Posts Tagged ‘federal spending’

Those are some high-paying green jobs

Written by Jeff Johnson on May 6th, 2010. Posted in General

Federal stimulus spending in Hennepin County has created or retained almost 2600 jobs – at $276,000 a pop

We received a report regarding ARRA stimulus spending in Hennepin County at our board meeting on Tuesday.  According to the most recent report prepared by Hennepin County covering the period through December 31, 2009:  “More than $718 million in Recovery Act dollars funded as many as 726 projects at more than 200 different organizations and agencies across Hennepin County.”  Total number of jobs created or retained as a result:  2599.62.

That translates to a little over $276,000 per job created or retained (and that is using what has proven to be a VERY generous method of calculating jobs created or retained).

I understand that some of that $718M has not been spent yet, so more jobs might very well be created or retained (heck, maybe we can get the number down to $150K per job), but the stimulus was sold to America last spring as a way to immediately pump hundreds of billions into the economy and address the rising unemployment rate.  We were told to judge the stimulus on the massive number of jobs it would create in the short-term.

At $276K a pop, it hasn’t proven a very wise investment in the short-term.  But then again, what do we care – we’re leaving the bill for the next couple generations anyway.

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Government Doesn’t Have Enough Money

Written by Jeff Johnson on February 23rd, 2010. Posted in Golden Hydrant

Golden Hydrant goes to Feds for spending $145 Million on stupid TV commercials to market Census 2010goldenhydrant

As I was paying bills the other night during the Olympics, I saw yet another of those annoying 2010 U.S. Census commercials and decided – as I was grumbling about government waste under my breath – that it was time to award another Golden Fire Hydrant.

The U.S. government is spending $340 million to market the 2010 Census. About $145 million of that is for the creation and airing of television commercials, which can be seen during the most expensive time slots in TV (including a $2.5 million 30-second spot during the Super Bowl).

The ads stink, by anyone’s definition. They use marginally famous actors in a painfully unsuccessful attempt to be humorous. They share practically no useful information (not even telling viewers to fill out their census forms) and are unlikely to convince anyone who is opposed to or disinterested in completing the form to do so.

The Hydrant usually goes to a Hennepin County expenditure and, in the past, I have avoided calling out federal programs (as I would be posting on wasteful spending four times a day). But the combination of paying my bills and seeing one of these annoying multi-million dollar commercials for the umpteenth time put me over the edge.

Millions in Stimulus for Subsidized Bikes, Helmets and Walking Shoes

Written by Jeff Johnson on October 21st, 2009. Posted in General

“Sorry kids, but we had to mortgage your future.  Here, have a bike helmet.”

Yesterday, the Hennepin County Board on a 6-1 vote, requested federal stimulus funds in the amount of $10,000,000 for a program called “Communities Putting Prevention to Work.” Although we have not been granted these funds yet, there was great optimism that we will receive them based upon the strength of our proposed program and the desire of the federal government to fund projects like this.

The funds would be used throughout suburban Hennepin County “to address obesity, physical activity and nutrition through sustainable, proven approaches such as policy, systems, organizational and environmental changes in communities.”

Included in the request: $2.7 million for “subsidized bicycles, helmets, walking shoes and transit passes.”