Follow the Money

Any government spending spree, whether it’s the one taking place at the federal level or like the one engaged in by Iowa’s legislative Democrats, is bound to result in waste. If there’s no transparency for how the money is being spent, there’s no accountability to make sure that it is being spent wisely.

A story today brings one example of this issue to light. ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper followed the money being spent as part of the federal stimulus plan. The White House issued a report called “100 Days, 100 Projects” which details how the stimulus money is being spent on 100 different projects.

Tapper’s article today focuses on Project #55, which just happens to be in Davenport. The article states:

Project #55 in the report states that: “With the help of Recovery Act funding, Zeglin’s Home TV & Appliance, a locally-owned and operated company, is currently replacing stoves in Public Housing units in Davenport, Iowa, with American-made Whirlpool appliances.”

The reality: Zeglins TV & Appliance, Inc. in Davenport, recently placed an order for 160 stoves and refrigerators for public housing.

The order “is certainly helping an independent businessman like myself keep making payroll,” owner Jeff Zeglin told ABC News.

But… this was a project that had already been approved by Davenport city council to be paid for by federal monies, Margaret Murphy the Assisted Housing Manager for the city, tells ABC News.

When the stimulus bill passed, some astute city workers realized they could have some of that order paid for by the stimulus because of the American steel used in the stoves.

So the city of Davenport submitted $13,000 for 42 stoves (and installation) paid for by the stimulus.

The point is: those stoves would have been purchased and installed anyway.

The full article and a video can be found here: link