Jake Tapper finds $27 million=$59,000


I am still playing around with the spread sheet of the 100 projects, which I’ll be posting in some form (probably Dabble) in a bit. Right now I’m looking to see if I can find any of these projects listed on Recovery.gov, the agency Recovery Web pages, FedBizOpps.gov, USASpending.gov, and other places. Not sure I’ll do this for all 100 projects.

In the mean time, it’s well worth looking at this post from Jake Tapper, which probably explains this as well — the dollar figures in the report don’t necessarily have any relationship to the projects being described. After quoting a description of a project that’s listed as spending $27 million to upgrade Regency House in D.C., Tapper writes:

In reality, the work done on the Regency House that was funded by the stimulus package amounted to $59,000 in parts and labor, according to Dena Michaelson, director of public affairs for the Washington DC Housing Authority.

The $27 million is the total amount given by the stimulus act to the Washington DC Housing Authority, the vast majority of which hasn’t been spent.

In addition, though the White House’s “100 Days, 100 Projects” entry for the Regency House work lists “solar panels, a ‘green’ roof, a rainwater collection system, energy-efficient lighting as well as water conserving toilets, showerheads, and faucets” as what was done as “part of the upgrade,” the only parts funded by the stimulus were the solar panels, at a cost of $45,000, and the rainwater collection system, at a cost of $14,000.

The response of the White House to questions about the claim in the book evoked a critique of journalists.

Liz Oxhorn, Recovery Act Press Secretary, said in a statement that the Regency House work is “one of thousands of targeted investments we’re making nationwide to jumpstart new and ongoing energy efficiency renovations to public housing units and we only wish the same amount of time and energy that has gone into dissecting the structure of three sentences had gone into exploring the billions of dollars in new job-creating projects like this one now underway thanks to the Recovery Act.”

Hey, we’d love to explore the billions of dollars in new job-creating projects — just give us the data!

As for the report, it reads sort of like Joe Biden forget when it was due, pulled an all-nighter doing Google and Nexus searches, and slapped it together at the last minute…