Transfer payment

A group of scholars at George Mason University have done an econometric analysis of spending under the stimulus bill. They wanted to see what factors influenced the allocation of stimulus funds. For example, they wanted to see whether variables such as unemployment or mean income had a significant impact, which might indicate that the bill was tailored to stimulate the economy.

Their analysis found no correlation between stimulus spending and any economic variable. In fact, there was only one variable with a significant impact, and that was which party represented the district: Democratic districts obtained significantly more stimulus funding than Republican ones. Party was significant at the 99.9% confidence level (p < 0.001).

The other variable with some impact was whether the district was politically “marginal”, meaning that the district’s representative won by less than 5% of the vote. Politically marginal districts received less funding than non-marginal ones. Marginality was significant at the 90% level but not the 95% level.

Put these two together and you get a clear picture of how to get stimulus funding: be strongly Democratic. Weakly Democratic districts get less, and Republican districts get much less.

So the purpose of the stimulus travesty is empirically revealed. The biggest peacetime spending scheme in history is a massive transfer payment from Republicans and independents to Democrats.

(Via the Washington Examiner, via Instapundit.)

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