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Infrastructure Spending's Thin Gruel Gets Thinner

A few weeks ago we wrote about how the federal government’s guidance to target funds in “Economically Distressed Areas” is fundamentally flawed. It basically reinforces the ‘peanut butter’ approach of spending infrastructure dollars around very thinly.

A new GAO report found that it’s getting worse. Because economic conditions are worsening in many places, and because some states are applying their own criteria, the GAO found that it is getting “more difficult to target Recovery Act highway funding to areas that have been the most severely impacted by the economic downturn.” For example every county in Arizona and every county in California now qualify.

Is this really how states should be targeting these recovery funds?