Letters to the Editor

Wasted money

“California efficiency effort fails to rev up,” read the article headline in the Dec. 28 Tribune, describing a 3-year-old plan funded by Barack Obama’s stimulus to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

We learn that “the program burned through at least $146 million of (federal) stimulus money in its first two years alone, in addition to $91 million drawn from local governments and Californians’ utility bills.”

In yet another glaring example of government waste, the article says that the program was to improve the energy efficiency of 100,000 homes, with maximum rebates of $4,500 per home. However, it has actually upgraded only 12,200 homes.

Improving 12,200 homes at the maximum of $4,500 per home should have cost about $55 million. Instead, our government managed to spend a total of $237 million on the 12,200 homes — more than $19,000 each. That leaves $182 million unaccounted for.

When will we learn that government programs like these are inherently inefficient and ineffective, often allowing millions of dollars to disappear without explanation?

The politicians, bureaucrats and special interests that promote this kind of folly should be held to account, but seldom are. And yet we’re told almost daily that government needs more money to spend.