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Waste, Fraud in "Stimulus" Can't Be Reported
Posted by Rep. John Boehner on May 21, 2009 | comments
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Two interesting articles today from the Columbus Dispatch and the Washington Post.

The Dispatch reports that Ohio’s website for tracking “stimulus” money from the massive government-spending package approved in February lacks even the most basic tool for citizens to report waste and fraud. 

“Ohioans who want to report fraud or waste as the state spends millions in federal stimulus money might have a hard time figuring out whom to call.

“The state is one of 36 that have no guidelines on their recovery-tracking Web sites for reporting abuse, according to the Project on Government Oversight, an independent nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., that investigates government corruption.”

The Washington Post today reported that the much touted transparency for the “stimulus” program is not all it’s cracked up to be. 

According to the Post:

To build support for the stimulus package, President Obama vowed unprecedented transparency, a big part of which, he said, would be allowing taxpayers to track money to the street level on Recovery.gov. …  But three months after the bill was signed, Recovery.gov offers little beyond news releases, general breakdowns of spending, and acronym-laden spreadsheets and timelines. And congressional Democrats, state officials and advocates of open government worry that the White House cannot come close to clearing the high bar it set.

Three months after watching Congress ram through a massive government-spending bill, Ohioans still have no way to report waste and fraud regarding how their tax dollars are being spent.  Ohio tried to pay out dollars to clean a Cold War-era weapons site that’s already been cleaned up.  And Ohio is the only state that’s turned down shovel-ready construction jobs to create a slush-fund to study projects that may never get built.  Despite these and other missteps, Gov. Strickland has refused to set up an independentbipartisan oversight board to ensure Ohioans that their tax dollars are being spent appropriately.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office issued a report noting that many states lack the ability to properly track and ensure that so-called stimulus dollars are being responsibly.  This report was a warning to states like Ohio yet Gov. Strickland has chosen a disappointing course of action that leaves Buckeye State taxpayers without the ability to hold their government accountable for spending their hard-earned dollars.


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