulus was a good thing, but it’s definitely been a well-managed thing.
That will still be true even if it turns out that one of over 200,000 stimulus contracts was in fact steered to somebody’s friend or family. And it will still be true even if another stimulus-funded company fails before Election Day…There’s a legitimate debate to be had about the Obama Administration’s green industrial policy, but the current debate over “crony capitalism” is a debate over a fantasy stimulus. Even Congressman Darrell Issa, the GOP’s chief Solyndra investigator, admitted after a year of relentless digging that there was no there there. “Is there criminal activity? Perhaps not,” he said. “Is there a political influence and connections? Perhaps not.”