Sunday, September 21, 2008

Follow the money

While burnishing her foreign policy credentials by traveling to Vienna Ohio, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin proposed putting the government's checkbook online.

A bold move, Governor. Will that be something like You know, "Google for Government", the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 sponsored by Senators Tom Coburn, Barack Obama, Tom Carper and... John McCain. Or maybe S.3077, the Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008, sponsored by Barack Obama with co-sponsors Thomas Carper, Thomas Coburn and... John McCain.

To be fair, I didn't know the site has been up-and-running since December either. Then again, I'm not looking to preside over the U.S. Senate come January. It's definitely not a wedge issue between the candidates.

What's it to you?

Naturally, now that I know it's there, curiosity led me to looking up the Northern Marianas.

It's obviously a work in progress: there's no 2007 data on food stamps, for instance. If the 2005 and 2006 figures are any indication, 2007 should eventually show about $127 million. (It appears about $4.5 million in California assistance was mistakenly listed under the CNMI, but that's probably due to growing pains of a new database.) Chunks of disaster and FAA money seem to account for much of the jump in 2004.

Still, $878 million from fiscal years 2000-2008 is a goodly chunk of change. I've been playing with the site for almost two hours, and I'm still trying to figure out the different ways it can be used.


Lil' Hammerhead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lil' Hammerhead said...

You notice the big drop after 2006. Well funding in 2006 would have been the product of grants applied for in 2005. After 2006.. the funding plummets. Why.. well folks have stated on these blogs that this administration has not been nearly as agressive, and indeed has been almost anti-grant.. where the fed grants are concerned. This seems evidenced by these figures.

Look at some of the news.. folks can't spend their federal computer technology and travel funds. Workshops are now all syphoned through the Gov's office. Funding where oversite and accountability is concerned is turned away.. as in the case of labor. And then you have folks now in positions that I'm sure can't write a decent letter, let alone a federal grant.