Skepticism Alive and Well in Indiana
Today’s roundup of stimulus coverage:
The first round of stimulus job reports came out yesterday and with it the announcement that more than 16,000 full-time jobs have been created in Indiana. Not so fast, says Gov. Mitch Daniels and House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer. The majority of those jobs – at least 13,000 teaching and school staff jobs – weren’t “created or saved by the stimulus,” the Indianapolis Star reports. Daniels had shuffled some funds around during budget time, using stimulus funds to pay for those 13,000-plus positions in order to free up state funds to maintain the state budget surplus. “Those jobs already existed, and they wouldn’t have cut 13,000 jobs without this money,” Bauer told the Star.
The reports released yesterday, which represented less than 5 percent of the stimulus package, revealed that, more so than anywhere else in the country, the stimulus has been a major boon for the South and Southwest. The Associated Press reports that Colorado, California, Tennessee and Texas were the big winners, putting up major numbers in jobs created or saved by the stimulus. Bad news for New England, though, which reported just 750 jobs across the region.
Are you tracking the stimulus? ProPublica has set up a mailing list for reporters covering the stimulus, and you’re welcome to join .
Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.