As previously discussed, the devil always resides in the details of a large appropriations bill from Congress and the Stimulus is no exception.
Now Congress is trying to ascertain which jobs would be ready to go, shovel ready or quickly created from the upcoming Stimulus package.
Aha! Earmarks are banned you say? No problem say the lobbyists!
It won't be in legislative language that overtly sets aside money for them. That's the infamous practice known as earmarking, which Obama and Democratic congressional leaders have agreed to nix for the massive stimulus package, expected to come up for a House vote this week.
Instead, the money will be doled out according to arcane formulas spelled out in the bill and in some cases based on the decisions of Obama administration officials, governors and state and local agencies that will choose the projects.
Uh huh. So where are these arcane formulas to determine which projects, companies, states get the money?
Indeed, lobbyists are scambling to define ready to go projects to grab that piece of cake. (Godfather part II anyone?)
So, while Sen. Mitch McConnell claims many projects won't pass the smell test, precisely which smell test are we talking about here?
The one that emanates from Congress, state and city governments or from corporate lobbyists including ones representing foreign interests?
If the Obama administration wants to prove U.S. taxpayer money is being used wisely, not only should there be a requirement for the hiring of U.S. citizens, perm residents for these jobs, but also the details of why each contract, each state was awarded the money.