Thursday, May 28, 2009

Keeping Track of the Stimulus Spending

The government has set up a website ( where the public can go and see how much has been spent and how it has been spent. A firm also has a site ( The firm has a number of search engines that are used to find government Request for Proposals and other notices of bid taking for new projects. As of the date of this writing, the private web site has more information than the government web site. According to the private web site, the most expensive project authorized so far is in the state of Washington and involves demolishing nuclear facilities and remediating the waste sites. The price tag is $1,635,000,000. It is unclear when the money will start being spent since the usual government process involves a request for proposals, the collection of proposals and bids, and the awarding of bids. Once the bid is let, it takes time for the firm to begin work. However, this particular project is interesting in that part of the task is to, “Accelerate cleanup of facilities, waste sites, and groundwater along the Columbia River to support shrinking the active area of cleanup at the 586-square-mile Hanford Site to 75 square miles or less by 2015". That is, money for this project will still be paid out as late as 2015. Some critics of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act point out that a lot of spending may be done after the recession is over and is no longer needed.

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