Your tax dollars at work

By Tom Quiner

Wendy Greuel: "I'm disappointed ..."

I’d like to introduce you to Wendy Greuel, the Los Angeles City Controller. She issued a press release on Thursday with this headline:

“City controller releases audits of how Los Angeles has used federal stimulus money.  $111 million in ARRA Funds has only created 55 jobs so far.”

ARRA  stands for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or to the layman, stimulus funds. Ms. Greuel is a Democrat. What is remarkable is her candor:

“DPW has received $70.65 million and created or retained 45.46 jobs, though they are expected to create 238 jobs overall (the fraction of a job created or retained correlates to the number of actual hours worked).  LADOT has been awarded $40.8 million and created or retained 9 jobs, though they are expected to create 26 jobs overall.  Overall, the Departments have received $111 million in federal stimulus funds out of the $594 million the City has been awarded so far and created or retained 54.46 jobs.”

Notice the precision of her numbers.  She has calculated the job creation (or lack thereof) down to the percentage of a job. Ms. Greuel should be commended for her politically-incorrect honesty:

“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million in ARRA funds.  With our local unemployment rate over 12% we need to do a better job cutting the red tape and putting Angelenos back to work. While it doesn’t appear that any of the ARRA funds were misspent, the City needs to do a better job expediting the process and creating jobs.  We’re going to continue to audit how these funds are spent, to ensure that they are expended quickly and correctly.  I’m pleased that since our auditors completed their field work, the Departments have begun to implement the changes we identified to help get this money out the door faster.”

Nonetheless, Ms.Greuel doesn’t blame the concept of top-down stimulus dollars, only its implementation. From her perspective, the answer is to cut red tape and get the dollars out the door more quickly.

Here’s the bottom line: the Democrats took $111 million of our dollars and created 55 jobs.  That calculates out to $2 million per job.

Christine O'Donnell: "... a rowdy revolution of reason."

The goal was to create 264 jobs, which still calculates out to a ridiculous $420,454 per job.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The insanity of profligacy by our elected officials explains the “rowdy revolution of reason”, also known as the Tea Party Movement. By the way, I attribute the quote to Christine O’Donnell, the upstart primary winner in Delaware who the media and Republican establishment are so quick to dismiss.

I’m not so sure I’d be so quick to dismiss candidates with the Tea Party behind them in light of the inane waste of tax payer money in Los Angeles.