Usually congressional districts are added to a state after a census. The next census is not until 2010; however, it seems that as a result of some explosive, yet undocumented growth, the number of congressional districts in New Mexico has grown from three to forty [hat tip: New Mexico Watchdog].
Of course, as is evident by the chart below taken from government run recovery.gov, many of these new congressional districts are still waiting for their stimulus money.
But, it is expected that all eyes will be on New Mexico’s 22nd Congressional District (once it can be located), which was able to turn less than $62,000 in Recovery Act funds into an amazing 25 new jobs. The cost of living in this particular district must be incredibly low as that amounts to a $2,480 salary per new job created.
Comparing the number of jobs created in New Mexico’s 22nd Congressional District with the 15.8 jobs created in the state’s 35th Congressional District for a whopping $8.9 million is the cause of more than one raised eyebrow. Rumors of political favoritism abound, but as of the writing of this post the congressional representatives from these districts could not be found for comment.
Now, for those of you who think this is no more than a programming glitch, please keep in mind this is a state of the art website built with no expense spared:
A Maryland-based IT firm that specializes in defense contracts was awarded the federal contract to build Recovery.gov, the government site meant to make stimulus spending transparent. The bill to taxpayers for this Web site will be $9.5 million in the next six months.
To put that in perspective, consider USASpending.gov, the Web site created by the Coburn-Obama Act of 2006 that tracks all federal contracts and grants. The government purchased the software for that site for $600,000 from nonprofit watchdog OMB Watch, which had developed the software for itself outside the federal procurement system.
Or, consider the many spending transparency Web sites that state governments have recently created. The most expensive of these is that of Texas, which cost $300,000 to develop. Most states spend less than $100,000 on transparency sites.
Maybe I’m not being fair. Maybe it was just a clerical error. Well, if they can’t keep track of the money flowing into New Mexico, just how well do you think they tracked the trillion plus flowing into the rest of the nation.
Everybody starting to understand why unemployment numbers keep rising despite government “stimulus” spending.