Friday, February 27, 2009

Working on a Post

I am working on a post with more cool graphs but I wanted to weigh in on the stimulus.  I visited the website that is supposed to provide transparency on how the money is spent.  I found it interesting that most of the money will go to "* Tax Relief."  

Notice the star?  I did.  The footnote is learn more, so I did.  I clicked on the link and saw a nice bubble chart showing the proportions of the money and "* Tax Relief" is the largest bubble.  At the bottom of the page there is the following:

Tax Relief - includes $15 B for Infrastructure and Science, $61 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $25 B for Education and Training and $22 B for Energy, so total funds are $126 B for Infrastructure and Science, $142 B for Protecting the Vulnerable, $78 B for Education and Training, and $65 B for Energy.

Hmm.  So $126 billion for Infrastructure & Science not $111 billion, and $142 for Protecting the Vulnerable that was put into * Tax Relief.  Do you know what the total spent on tax relief is after subtracting  all this out?  $105 billion. (By the way $8 Billion for Other.  What does that mean?)

So the bar chart on the homepage looks like this:

Where is Your Money Going?

When it should really look like this (pardon the small fonts):

More to come on the economy. GDP figures are out today. interesting stuff is on its way.

UPDATE So I had to post an update to this post because changed their home page (and it's not on the way back machine). I did find something interesting which once again proves the devil is in the details of a boring technical document. This Page has a map of the US showing how many jobs the stimulus bill will save/create. I was interested in their methodology and read "The state jobs estimates are inherently more speculative than the overall estimates" which means that the information in the map is speculative. The overall estimates are not available. Does this seem Orwellian to anyone else?

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