Vice President/Stimulus Sheriff Joe Biden, speaking at the White House's conference on the stimulus package today, told representatives from governors' offices around the country that the administration would keep stimulus spending on a tight leash to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse: according to a pool report from The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan, Biden said there will be "no swimming pools in this money."
"Just because it may be legal, it may not be acceptable, some of it," Biden said, implying that the White House would place tighter restrictions on the money than those set out in the bill.
If there are any problems, Biden told the officials to have their governors call him directly: "I'm used to being accessible. I really mean it. Have your governors call me, and we'll get it straightened out because we've got to get it right."
With Republican governors floating the idea of turning down stimulus cash, and with many conservatives opposed to the stimulus in the first place, statements like these signal to the right that the White House is serious about the stimulus and isn't just throwing money at the economic crisis blindly--a major point of criticism from those philosophically opposed to Keynesian economics. And it's probably worth risking Obama's favorables among swimming pool contractors in order to make that point.
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