The focus is on New Mexico, but the findings are of national importance. Before we get to the nitty gritty of New Mexico's ARRA spending take a look at the following, drawn from Recovery.org. Of the ten largest ARRA contracts in the U.S., 9 are for cleaning up nuclear weapons waste:
Now your first reaction might be to applaud this, but I encourage you to read the full press release and brief I've written which explains why this isn't the best way to spend billions of dollars and stimulate the economy while protecting the poor. And keep in mind, the government might be cleaning up some nuke waste, but its weapons labs and nuclear facilities continue to generate far greater amounts of it.
Recipient State Amount Awarded 1. CH2M HILL PLATEAU REMEDIATION COMPANY WA $663,047,229 2. SAVANNAH RIVER NUCLEAR SOLUTIONS, LLC SC $534,942,264 3. SAVANNAH RIVER NUCLEAR SOLUTIONS, LLC SC $454,353,256 4. WASHINGTON RIVER PROTECTION SOLUTIONS LLC WA $322,255,000 5. GTP INCORPORATION MD $309,587,600 6. SAVANNAH RIVER NUCLEAR SOLUTIONS, LLC SC $287,060,682 7. CH2M HILL PLATEAU REMEDIATION COMPANY WA $228,520,000 8. CH2M WG IDAHO LLC ID $217,875,000 9. CH2M HILL PLATEAU REMEDIATION COMPANY WA $202,503,000 10. SAVANNAH RIVER REMEDIATION LLC SC $198,650,436
Recipient State Amount Awarded 1. PLANNING AND RESEARCH, GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF CA $4,387,948,882 2. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA FL $2,208,839,244 3. GOVERNOR, TEXAS OFFICE OF THE TX $2,177,682,329 4. ILLINOIS, STATE OF IL $1,681,130,685 5. NEW YORK, STATE OF NY $1,653,933,720 6. EXECUTIVE OFFICE STATE OF OHIO OH $1,463,709,963 7. STATE OF MICHIGAN, EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE MI $1,302,368,992 8. NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORPORATION DC $1,293,525,000 9. GEORGIA, STATE OF GA $1,260,799,095 10. EDUCATION, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CA $1,226,944,052
Recipient State Amount Awarded 1. SOLYNDRA, INC. CA $535,000,000 2. GOVERNMENT OF GUAM- DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION GU $88,536,000 3. PIKEVILLE MEDICAL CENTER INC. KY $44,602,500 4. DILLON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION SC $35,820,000 5. JOHNSON, COUNTY OF MO $34,000,000 6. ELKINS, CITY OF WV $28,075,000 7. WASHINGTON COUNTY SERVICE AUTHORITY VA $26,580,000 8. CHATHAM, TOWN OF MA $21,585,540 9. SHELTON, CITY OF WA $20,379,000 10. OZARK MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PUBLIC WATER AUTHORITY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS AR $19,365,000
Okay, back to NM. Among other things I examine the largest contracts and grants made under the ARRA in New Mexico. What did I find?
A full quarter of these have been consumed by nuclear weapons and military contractors so far. Four of the top-ten contract recipients are nuclear weapons laboratory contractors. Thirty-six nuclear and military contractor recipients have consumed more than $504 million of New Mexico's ARRA allocation. Compared to practically every other federal agency, nuclear and military spending of ARRA funds has proven so far to be a poor generator of jobs. There are huge equity issues because this spending does not employ the tens of thousands of New Mexicans who have been harmed the most by the economic downturn.
There's so much more to be said, so please read ahead.