Bloated, manufactured, fudged, inaccurate, misleading, unverifiable, and fraudulent are a few of the words that come to mind when trying to determine where and how the stimulus money is being allocated. If you are looking for a set of hard and fast rules for the disbursement of these funds, the protocols are well summarized by the assistant secretary for management at the Department of Treasury in an interview with Investigative Reporting Workshop of American University
There are no restrictions on the use of the funds, Dan Tangherlini, an assistant secretary for management at the Department of Treasury, said,…Funds under this program have virtually no strings attached,…These stimulus dollars could just pad the bottom line of companies and the majority of the funding is going to the subsidiaries of foreign firms.
The key here is, no strings attached. Perhaps the first knee-jerk reaction would be to accuse the White House of committing an egregious act against American workers by providing this stimulus money to foreign companies. The counter argument is that these foreign companies have subsidiaries in the United States, so they should be eligible for this free money. Both arguments have merit, but the Obama administration, that wants to take over the American health care system, cannot clearly establish rules dictating that any foreign companies receiving American taxpayer money must allocate that money to benefit their American subsidiaries only. Since this is not the case, these foreign companies, as stated above, can use the stimulus money to pad the bottom-line of their parent companies, leaving the intended recipients of these funds without. Oh, by the way, the intended recipients are American workers. So, the result is that hundreds of millions of American taxpayer dollars are being sent oversees to improve the world economy, not the American economy. Take a glimpse for yourself.
An MSNBC report, U.S. stimulus deal buoys U.K. factory’s workers, shows the following:
On Aug. 5, Obama unveiled plans that would allow Navistar to receive $39 million in federal money to build electric battery-powered commercial trucks with Modec…But while Navistar and Modec eventually plan to establish manufacturing facilities in the United States, the first batch of their battery-powered vehicles will come off the shop floor in England, not America…The deal will eventually create up to 700 jobs in the U.S… Navistar’s spokesman Roy Wiley also declined to say when exactly the vehicles would start being produced in the United States. “I won’t respond to timeline questions,” he said. “We’ll start production when we start production.”…Matt Rogers, the Department of Energy’s senior adviser in implementing the Recovery Act program, said the Modec-Navistar deal makes good sense for Americans.
John Waters, the chief executive of Anderson, Ind.-based Bright Automotive, an American manufacturer, stated
(Obama) is giving money to U.S. companies importing vehicles and not exporting them. There is a contradiction there in terms of image and messaging.
The Washington Post report, Foreign Firms Eye Stimulus Dollars, states:
Foreign nations and companies are stepping up their lobbying efforts in Washington and in state capitals…foreign companies, trade ministries and business groups are proceeding cautiously for fear of stoking nationalistic objections from U.S. lawmakers and their constituents. Lobbyists and consultants hired by the companies are warning them to proceed carefully and to emphasize that any contracts would lead to jobs in the United States rather than overseas…If a foreign firm received a stimulus-related contract, most of the wages and product purchases would stay within the United States. But some portion, perhaps up to 40 percent, could leave the country, trade experts said.
Investigative Reporting Workshop reports again in, Overseas firms collecting most green energy money, and discovered the following:
…of the $1.05 billion in clean-energy grants handed out by the government since Sept. 1, 84 percent – a total of $849 million – has gone to foreign wind companies. Spanish utility company, Iberdrola S.A., alone has collected $545 million through its American subsidiary…
European companies, in particular, are well positioned to collect stimulus benefits for clean energy…Obama is well aware of America’s role as an energy innovator slipping while foreign competitors have taken the lead. At a campaign event in Portsmouth, N.H. in October 2007, the president noted that technologies invented in America – like wind turbines, solar panels, and compact fluorescent bulbs – are being developed overseas and sold back to American consumers.
Here’s how the stimulus money for green energy development was distributed:
…first round , ..$499.9 million going to wind developers. Of that, $342.6 million went to two foreign companies – the renewable energy subsidiary of Spanish utility Iberdrola ($294.8 million) and the American subsidiary of Portugese utility EDP Renováveis ($47.7 million)…British private equity firm Terra Firma bought Everpower Wind Holdings, one of two American companies that would receive grants on Sept. 1. The newly British-owned company received $42.2 million in cash…second round…$464.2 million dedicated to wind. All of it went to the subsidiaries of foreign companies – Iberdrola ($250.9 million), Japanese utility Eurus Energy’s American subsidiary ($91.3 million) and German utility E.on Climate and Renewables ‘ American subsidiary ($121.9 million).
So how does the allocation of this stimulus money to foreign companies immediately benefit Americans? As reported,
…in the case of these 11 wind farms, according to data provided by the companies themselves in regulatory filings and collected by the American Wind Energy Association, 982 turbines were installed – 695 of them were manufactured by a foreign company…Using the Renewable Energy Policy Project’s own numbers, as many as 4,500 manufacturing jobs may have been created overseas…other manufacturers, even American-owned ones, have begun building supply chains in countries with cheaper labor costs to provide the thousands of parts that may finally be assembled in the United States.
It appears that the Obama administration will move forward with the unwritten policy to destroy American manufacturing and turn the American workforce into a bunch of service-oriented, value-adding, non-producing pencil pushers. If the immediate goal of the stimulus was to get Americans working again in the private sector, he could have made this money available to American small businesses directly. Instead, the White House provides endless amounts of interest-free money to the banking industry to lend to small businesses. How is that well conceived plan working out? It’s not. Banks are hoarding most the money to cover their gambling losses, while portions of it are being used to invest abroad and portions are used to continue playing the high-stakes poker game called derivatives trading. Small business are getting snubbed by the banks and are unable to obtain the once available short-term funds they once depended on. Maybe those surviving the carnage will learn not to depend on the monetary leeches/parasites of society.
Small business is the backbone of American employment and I cannot believe the White House and Congress are so clueless as not to inject money directly and immediately into American small businesses. Additionally, with the lack of oversight and accountability within all governmental agencies, how can it be expected that stimulus money can even be allocated effectively and efficiently. I can only conclude that this White House and Congress will support employment initiatives that further grow government jobs, green jobs that don’t exist, or further proliferate the swelling ranks of the unemployed and continue de-incentivizing the unemployed by extending unemployment benefits indefinitely. It seems that the Obama administration has figured out the perfect recipe for building a constituency.