Fox News has hopped on the latest right wing conspiracy theory that congressional districts that supported Barack Obama are getting more federal stimulus money that those that supported McCain. Fox News’ Stuart Varney opened his piece with, “It’s not who you know, but who you voted for…” Of course, FNC ignored the obvious explanation for the imbalance.
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Republican pollster Chris Wilson claimed that there was a cause and effect relationship between supporting Obama and federal stimulus money. Wilson said, “For the past election cycle if you live in a county that voted for Barack Obama you got $69 distributed to you. If you live in a county that voted for John McCain you only get $34 distributed to you, but the challenging part of this is that’s not where it stops. You can look into the future and the state that gets the most money per person is actually New Jersey. It’s getting $172, and guess what the Democratic governor of New Jersey is down anywhere from 6 to 8 points in the recent polling, but they are doing their best to make sure there is enough money in the state to win that election for them.”
Republicans are getting their data from a USA Today analysis which tracked the first $17 billion in stimulus spending. However the analysis itself, refutes this conspiracy theory, “Not all of the money favors places that supported Obama. About a third of the $17 billion, or $5.5 billion, in contracts that the federal government has signed for projects ranging from repaving runways to cleaning up nuclear waste has gone overwhelmingly to counties that supported McCain… The imbalance didn’t start with the stimulus. From 2005 through 2007, the counties that later voted for Obama collected about 50% more government aid than those that supported McCain, according to spending reports from the U.S. Census Bureau.”
Instead of this being some vast Obama conspiracy, what is really going on here is that the people who were hardest hit by the economic crisis didn’t vote for the guy who said that the fundamentals of the economy were strong. If many of the same counties also got extra federal funding from 2005-2007 under Republican President Bush, doesn’t that undercut the notion that Obama is using the stimulus as political payola?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the whole USA Today analysis, but apparently that would be too much to ask of Republicans who are so busy trying to earn political points that they can’t be bothered with facts. No one should be surprised that FNC ran with this, because they are the same network that ran with the auto dealership conspiracy too.