Calling “Sheriff” Joe Biden–Again

Remember when President Obama assigned Vice President Joe Biden to oversee the stimulus project? http://wp.me/pBslf-db

“As part of his duty, Joe will keep an eye on how precious tax dollars are being spent. To you, he’s Mr. Vice President, but around the White House, we call him the Sheriff — because if you’re misusing taxpayer money, you’ll have to answer to him,” the president said.

Apparently the “Sheriff” hasn’t been to Baltimore.

Maryland officials are suggesting that $45 million in stimulus money be used as “Recovery Zone Facility Revenue Bonds” and issued to help John Paterakis, one of the wealthiest men in Baltimore and president of the one of the largest privately-owned bakeries in the country, finish his Four Seasons hotel and spa in Harbor East, Baltimore.

It seems that Maryland’s Department of Business and Economic Development only has until the end of the year to award $101 million in “Recovery Zone” allocations, or possibly lose the aid. Why lose perfectly good money when you can waste it on a private project being built by a wealthy man?

According to the Baltimore Business Journal, a DBED spokeswoman says the money will be used to complete the construction on the project rather than refinance it. Some of the money will be used to buy and install furnishings, equipment, machinery, and other improvements for the 256-room hotel.

In what universe is a Four Seasons hotel near the Inner Harbor of Baltimore considered a “Recovery Zone?”

And here’s the kicker—Richard Clinch, an economist who has advised the developers—said funding the hotel should “help create hundreds of jobs for Baltimore’s low-income workers.”

Guess what else would create hundreds of jobs? The Free Market.

Let the hotel be foreclosed upon if Paterakis can’t afford to complete it. The new owner will get it for a good price, finish and furnish it on the company’s own dime, and the Maryland Department of “Business and Economic Development” (do they even know what that means?) could send the unused stimulus money back to the federal government where it could be used to pay down the deficit—a little.

Clinch also said: “To me, this is not a bad use of stimulus money to promote economic development.”

Right. How about if the taxpayers keep the stimulus money and private enterprises fund their own hotels?

Where is “Sheriff” Joe Biden when we need him?

aln

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One Response to “Calling “Sheriff” Joe Biden–Again”

  1. xinthehouse Says:

    In a related story:

    http://insidethewhitehouse.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/day-45-biden-steps-in-it/

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