In their explosive new book Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, Grover Norquist and John Lott, Jr. uncover a startling fact: heavily Democratic states with lower poverty rates, lower unemployment rates, lower bankruptcy rates, and lower foreclosure rates received most of President Barack Obama’s $825 billion Stimulus.
Put another way, Stimulus money went to precisely the states that needed it the least but were more politically connected to the Democratic Party.
As Norquist and Lott’s data reveal:
There is a perverse pattern: The states hardest hit by the recession received the least money. States with higher bankruptcy, foreclosure, and unemployment rates got less money. And higher-income states received more. Obama may have claimed that he was motivated to help out those in the toughest shape, but it looks more likely that Democrats were more interested in helping their supporters.
In Debacle, Norquist and Lott catalog the stunning degree to which Stimulus funds were allocated to the very states that needed them least. For example, richer states got more, not less, Stimulus money. For every additional $1,000 in a state’s per-capita income, a state received an average $86 more per capita in Stimulus money.
Furthermore, states with high foreclosure rates got less, not more, money. Specifically, for every percentage point increase in a state’s foreclosure rate, a state received $217 less per person.
The amounts given to states ranged widely. For example, while Florida only received $553 per capita, the District of Columbia walked away with $3,745 per capita. And as Norquist and Lott reveal, “The patterns early show that the money went to the places the Democrats represented.”
The folly of the federal government’s misappropriation of funds can best be summed up with a quote from an Obama Administration official whom Norquist and Lott interviewed for their penetrating book. As she explained, where government spends taxpayers’ money doesn’t matter because “giving out money is good for everyone.”