Stimulating Los Angeles: Porkulus’ cost per job

September 18, 2010

It’s already an old story with the 2009 “stimulus package,” but this report on the number of jobs created here in Los Angeles by Porkulus and what they each cost is just appalling:

More than a year after Congress approved $800 billion in stimulus funds, the Los Angeles city controller has released a 40-page report on how the city spent its share, and the results are not living up to expectations.

“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,” said Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller. “With our local unemployment rate over 12 percent we need to do a better job cutting red tape and putting Angelenos back to work.”

According to the audit, the Los Angeles Department of Public Works spent $70 million in stimulus funds — in return, it created seven private sector jobs and saved seven workers from layoffs. Taxpayer cost per job: $1.5 million.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation created even fewer jobs per dollar, spending $40 million but netting just nine jobs. Taxpayer cost per job: $4.4 million.

They’d have earned a better return on their investment (with our money) by going to Vegas and betting it all at the roulette wheel.

Heckuva job, Mr. President.

(And, hey, wasn’t Sheriff Joe supposed to keep watch to make sure the money wasn’t wasted? I’d swear I remember something about that… )

via The Flash Report


First the race card, now the Palin card?

September 18, 2010

At Hot Air’s Green Room, Doc Zero has a great article on the suggestion that the administration try to save the Democrats’ electoral chances by directly attacking Sarah Palin, supposedly because her social conservatism is such polarizing factor that it would enliven the Democrats’ own base of voters. Doc’s response? “Go ahead, try it:”

He’s right that low-key, largely unknown politicians like Boehner and Cantor don’t make very good targets for the politics of personal destruction.  The effort to inflate stuff Boehner into a Darth Vader costume over the past few weeks was comical.  If the Democrats want to run some more plays out of Alinsky’s faded old handbook, they’ll need to focus on someone exciting.

Palin is linked to other high-profile female candidates, like Sharon Angle and Christine O’Donnell, so she looks like an inviting target.  The subtext of the media narrative Democrats are trying to spin is that outspoken female conservatives are somehow unnatural.  Comfortable, maternal leftism is the natural philosophy of caring women, you see, and the State is their only ally in the quest to shatter those increasingly transparent glass ceilings.  A woman who would enlist in the heavy infantry of the regressive fundamentalist Republicans must be crazy.

I hope the White House takes Ambinder’s advice, because it would be suicidal.  His crack about Palin’s “reveling in the culture wars” betrays his ignorance.  He is confused by the details of her biography, and the sincere affection she earns from her admirers.  His Palin Card is drawn from the wrong suit.  She’s the Queen of Diamonds, not the Queen of Hearts.  Her most impressive statements over the last two years have been on matters of economics, policy, and politics. She has shredded the Administration over health care, the Gulf oil spill, and unrestrained government spending.  She’s endorsed dozens of primary candidates, with something like a 70% success rate.  Her most notable clashes with “culture” have involved asking it to stop making rape jokes about her daughters.

If you want to criticize someone for reveling in culture wars, I suggest you take a look at the power-drunk clowns tossing around gigantic bills that “control the people” right down to the menus at fast-food restaurants.  Just wait until they start rolling out the class-war arguments for higher taxes to sustain their frenzied spending.  That will be some serious revelry.

The statement I highlighted above is key to my support of the former governor, for I’m neither a social nor a religious conservative (the two often overlap, but aren’t necessarily the same). Her positions on the role of government and federalism, on fiscal policy and free markets, on foreign policy and national defense, on energy policy, and on the exceptionalism of America itself all ring true for me. And, though I mostly don’t share it, I admire her religious faith for the confidence and strength of character it gives her. Sarah Palin has something sorely lacking in the current administration: integrity.

And there are evidently a lot of Americans who share my opinion. Sure, her favorable/unfavorable numbers are upside down right now, but I ascribe that to a concerted Democrat and MSM effort to destroy her because they recognize the political threat she poses to their power. As more and more people see her by means unfiltered and unprocessed by the mainstream media (aka, The DNC Marketing Department), I’m convinced those numbers will move in the opposite direction.

It’s not as if the Democrats and their allies haven’t tried this Alinsky trick of trying to distract the electorate by focusing on a  figure and demonizing him or her before:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

They’ve tried it with Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, FOX News, and others. They’ve even tried it before on Sarah Palin. Each time it failed as the democratic free marketplace of ideas, the Internet, provided a corrective by exposing their tactics and leaving them looking like fools. And now they may be thinking of doing it again? To the woman who has brought down two Alaska dynasties, single-handedly thrown a spanner into the ObamaCare machine with just a Facebook post, and been a one-woman Title IX bringing new blood into the political arena? Seriously?

Go ahead, then, Team Obama. Play that card. Throw her into that briar patch.

ADDENDUM: Someone will, almost inevitably, bring up her resignation: Doesn’t that make her show weakness of character? When she resigned, I’ll admit I was depressed and dejected, and the word “quitter” loomed large in my mind. But, rather than accept the conventional wisdom, I looked at the local Alaska political situation and the fatal flaw in their ethics law (that an accused politician must pay for her own defense, no matter how frivolous the charge), read her own explanation, and was satisfied she had logical reasons for it. Thus, for me, it became a non-issue, though I accept that others might disagree. For those interested, Mark Levin recorded a defense of Sarah Palin over her resignation. Conservatives for Palin provides their defense in the form of four dialogues.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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