Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Window On Your Federal Government Is Still Fogged Up

The federal government's RAT Board unveiled its new website yesterday, featuring an interactive national map showing the location of stimulus funded contracts, grants and loans by geographical location. It's a nice toy if you want to see who the original grantees are in your state or zip code, but it is utterly useless to citizens interested in finding out who is really profiting from expenditure of all the billions the folks in Washington are bragging about "obligating" to date. Why? Without clicking on each of the 36,000 dots on the map, it's impossible to find out which contractors are getting the most money from all sources across the country.

Nationwide construction contractors like AECOM, Bovis Lend Lease, Chicago Bridge & Iron, Morse Diesel, Turner Construction and others could be reaping immense profits from all this stimulus spending at innumerable different locations around America, but without endless hours of clicking, reading, and adding up, it is impossible to tell how much revenue any such nationwide contracting firm is going to get. Of course, correlating those figures with campaign contributions to Senators and Congressmen from the localities where the projects have been awarded would add even more time and effort to the endeavor. So, for all the taxpayer money invested into development of this website, the touted "transparency" of the Obama administration has succeeded in making the truth about government operations just as opaque as under any earlier administration.
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