Cheers to USA Today: 'Billions In (Stimulus) Aid Go to Areas That Backed Obama in 08'

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
He's Got It
Is this what Time magazine meant with their July 6th cover, What Barack Obama Can Learn From FDR?

Not one to let "a serious crisis to go to waste," Franklin Delano Roosevelt used the onset of the Great Depression as an excuse to immediately begin delivering New Deal dollars in unprecedented amounts - with laser-like political precision to electorally important parts of the country.  He sailed to landslide reelection in 1936 on a federally-funded tailwind.

The New Deal is now an old one - as direct mail guru Richard Viguerie describes it, "We've got money, you've got votes, let's talk." If this is what Time had in mind for Obama to learn, he has proven to be an apt pupil. 

And USA Today seems to have picked up on it. 

We at the Media Research Center always love to give journalistic credit when and where it is due. And the USA Today today deserves serious credit for Brad Heath's look into how:

"Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election."

That quote is in fact the first sentence of the article.  No burying the lede or mincing of words here. 

A little later, Mr. Heath offers:

"Counties that supported Obama last year have reaped twice as much money per person from the administration's $787 billion economic stimulus package as those that voted for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, a USA TODAY analysis of government disclosure and accounting records shows.

"...  The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34."

And it seems that voting Democrat - not just voting for Obama - pays off handsomely when it comes to tapping into the tax dollar spigot.

 "The imbalance didn't start with the stimulus. From 2005 through 2007, the counties that later voted for Obama collected about 50% more government aid than those that supported McCain, according to spending reports from the U.S. Census Bureau."

NewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
So Do They
According to USA Today, if you vote Donkey, they will repay you - literally, with other people's money.

There is a bit of a labeling issue for Mr. Heath and Company when it comes to source citation, or lack thereof. 

"Investigators who track the stimulus are skeptical that political considerations could be at work. The imbalance is so pronounced — and the aid so far from complete — that it would be almost inconceivable for it to be the result of political tinkering, says Adam Hughes, the director of federal fiscal policy for the non-profit OMB Watch. 'Even if they wanted to, I don't think the administration has enough people in place yet to actually do that,' he says."

We are not informed by Mr. Heath that OMB Watch is a left-wing organization, according to the right-wing (we here at NewsBusters I.D.) Capital Research Center, whose job it is to track left-wing organizations. 

Which may help explain the absurd assertion that "the imbalance is so pronounced... that it would be almost inconceivable for it to be the result of political tinkering."  Wouldn't "political tinkering" actually go a long way towards explaining the pronounced imbalance in how the money has thus far been disbursed?  It's hardly "inconceivable" to think so.  They would have done well to have let us know the leanings of Mr. Hughes and OMB Watch.

That being said, the USA Today and Mr. Heath deserve hosannas for delivering these goods to their audience.  A moment of journalistic clarity in an otherwise foggy media world.  

Seton Motley
Seton Motley
Founder and president of Less Government.