Opinion

Baltimore already received $1.8 billion in stimulus cash – someone should have told Obama

President Obama lamented last week that the GOP-controlled Congress will likely impede investments in blighted urban areas such as Baltimore, which just ended a week of rioting and violence.

There’s just one problem. Baltimore was already on the receiving end of a $1.8 billion grant from the stimulus package passed early in Obama’s first term in office. A lot of good that did.

The president addressed the Baltimore rioting at his joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe Tuesday, and offered his solution.

“There’s a bunch of my agenda that would make difference right now in that,” he said, according to WhiteHouse.gov.

He went on to state that his agenda called for increased funding for education, criminal justice reform and job training.

He added, however, that “I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities.”

However, those “massive investments” have been made before — and to Baltimore specifically.

Charm City received $1,831,768,487 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to analysts at the Washington Free Beacon, which reported:

According to Recovery.gov, one of Baltimore’s central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.

Of this amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to “family”; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training.
ZIP code 21202 received $425,170,937, including a $136 million grant to “improve teaching and learning for students most at risk of failing to meet State academic achievement standards.”

Twenty-nine other ZIP codes listed in Baltimore city received a total of $568,641,684.

So what happened to all that cash? Twitter user Trish has a few ideas:

So maybe throwing money at problems and then walking away isn’t the solution after all.

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