« National Bribery and Guilt Day | Main | The Knucklehead of the Day award »

Speaking Of Bribes

Aside from having reputations as unabashed RINOs, Senators Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snow have had one thing on their minds when it comes to the Porkulus bill: Money.

How much do their two states receive from the $790 billion boondoggle for their turncoat support of this spending orgy?

Pennsylvania stands to receive $16 billion to pay off one Republican Senator for his "support".

Maine, having two Senators to bribe, stands to receive a whopping $33.46 billion. That number does not include a "tax credit" of $400 per worker, or $800 per "couple" (working couples not specified).

A breakdown of funds allotted for Pennsylvania can be found here.

A breakdown of funds allotted for Maine can be found here.

Roughly $50 billion, or about 6.25% of the Porkulus bill goes to these two states.

Disgusting.

(Author's note:

In the comments section, Brian points out errors that I made concerning the money alloted to Maine. I commend him for his diligence. He did, however, ascribe the adjective "dishonest" to me, and that is not the case. It was a mistake, and I am owning up to it right here on the main page. Though the numbers were wrong, I urge you to follow the links to see where the money is being spent. It can hardly be called "stimulus".)


TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/34406.

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Speaking Of Bribes:

» Wizbang linked with A Lesson Learned

» Brutally Honest linked with How much is that RINO in the window?

Comments (27)

I have nothing but contempt... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

I have nothing but contempt for those 3. Were they in my company, I'd spit on them.

"Honorable Senate Collegues" indeed.

Wow, so a whopping 6.25% of... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wow, so a whopping 6.25% of the money goes to states with 4.8% of the population? Holy disproportionate allocation, Batman! Obviously they didn't count on the crack analysts at Wizbang to notice such a glaring disparity.

I doubt the "bribes" had an... (Below threshold)
epador:

I doubt the "bribes" had anything to do with appropriations in the bill. 3% of Senate votes, 4.8% population, 6.25% of appropriations is however, disproportionate. I wonder how the Red States in the election fared.

Let's run some PAINFULLY SI... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Let's run some PAINFULLY SIMPLE math by you.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the money should be appropriated on a 1:1 on the basis of population.

6.25 - 4.8 = 1.45

1.45 x $790,000,000,000 = $11,455,000,000.

If all of those dollars were stacked upon each other, the stack would be 711.8 MILES high. That's low earth orbit.

Low.

Earth.

Orbit.

What you may not realize, either because you don't care, never thought of it, or just weren't paying attention in math class is that even a miniscule percentage of an enormous number is still going to be pretty darned huge.

Tell you what. I would just LOVE to get .0001% of the $1 Trillion+ this spending bill will end up costing. It would make me a millionaire.

Soft shoe it all you want, ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Soft shoe it all you want, but calling that anything else BUT a bribe is rancid, fettid hishonest on an epic scale.

Let's run some PAINFULLY... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Let's run some PAINFULLY SIMPLE math by you.
...
Low. Earth. Orbit.

Hmm, I must have missed "Earth orbit day" in math class. Sounds painful.

What you may not realize, either because you don't care, never thought of it, or just weren't paying attention in math class is that even a miniscule percentage of an enormous number is still going to be pretty darned huge.

You seem to be the one who didn't pay attention in math class, since rather than consider the "minuscule" percentage, you insist on focusing on the absolute number. Or how high the stack of bills is. Or on how much you'd have to spend every day for 2000 years to match it. Or if all the dollars were gumdrops, how fast you'd have to eat. Where did you learn math... Reader's Digest correspondence course?

Actually, what's "disgustin... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Actually, what's "disgusting" and "dishonest on an epic scale" is Shawn's entire post. I made the mistake of presuming his numbers were accurate. Not even close.

First of all, you make the sleight-of-hand move of grouping Pennsylvania and Maine together and making an assessment of the aggregate. Let's take these individually, shall we?

Let's say Pennsylvania gets $16 billion, from your link. That's 2% of the total stimulus package. Now let's look at Pennsylvania's population: 4.4% of the US. Hmm, that "bribe" isn't looking so good for Pennsylvania anymore, is it? So your first cheat was to sweep Pennsylvania together with Maine to make it look like both states were getting disproportionate amounts, when it was clear that Pennsylvania is getting less than half of what they'd be due by population.

Now let's look at Maine, also from your link. They're going to get $33.46 billion? Methinks you're including these in your calculation:

· Provides a total of $15.64 billion for Pell Grants. These dollars will increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, for a maximum award of $5,300 in 2009 and then increase to $5,550 in 2010.

· A total of $16.7 billion for retirees, disabled veterans and SSI Recipients. Mainers who do not qualify for the "Making Work Pay" tax credit will receive $250 cash payments.

Notice how these items are phrased differently than the others: "a total of". That means total for the entire country, not just for Maine! Here's a link that talks about the Pell grant increase.

And for the second bullet... well, it's not clear what specific program is being cited as being for "retirees, disabled veterans and SSI Recipients". But Maine has only 183,000 people age 65 and over. So splitting $16.7 billion among them just in Maine, each person would get more than $91,000. Woo-hoo! It pays to retire in Maine! That number is clearly nonsensical, even if you double the number of recipients to include others below age 65.

So, subtracting these errors, that takes your $33.46 billion number down to a meager $1.12 billion, or only .14% of the total stimulus. Again, checking Maine's population, we see that it's .45% of the US. So Maine is getting less than a third of what they'd be due by population. (Probably a little higher, since they'd get some of the Pell grant and retiree money. But even doubling the amount to $2.24 billion still puts them at only 62% of what you'd expect by population.)

So let's go back and take another look at your claim in the aggregate:

"Roughly $50 billion, or about 6.25% of the Porkulus bill goes to these two states."

That is clearly false. The truth is:

"Roughly $17 billion, or about 2.2% of the stimulus bill goes to these two states."

And for states that make up about 4.85% of the US population, getting 2.2% of the money hardly suggests any undue benefit, much less a "bribe".

<a href="http://www.america... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Here is some more specific data, showing that Maine would get $5.5 million in Pell Grant money, a far cry from $15.6 billion. Note that these numbers are the House numbers from 2/2, before the amounts were reduced in subsequent negotiations.

I wonder how the Red Sta... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I wonder how the Red States in the election fared.

Let's find out, using this data. Again, these numbers are the House numbers from 2/2. They differ from the previous discussion, and they almost certainly differ from what's in the final bill. But they reflect the first pass, and they are internally consistent.

Below is a list with each state and the percentage of their expected stimulus amount that they are allocated based on their relative population.

For example, Georgia is allocated 3.0% of the stimulus, and they represent 2.9% of the population, so they are getting slightly more (102%) stimulus money than their population would suggest. California is allocated 11.7% of the stimulus, and they represent 12% of the population, so they are getting slightly less (97.3%) stimulus money than their population would suggest.

Looking at red states, we see several of them faring well (Alaska - 137.2%), especially compared to some blue states (Illinois - 93.3%).

Alabama - 92.1%
Alaska - 137.2%
Arizona - 105.2%
Arkansas - 93.8%
California - 97.3%
Colorado - 85.7%
Connecticut - 92.6%
Delaware - 103.4%
District of Columbia - 153.8%
Florida - 95.6%
Georgia - 102.0%
Hawaii - 99.9%
Idaho - 99.1%
Illinois - 93.3%
Indiana - 95.0%
Iowa - 83.6%
Kansas - 82.1%
Kentucky - 92.2%
Louisiana - 91.8%
Maine - 96.2%
Maryland - 83.7%
Massachusetts - 91.2%
Michigan - 97.2%
Minnesota - 93.5%
Mississippi - 97.5%
Missouri - 95.6%
Montana - 102.3%
Nebraska - 84.3%
Nevada - 110.8%
New Hampshire - 81.9%
New Jersey - 96.8%
New Mexico - 98.3%
New York - 112.3%
North Carolina - 102.9%
North Dakota - 102.1%
Ohio - 90.2%
Oklahoma - 88.5%
Oregon - 96.2%
Pennsylvania - 93.2%
Rhode Island - 117.9%
South Carolina - 99.1%
South Dakota - 96.1%
Tennessee - 95.5%
Texas - 95.1%
Utah - 88.4%
Vermont - 109.1%
Virginia - 81.1%
Washington - 92.1%
West Virginia - 93.0%
Wisconsin - 86.0%
Wyoming - 112.9%

And this surprises you? The... (Below threshold)

And this surprises you? There isn't a vote on Capitol Hill that's not for sale. Democrats, Republicans, Independents -- faugh! Prostitutes is more accurate, except that I've known a few prostitutes who are good and decent people, and I wouldn't want to besmirch them by aggregating them with "our" "elected" "servants."

Apropos of Brian's objections above, of course his numbers are dishonest. The percentages of Porkulus Maximus going to Maine and Pennsylvania as states among the states -- that is, discounting payments targeted at individuals -- are quite disproportionate to the total of such allocations. But dishonesty in debate is a hallmark of the Left. "Figures cannot lie but liars can figure."

Atop that, there are many kinds of bribes. There's a possibility that Specter, Collins, and Snowe were targeted with one of this sort: Pledge your support to this bill and we'll reward you. Refuse, and the final version will have nothing in it for your states. Considering how principle-free the three of them are, that would have had the desired effect. Though as I said above, every vote in either house of Congress is for sale at the right price. That's why the lobbies to the formal deliberation chambers are so large; it takes a lot of feigned indignation and grandiloquent gestures to negotiate a really good deal.

Brian,You are righ... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

Brian,

You are right. I screwed up.

Good job on pointing out my flawed math. Shouldn't blog that late.

I have posted a notice of the error in the main post.

You have my thanks.

No I'll go hang my head in shame.

-Shawn

But the end result is - we'... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

But the end result is - we're still on the hook for a godawful amount of money, spent for a lot of projects of dubious stimulative power (rather like spam emails promising all sorts of 'enhancements') and it's ALL going into the National Debt.

All government money. Spen... (Below threshold)

All government money. Spendulus does nothing for the economic sector. Talk about dishonest.

Not to nitpick, Brian, but ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Not to nitpick, Brian, but I didn't see anywhere in there any refutation of my math or the "low earth orbit." figure.

For the record, I don't keep low earth orbit figures memorized... but you see I'm sitting at a computer right now as I type (much the same as last night). That computer is connected to this entity calle "the internet", and I can quickly look up the values of... Oh the thickness of a dollar (0.1 mm). Or how bout the distance that constitutes "low earth orbit (100-1240 miles above Earth's surface).

You see, when I go and insult people in this medium, I actually use their own words against them, and don't insult until it's painfully clear that they don't have any idea what they're talking about. I don't really see that in your posts.

In summation. Good job doing your homework, using your math to put together a reasoned argument... but you have yet to prove me wrong.

Not to mention the fact it'... (Below threshold)

Not to mention the fact it's all borrowed money. More dishonesty.

Oh, and to answer your ques... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

Oh, and to answer your question, Brian. I learned math at Pawnee City Elementary, Table Rock Jr. High, Norris High School, Nuclear Field "A" School, Naval Nuclear Power School, and Nuclear Power Training Command.

What's your sorry excuse?

As I stated well above, I d... (Below threshold)
epador:

As I stated well above, I doubt the "bribes" had anything to do with money in the bill. I suspect that future commitments and horsetrading were involved.
The evaluation of how the Red States fared only involves the preliminary bill, not how things changed after the horsetrading occurred, so who knows yet what the real numbers are. Yet despite Alaska doing well, I see quite a few States below 80% that have Republican leanings.

He did, however, ascribe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

He did, however, ascribe the adjective "dishonest" to me, and that is not the case.

Fair enough, Shawn, my apologies for the generalization. Though you were a bit shady in lumping PA together with ME, instead of assessing them separately.

Apropos of Brian's objec... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Apropos of Brian's objections above, of course his numbers are dishonest. The percentages of Porkulus Maximus going to Maine and Pennsylvania... are quite disproportionate to the total of such allocations. But dishonesty in debate is a hallmark of the Left. "Figures cannot lie but liars can figure."

I posted my numbers, which you're free to refute. Where are your figures, liar?

Not to nitpick, Brian, b... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Not to nitpick, Brian, but I didn't see anywhere in there any refutation of my math or the "low earth orbit." figure.

I don't refute it. I say it's a stupid way to analyze numbers. When your boss gives you a raise, what do you care about... what percentage of your salary it is, or how high the bills stack?

Any analysis of the bill that's limited to USA Today graphics is hard to take seriously.

The evaluation of how th... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The evaluation of how the Red States fared only involves the preliminary bill, not how things changed after the horsetrading occurred, so who knows yet what the real numbers are.

True, though the numbers above represent what the Democrats put forth on their own. Any horsetrading done after that was likely focused on appeasing red states to win Republican votes, not stripping money from them.

Yet despite Alaska doing well, I see quite a few States below 80% that have Republican leanings.

That's quite interesting, seeing as there's not a single state, red or blue, below 80%.

Assuming you meant to say below 90%, there are 5 red and 5 blue states in that range, with two blue states bringing up the bottom two. Above 100%, there are 7 blue and 5 red states. Hardly a rout for the red states.

We would have been better o... (Below threshold)

We would have been better off if we had given one or two billion dollars to every single memeber of congress on the condition that give up their seats and never run for office again.
http://www.rightklik.net/

So lemme get this straight,... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

So lemme get this straight, Brian.

You resort to ad hominem attacks when you can't refute the math or the methodology?!?! You do know ad hominem is the weekest form of debate, right? When you can't find a weekness in the argument, you attack the person about something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the issue at hand.

And people wonder why I have no respect for leftist leaning idiots.

You do know ad hominem i... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You do know ad hominem is the weekest form of debate, right? When you can't find a weekness in the argument,

Interesting that you feel that way, since it was your first post to me that threw the first ad hominem about not paying attention in math class.

Though I'd say it a tossup between that and the strawman, such as where you invent the claim that I attempted to "refute the math", and then knock me for not being able to do so.

I didn't try to refute anything. If you want to claim that the stack of bills reaches to heaven and back, passing through your legs twice, you go right ahead. And while you and the rest of the children are stacking Legos to help understand how much money it is, the rest of us adults will discuss it using actual mathematics.

you attack the person about something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the issue at hand.

"Absolutely NOTHING to do with the issue at hand"? You mean like how tall a stack of money is?

And people wonder why I have no respect for leftist leaning idiots.

It appears to be because it confuses you when they use anything more than simplistic arguments with pretty graphics.

You're initial supposition ... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

You're initial supposition was that 6.25% of the money going to 4.8% of the population. Here's your post.

"Wow, so a whopping 6.25% of the money goes to states with 4.8% of the population? Holy disproportionate allocation, Batman! Obviously they didn't count on the crack analysts at Wizbang to notice such a glaring disparity."

I threw in the observation that you might not have payed attention because you didn't seem to understand that even a miniscule 1.45% of $790 Billion is still a FRICKEN huge number. As it sure seemed like you just didn't understand that simple principle, I did the math for you and tried to put it in a form you may understand, something you could actually visuallize. The example being that even though a dollar bill is 0.1mm thick, 11.455 BILLION of them (1.45% of $790,000,000,000) STILL makes a FRIKEN HUGE stack. So huge, it could EASILY be construed as a bribe to buy a vote or 3.

"A billion here, a billion there; pretty soon you're talking real money." - Everett Dirkensen

I guess 11.455 just doesn't quite yet reach YOUR definition of "real money." Eh?

I threw in the observati... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I threw in the observation that you might not have payed attention because you didn't seem to understand that even a miniscule 1.45% of $790 Billion is still a FRICKEN huge number.

Of course it is. I never suggested it wasn't, and therefore didn't need your observation, nor your ad hominem. But it's meaningless to make an assertion based on that single number. ALL of the numbers involved in this bill are "FRICKEN huge".

As it sure seemed like you just didn't understand that simple principle, I did the math for you and tried to put it in a form you may understand, something you could actually visuallize.

Thanks, but I prefer to analyze numbers using math, not third-grade visualization props.

So huge, it could EASILY be construed as a bribe to buy a vote or 3.

If you wanted to make an argument that PA and ME were receiving amounts that were not only disproportionate but also unique when compared with the other states, you were welcome to. You didn't. So if other states like LA and TX were also receiving disproportionate amounts (due to other factors), that would torpedo the argument that PA and ME were getting special treatment. But you didn't make that analysis; you just jumped on the single number in isolation. A single number is not enough to draw any conclusion.

I, on the other hand, decided to analyze the numbers and determine if, in fact, those states were getting special treatment. Based on the numbers, I discovered they weren't. If you need me to represent that as how many giraffes would need to stand on each others' backs, let me know.

If you need me to repres... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

If you need me to represent that as how many giraffes would need to stand on each others' backs, let me know.

Actually, I would like to see that graph and/or visual. So would my kids.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy