Friday, January 30, 2009

Some States Are Getting Screwed by the Stimulus

The Wall Street Journal released a cool map today that shows how much money per capita is going to each state. One might think that Congress would divy up the money based on how bad the recession was in individual states, but you would be wrong.

Which state is getting the most money per capita? Utah! The same Utah that is currently enjoying an unemployment rate of 4.3%, better than 45 other states.

What about Utah's neighboring state of Nevada with it's unemployment rate of 9.1% (5th worst in the country)? It will receive the 3rd LEAST amount of money. Odd how a Republican state is getting the lion's share (and voted No), but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's state is getting screwed.

How about North Dakota with it's 3.5% unemployment? Well, it's getting the 3rd MOST amount of money. Surely, Florida, with it's skyrocketing unemployment (up from 4.9% to 8.1% in just 9 months) is getting it's fair share? Don't be silly, it's getting the least!

Let's dig a little deeper and find where the vaunted "Infrastructure investments" are going. One would think that infrastructure spending would go to states with large population growth rates to accomodate future needs. Using the WSJ map, you can toggle and see where that money is going. Of course, one would be wrong!

Which states are getting the largest proportional "investment" in their infrastructure? The booming populations of Wyoming and North Dakota! You know North Dakota, it's the one with fewer people now than in the 1930's.

Surely, one of these fast growing states is nearer the top: Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and North Carolina. No, these are actually the bottom 6! Or perhaps California with it's notorious congestion? No, it's the 7th least! How about fast growing Texas? No, it's the 10th least.

Looking at the map, it is generally states with the lowest population growth rates getting the most money per capita: The Great Plains, the Northeast, Alaska, Arkansas, Oklahoma...

Thank goodness we have the brightest minds dishing out this money.

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