Where Did Stimulus Money Really Go?

When President Obama signed his economic stimulus plan into law on February 17, 2009, he promised it “includes help for those hardest hit by our economic crisis,” and “As a whole, this plan will help poor and working Americans.”

But the newest data on how the stimulus money was given out across the 50 states and the District of Columbia shows a perverse pattern: The states hardest hit by the recession received the least money. States with higher bankruptcy, foreclosure, and unemployment rates got less money. And lower-income states also received less.

Rather than helping out those in the toughest shape, it looks like Democrats ended up helping their supporters, including unions and many very wealthy supporters.

According to the Obama administration’s Recovery.gov, a total of $504 billion of federal contracts, grants, and loans to states and territories were awarded between February 17, 2009, and December 31, 2011. The amounts vary a lot across states, with the very lowest at $978 per capita in Virginia and the highest at $2,495 per capita in Alaska. The District of Columbia is the real winner at a whopping $7,603.

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