Government Office Building’s Solar Array Is A Half-Million Dollar Metaphor For Failure

Solar panels and pipe dreams

Is there a more perfect metaphor for the dead-end pipe-dream thinking of "green jobs" spending than the solar panel array, purchased with $550,000 of federal economic stimulus funds, outside the renovated Dillards building on West Capitol?* What was once a corporate headquarters has been repurposed as an environmentally friendly office building for state agencies.The building opened  in 2010, and touted with great fanfare as a monument to green construction and 21st century efficiency. But … [Read more...]

More Stimulus Snafus: Arkansas Green Jobs Training Program a Bust! (Updated!)

The vanity of human wishes

We've been conducting an ongoing exploration of how economic stimulus funds from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("Booooo! Hisssssss!"—Me) have been spent in Arkansas, based on the most recent report from the state Recovery office. What we've seen thus far has not presented a strong case for the efficacy of stimulus measures. For instance, on Tuesday we looked at the shortcomings of U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) stimulus funding, which DOE's own inspector general declared to be … [Read more...]

Behold The Despair Of Arkansas Economic Stimulus Spending!

Screen Shot 2011-11-14 at 12.23.42 PM

Here it is a Monday in November and you're just sitting there thinking, "Gee, I wonder how Arkansas is doing on spending its share of economic stimulus funding, as provided under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)? If only there were some way for me to check on that!" I know that is probably what you are thinking, right now. Hey, lookee there! The state recently issued its latest quarterly progress report on stimulus spending in Arkansas (PDF), and it is just a testament … [Read more...]

Post-Mortem: The Cash for Clunkers Flop!

I was told there would be no math.

Let's return to those halcyon days of 2009. Things were simpler then, weren't they? Our nation's city centers weren't occupied; Conan O'Brien was kicking off what I'm sure will be a multi-decade run hosting the iconic "Tonight Show"; and a brash young president took office and restored our sense of hope by crushing the shit out of a bunch of cars. You recall Cash for Clunkers, right? The Washington Post Wonkblog's Brad Plumer points us to this handy study that provides the last word on that … [Read more...]

Let Us Rejoice, For the American Jobs Act is Here!

Obama's all about the benjamins.

Remember last week when President Obama made a big jobs speech, detailing how he was going to, uh, make jobs happen? I don't either! But it must have happened, because here's a White House list of all the remarkable and amazing ways (opens as PDF) in which the "American Jobs Act" will build a brighter future for you and your loved ones right here in Arkansas. What's in there? I'll tell you what's in there: More money for teachers! Money for highways and stuff! Extended unemployment … [Read more...]

I Am Starting to Think This Economic Stimulus Stuff Did Not Amount to Much

Your stimulus tax dollars at work

At a legislative hearing Wednesday to review how Arkansas has spent its share of federal economic stimulus dollars, Democratic Sen. Larry Teague invited state finance officials to tell the committee “how much good we did with that money.” I’m pretty sure he must have been joking. This fine write-up from John Lyon of the Arkansas News Bureau details the damage. As the stimulus program winds down (most funding will be exhausted by the end of September, as scheduled), the state has spent some … [Read more...]