Propublica continues its fantastic coverage of the Obama stimulus bill by drawing attention to a true face-palm moment:
The Kentucky transportation department has awarded $24 million in stimulus contracts to companies associated with a road contractor who is accused of bribing the previous state transportation secretary, according to an audit by the federal Department of Transportation  (PDF).The DOT’s internal watchdog used the case to highlight the significant delays in the time it takes for the Federal Highway Administration to suspend or bar someone from receiving government contracts. Though the agency is supposed to make such a decision within 45 days, federal highway officials waited 10 months after the indictment to put the men accused of bribery onto the list of banned contractors.
I think this happy little episode displays pretty succinctly the vast and systemic corruption with which the Government has dispensed this stimulus.
The shadowy underworld of government contract awards is mysterious indeed:
In the Kentucky case, at trial this week, prosecutors have alleged that longtime road contractor Leonard Lawson paid state employees for confidential engineering estimates that helped him get a leg up on bidding for contracts.
Paul Krugman, Matt Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and the rest of the “progressive” blogosphere have each chastised Mr. Obama for not providing a “big enough” stimulus, and while there may be theoretical reasons for thinking such, it seems clear that even the biggest “stimulus” will fail to stimulate if it’s handled with fraud and deceit.