October 20, 2010

BYRON YORK: Report: In Obama’s Chicago, stimulus weatherization money buys shoddy work, widespread fraud.

The study, by the Department’s inspector general, examined the work of what’s called the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, in Illinois. Last year, the Department awarded Illinois $242 million, which was expected to pay for the weatherization of 27,000 homes. Specifically, Energy Department inspectors took a close look at the troubled operations of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, known as CEDA, which is the largest recipient of weatherization money in Illinois with $91 million to weatherize 12,500 homes. (Cook County is, of course, home to Chicago.)

The findings are grim. “Our testing revealed substandard performance in weatherization workmanship, initial assessments, and contractor billing,” the inspector general report says. “These problems were of such significance that they put the integrity of the entire program at risk.”

Department inspectors visited 15 homes that were being weatherized by CEDA and paid for by stimulus funds. “We found that 14 of the 15 homes…failed final inspection because of poor workmanship and/or inadequate initial assessments,” the report says. In eight of the homes, CEDA had come up with unworkable and ineffective plans — like putting attic insulation in a house with a leaky roof. . . . The work was not just wasteful; it was dangerous.

Kind of a metaphor, isn’t it?

UPDATE: A reader emails:

This is why the Soviet Union and the Eastern Block had such awful infrastructure. The focus is on redistribution, not the actual job at hand. There is no customer to please, just another check to glean from the government.

This is less of a metaphor and more like the first tangible evidence of the change that is coming.

I going to learn how to distill my own vodka now.

That’s a skill that will serve you well after the economic collapse . . . .

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