Someone should ask him: What happened to our money? Has anything measurable come of it?
Don't hold your breath for answers.
But there is this. Someone - somewhere else - has been asking those questions of another congressman, and has gotten disturbing answers:
Rep. Murtha's earmarks lead to fewer jobs than promisedSo maybe someone (maybe someone who is paid to ask questions - at either the Bristol Herald Courier or the Roanoke Times) should be asking Mr. Boucher: What resulted from the following expenditures?
By Carol D. Leonnig, Washington Post Staff Writer
Ford City, PA. -- In 2005, Rep. John P. Murtha announced here that a technology firm was moving into an abandoned plate glass factory. Best of all, he promised, the new firm would generate 140 jobs.
The Pennsylvania Democrat steered $150 million in defense money to Caracal Inc., along with a $3 million grant for factory renovations. "Today's ribbon-cutting ceremony is yet another indication that our investment in this region's economic revitalization is paying off," he said that day. But Caracal never created the jobs the congressman touted. The firm peaked at 10 employees and then folded in early 2008. Once its Murtha-engineered Navy contracts ended, the company could not survive.
"Let me tell you: We look at jobs. How do we attract jobs?" he said. A Washington Post analysis of Murtha's earmarks, however, shows that his job promises often come up short. Of 16 local companies the congressman has helped win federal earmarks, 10 have generated far fewer jobs than forecast, and half of those already have closed operations in his district.
The Post analysis illustrates the fleeting success of some of the companies backed by earmarks. Some of the jobs generated by Murtha's earmarks cost about $2 million each, and scores disappeared as soon as projects were completed. [link]
• $6,400,000 for the Center for Injury Biomechanics
• $3,838,500 for the Center for Advanced Separation Technology
• $1,569,000 for the Biodesign and Processing Research Center
• $1,001,000 for something called Sustainable Engineered Materials from Renewable Sources
• $400,000 for Horseshoe Crab Research
• $282,000 to the Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation "to develop business assistance software tools"
The list could go on and on.
Generally, Mr. Boucher receives high praise from movers and shakers in Southwest Virginia for "bringing home the bacon." But is it bacon? Or is it a decayed, rancid, putrified, smelly carcass?
Did anything - A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G - come of these taxpayer investments?
I think we have a right to know.