This story initially was revealed by Real Clear Wire
By Adam Andrzejewski
Actual Clear Wire
Of the $325 billion given to states and native governments to assist cowl prices stemming from the results of the Covid-19 pandemic, lower than half of that has been spent. And as a substitute of returning the taxpayer funds to the federal authorities, a new law from the Department of the Treasury permits states and native governments to spend that cash on basically something.
The legislation additionally applies to an extra $25 million given to tribal governments ($20 billion) and U.S. territories ($4.5 billion).
Underneath the American Rescue Plan Act, which allotted the funds, state and native governments should obligate the funds earlier than the top of 2024. The brand new rule permits governments to depend funds as obligated if they’re merely reported to the Treasury by April 2024.
In different phrases, if states and native governments and the opposite entities haven’t wanted to spend all the cash they acquired for pandemic reduction, they will simply say it’s been obligated and maintain it.
The 50 states and Washington D.C. acquired $195 billion, and native governments acquired $130 billion, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
States solely spent 45% of the pandemic help ($88.2 billion) they got, and native governments solely spent 38% ($47.9 billion). That leaves $189 billion of unspent funds that can be utilized for no matter these governments need, together with updating swimming swimming pools, golf programs and sports activities stadiums at a time when the nation’s nationwide debt has exceeded $33 trillion.
Critics have referred to it as a President Joe Biden “slush fund” that enables states and native governments to go on spending sprees with cash that was imagined to be for emergency pandemic reduction.
“Treasury’s ‘Hoarding Rule’ is an outright abuse of energy and ought to be instantly reversed,” the Economic Innovation Policy Center said. “Congress ought to assert its intentions. Stakeholders (together with taxpayers) ought to interact within the discover and remark interval, which is ready to finish on December 20,2023, whatever the rule already taking impact.”
The #WasteOfTheDay is dropped at you by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com
This text was initially revealed by RealClearInvestigations and made accessible through RealClearWire.