Why there’s so little spending data on Recovery.gov


Because apparently, there’s not all that much spending yet:

Only a small part of the spending authorized by ARRA has occurred so far. It appears that about 5 percent, or about $19 billion, of the approximately $380 billion in budget authority for 2009 granted under the law was spent through the end of April. (Reported expenditures of $29 billion include $11 billion in federal transfers into the unemployment insurance fund, most of which has not yet been distributed to recipients.)

That’s a Congressional Budget Office estimate, via a report by David Lightman of McClatchy.

I’m going to be digging a little more deeply into Recovery data (or the lack thereof) Friday and more next week, but it makes me wonder: Are we looking at the wrong thing here? It’s been a while since I read deconstructionists (and I’m not pretending I ever understood them), but I think we’re a little too fixated on the signifier, and not the object to which the signifier refers.