Tennessee’s Stimulus Share Stimulates Government, not Economy


By: Warner Todd Huston

My good friend, Ken Marrero over at Blue Collar Muse, did some interesting research into where the money from Tennessee’s share of the so-called stimulus payoff ends up going. Ken notes that there is a lot of money floating around but little of it goes to stimulate the economy. In fact, it seems that the lion’s share goes to government and its grasping needs as opposed to the economy.

According to Marrero, The Volunteer State stands to have a windfall of $3,779,708,000 thanks to the pork-laden bill passed by Congress and President Obama. The list of payouts is impressive, but it really does show that only a small amount of the total could be considered an economic stimulant.

The list of recipients is instructive:

  • $771,610,000 on Education
  • $171,678,000 on “General Purpose”
  • $1,100,000,000 for Medicaid
  • $10,200,000 for the Foster Care system
  • $71,988,000 to mass transit capital grants
  • $20,394,000 to “clean water” programs
  • $57,814,000 to drinking water programs
  • $97,467,000 to something called “weatherization”
  • $59,065,000 to the state energy program
  • $7,199,000 for immunization
  • $2,614,000 for elderly nutrition
  • $41,932,000 to child care
  • $19,699,000 to the shadowy idea of “community services”
  • $2,069,000 to the “temporary emergency food assistance program”
  • $2,064,000 for emergency food and shelter
  • $11,500,000 for vocational rehabilitation
  • $174,210,000 for K thru 12 education
  • $50,386,000 for school improvement
  • $236,163,000 goes to the individuals with disabilities act

… well, this is just a tiny slice of the list that Marrero gives us — he also goes into detail about the items above. What his work does show is that few of these projects are economic projects. Instead what they are is grist for the mill of big government. Little of this money seems to be going to the economy in the form of helping business, assisting people with loans, or creating solid, long-term jobs.

In summation, Marrero says:

Our totals are quite interesting. Of our total $3,779,708,000 – $1,246,017 goes to various Education programs, $1,100,000,000 goes to Medicaid leaving just $1,433,691,000 to spend on everything else. Almost two thirds of the money is excluded from stimulating the Economy in just two general items. Of the monies left, $771,282,000 also fails to stimulate the Economy, $662,409,000 falls under the “Maybe” category and only $12,979,000 has the appearance of true Stimulus spending.

But Tennessee is no different than any other state in this regard. Obama and his minions in Congress did nothing to stimulate a flagging economy. This bill is meant for one thing and one thing only: to enlarge government and infuse the people’s money into dubious programs of little worth as a way to self-perpetuate government.

This porkulus bill is more proof than ever that we now have a government of the government, by government, and for the government. And like cancer it grows to kill its host.

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