Democratic districts have received nearly twice as much stimulus money as Republican districts and the cash has been awarded without regard to how badly an area was suffering from job losses, according to a new study.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason University reviewed the distribution of $157 billion in stimulus dollars based on publicly available reports and found that there was "no statistical correlation" between the amount of money a district got and its income or unemployment rate.
"You would think, right, that if the administration believes in its theory that government money can create jobs, they would spend a lot of money in districts that have high unemployment," study co-author Veronique de Rugy said. "We found absolutely no relationship. It just kind of shows that the money is spent kind of randomly."
Rather, the study found that Democratic congressional districts received 1.89 times more money than GOP districts. The average award for Democratic districts was $439 million, while the average award for Republican ones was $232 million.
On average, Democratic districts also got 152 awards, while Republican ones got 94.
The data is sure to fuel skepticism about the $787 billion stimulus bill passed in February that only garnered three Republican votes. While the administration claims it has created 640,000 jobs, critics point to the still-soaring 10 percent unemployment rate in arguing that the stimulus has had a nominal effect.
Oddly, the Mercatus study found far more stimulus money went to higher-income areas than lower-income areas.
"We found no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no effect of unemployment, median income, or mean income on stimulus funds allocation," the report said.