Invoking his own name-and-shame policy, President Barack Obama warned the nation's mayors on Friday that he will "call them out" if they waste the money from his massive economic stimulus plan.
"The American people are watching," Obama told a gathering of mayors at the White House. "They need this plan to work. They expect to see the money that they've earned — they've worked so hard to earn — spent in its intended purposes without waste, without inefficiency, without fraud."
In the days since the White House and Congress came to terms on the $787 billion economic package, the political focus has shifted to how it will work. Obama has staked his reputation not just on the promise of 3.5 million jobs saved or created, but also on a pledge to let the public see where the money goes.
His budget chief this week released a 25,000-word document that details exactly how Cabinet and executive agencies, states and local organizations must report spending. It is a system meant to streamline reports so they can be displayed on the administration's new Web site, Recovery.gov.
Meanwhile, Gov. Bobby "I really want the Republican nomination in 2012" Jindal has already said that he will refuse a portion of the stimulus funds designated for extending unemployment benefits. Because, you know, Louisianans have really been oh-so-prosperous since Katrina, haven't they? Since Republicans don't actually care about Americans and our economic worries, this is making Jindal a hero within his party (I bet Romney wishes he was still governor of Massachusetts so he could turn down the money too). But with any luck. it will be a hollow victory when Jindal won't even be able to deliver his own state in the primaries.