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Report: Dem Congressional Districts Received Almost Double Stimulus as Republican Districts

9:42 AM, Dec 17, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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From the Mercatus Center and the Examiner comes some new insight into how stimulus money was distributed, and it seems to have had little to do with the economic condition of its recipients:

"You would think that if the stimulus money was actually spent to create jobs, there would be more stimulus money spent in high unemployment states," said Veronique de Rugy, a scholar at the Mercatus Center who produced the analysis. "But we don't find any correlation."

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia is one of the nation's most respected economic and regulatory think tanks and has a Nobel prize-winning economist on staff. The econometric analysis was done using data provided by Recovery.gov -- the government website devoted to tracking the stimulus data -- as well as a host of other government databases.

Additionally, Mercatus found that stimulus funds were not disbursed with any special regard for low-income Americans. "We find no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no statistically significant effect of unemployment, median income or mean income on stimulus funds allocation," said the report.

Where they did find a correlation (though weak) is by the party in a district:

The Mercatus Center analysis also found that Democratic congressional districts received on average almost double the funding of Republican congressional districts. Republican congressional districts received on average $232 million in stimulus funds while Democratic districts received $439 million on average.

"We found that there is a correlation [relating to the partisanship of congressional districts]," de Rugy said. However, she noted that in statistical terms, it was a weak correlation. This may have something to do with the fact stimulus funds are doled out through federal agencies and not the legislators themselves.

And, of course, the money is going to government entities far more often than it's going to private businesses. Stimulus!