Want to sell your food stamps?
Suppose the federal government gave you and your neighbor $500 each to buy a new bike, but what you really wanted was a $250 shopping spree for running gear instead. So you offered to sell your $500 federal check to your neighbor for $250 in cash so everyone’s dreams could be realized.
That is essentially what several cities in Los Angeles County planned to do with federal stimulus money, until the local transportation authority, its face slightly reddened, pulled the plug on the plans. A spokeswoman in Washington for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure said Wednesday that the swaps would be illegal. [Read]
What you learn when reading this article, if you did not already know, is that this is standard practice:
Many cities on the list, however, did not have qualifying projects because they are too small or cannot move as quickly as the stimulus law stipulated. So the transit agency encouraged the cities to do with the stimulus money what they often do with other money — swap it with other cities at a discounted rate.
This is how government gets things done?