The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Barack Obama’s stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.
President Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make "massive investments in urban communities," they could "make a difference right now" in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.
However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.
According to Recovery.gov, one of Baltimore’s central ZIP codes, 21201, received the most stimulus funding in the city, a total of $837,955,866. The amount included funding for 276 awards, and the website reports that the spending had created 290 jobs in the fourth quarter in 2013.
Of this amount, $467.1 million went to education; $206.1 million to the environment; $24 million to "family"; $16.1 million to infrastructure; $15.2 million to transportation; $11.9 million to housing; and $3.1 million to job training.
Twenty-nine other ZIP codes listed in Baltimore city received a total of $568,641,684.
The Free Beacon calculated the total amount of stimulus funds disbursed to all ZIP codes in Baltimore City, as reported on the stimulus website Recovery.gov. The analysis includes the totals of awards to prime recipients in Baltimore, plus sub-recipient awards to Baltimore organizations and companies that conducted stimulus projects located outside the city.
The projects included $26.5 million from the Justice Department (DOJ) to combat gang activity and provide community support for at-risk juveniles.
"The State of MD Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) goals and objectives of this project are to create and retain jobs to bolster Maryland's faltering economy, and make resources available to law enforcement and other public safety agencies to help protect Maryland citizens," the project’s description states.
Among the listed goals are "to curb the growth of criminal gangs in Maryland, and to effectively dismantle existing gangs."
Funding also went to "Operation Safe Kids," which sought to "develop and implement an effective community-based supervision model for at-risk juveniles to minimize residential placements without compromising public safety."
The project also included criminal justice reform, to "identify non-violent substance abusing offenders who may be amenable to treatment, and place them under community-based supervision with intensive drug treatment combined with strong judicial oversight and support."
The stimulus also gave the city $26 million for the "Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. Neighborhood Stabilization Program," to "redevelop residential foreclosed, abandoned, or vacant properties in designated neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland."
Roughly $9.5 million went towards homelessness prevention.
A total of $5,644,792 of Community Services Block Grants went to Baltimore meant to "promote the economic and social well-being of children, youth, families and communities."
"The funding is used for activities that contribute to the reduction of poverty, revitalization of low-income communities, and empowerment of low-income families and individuals," a description of the project said. "These activities include, but are not limited to; emergency services, shelter programs and services, job training and job readiness training, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, nutrition programs, as well as medical assistance programs and services."
"Working through a network of non-profit community action agencies and other neighborhood-based organizations in rural and urban areas, this wide range of programs and services is implemented to help clients become fully self-sufficient," it said.
Another $548,100 project, which reported creating 15.41 jobs during its most productive quarter, was devoted to the "preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn."
Baltimore’s unemployment rate currently is 8.4 percent.
Following the violent riots on Monday evening that resulted in over 235 arrests, 15 torched buildings, 144 destroyed vehicles, and 20 injured police officers, President Obama spoke on the issue.
Obama called for more early education programs, criminal justice reform, and "making investments so that [youth] can get the training they need to find jobs."
"There’s a bunch of my agenda that would make a difference right now in that," he said.
The president then proceeded to blame the Republican-controlled Congress for not implementing his agenda.
"I’m under no illusion that under this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities," Obama said.
The left-wing comedian Jon Stewart and the ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos made a similar argument on the Daily Show on Tuesday.
"You just wonder sometimes if we’re spending a trillion dollars to rebuild Afghanistan’s schools, like, we can’t build a little taste down Baltimore way," Stewart said. "Like is that what’s really going on."
"This is what drives me crazy, you just got applause when you said that line," Stephanopoulos said. "Any single politician in the country gets applause when they say that line. Yet it doesn’t happen."
Peter Wehner of Commentary Magazine pointed out that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) only invested $885 million in education projects in Afghanistan over a ten-year period, less than the amount that Baltimore received from the stimulus law.