Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Does Toledo home weatherization program prove that stimulus funds weren't needed

WSPD News is reporting the following:

Applicants Still Sought for Home Weatherizing

Funded with $8M in Stimulus Money
By WSPD's Nik Rajkovic

A large portion of federal stimulus money is still available to qualified homeowners in Lucas County to install new insulation, repair windows or replace water heaters. William Farnsel with Neighborhood Housing Services says the agency now is going door-to-door with applications.

Farnsel says so far the agency will have completed 240 projects by the end of this year, and still has to complete 1,000 within 22 months.

Let's get this straight: too few people have signed up so this agency is going door-to-door to try and find enough people eligible for the transfer of wealth?

This is a prime example of the stupidity involved in the stimulus program and in government in general. They've given a sum of money to Toledo and a sub-contracted agency for a particular purpose, only to find that there isn't as large a demand for that particular purpose as they'd thought.

I can only wonder what the impact would have been if they sent out people to sign up 'qualified homeowners' and then funded ONLY the ones that got signed up.

Instead, NHS got $8,479,475 to 'weatherize' 1,000 low-income homes. What they don't tell you is that it doesn't equate to $8,479.48 per house. No - they're paying NHS staff and inspectors and technicians. Ohio, which divvied up the total allotment of $266,781,409, also authorized the purchase of several trucks and vans, infrared cameras, blower doors, combustion analyzers, insulation blowing machines, and additional safety equipment with the funds. And just for good measure, they funded training courses to meet demand due to the considerable increase of crew and contractor based personnel hiring they expected would be the result of the program.

And to what effect? Toledo's got a ton of money it's having trouble spending.

Of course, most of us aren't eligible for this 'assistance.' I happen to need a new hot water heater, one of the energy-efficiency items that are authorized under the program. But because my husband and I earn more than 200% of the poverty level, we've paid taxes to fund the program but will never see any benefit from it.

So because our tax burden is so high, we have to scrimp and save in order to be able to afford a new energy-efficient hot water heater. But those same tax dollars we're paying (instead of buying the item) are going to someone else so they can get a new energy-efficient hot water heater 'for free.'

And, of course, those politicians in Washington and Columbus and in One Government Center will be certain to take credit for 'helping' the poor with other peoples' money.

What a wonderful system we have.

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