Friday, May 8, 2009

Where is Our Money Going?

A staggering amount of money is pouring out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and into the economy. Whether you agree with the stimulus spending or not, it's not a bad idea to watch where your money is headed (or kiss it goodbye before it goes, as the case may be). We have been promised transparency in the administration of this act, so let's take advantage of the opportunity.

There are a couple of good sites for watching the progress of the stimulus package. The official federal site is Recovery.gov, where you can see how much money has been allocated, where it has gone, and its expected impact on economic recovery, particularly in the preservation or creation of jobs. You can also report observed waste or abuse of the funds, as well as record your personal story about how you have benefited from the stimulus.

Governor Lynch has launched a website for residents to see specifically where New Hampshire's portion of the money is going. The State of NH Office of Economic Stimulus site is updated frequently with press releases related to the allocation and distribution of federal stimulus funds. There is information for bidders interested in specific state projects and a place for citizen comments and suggestions.

There are a number of groups out there describing themselves as ARRA "watchdogs", and I can't recommend one over another. If you Google "ARRA watchdog" without the quotation marks, you'll find some sites you can look at and decide which ones you want to follow.

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