AP: Administration overstated stimulus jobs

posted at 8:48 am on October 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Two weeks ago, the Obama administration finally got around to documenting the number of jobs “saved or created” by Porkulus thus far … and came up with a whopping 30,083 jobs.  Even that, as it turns out, was greatly inflated.  The AP does the math that the White House was apparently too incompetent to do itself and discovers that 5,000 of those “saved or created” jobs were created, all right — out of someone’s imagination:

An early progress report on President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.

The government’s first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

Read the AP’s specifics on how the numbers went askew.  My personal favorite?  A Florida day-care center claimed to have saved 129 jobs, but the stimulus money went instead to raises for all of its employees.  Do many day-care centers employ 129 people?  How difficult would it have been to double-check the payroll figures?  After all, the company has to report income to the IRS, doesn’t it?

The White House claimed that it has corrected “virtually all” of the errors the AP uncovered, as well as others they also found.  However, the Recovery.gov site still uses the 30,083 figure.  More numbers will come tomorrow, when states file their reports and more jobs “saved or created” get calculated.  Will White House math improve?

And this is almost an obligatory observation, but this display of carelessness and incompetence on numbers that already looked bad undermines any effort this administration makes in fiscal leadership.  Not that underestimating the ten-year deficit growth by over 22% (and over two trillion dollars) didn’t already make that case, but those are numbers so large that most people don’t feel a rational connection to them.  On the other hand, anyone working for a living understands the difference betwen 25,000 and 30,000.  This White House obviously doesn’t.

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Sooooo how about that 3.5% growth in the 3rd quarter? Are we gonna get a post on that? What will the sub-headline be? “Competence.?
crr6 on October 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM


daesleeper on October 29, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Sooooo how about that 3.5% growth in the 3rd quarter? Are we gonna get a post on that? What will the sub-headline be? “Competence.?

crr143 on October 29, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Here’s a paper towel. Now please wipe your chin off.

Del Dolemonte on October 29, 2009 at 11:19 AM

A whole lot of Kool-aid will be slurped up today, especially with the MSM. You’ll see droul dripping down their chin and their legs. After all they and Joe the maddog Biden said this weeks ago. All I got to say is what a crock of sh*t

bluegrass on October 29, 2009 at 11:53 AM

If they consider Obama and Biden gainfully-employed, they have overstated the record by two, at least.

profitsbeard on October 29, 2009 at 12:10 PM

Day after day, the news keeps pouring in, on the incompetence, the lies, and the calculated take over, and destruction of our country….yet the press for the most part, continues to pander, and withold information vital to these points, at the expense, and detriment of every citizen in this country.

Those in New Jersey seem to prefer a high tax, and spend candidate, to once again be their governor. You get what you pay for, right? Well we sure as hell got what some vote for. Don’t we!

capejasmine on October 29, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Obama + lips moving = liar

TrickyDick on October 29, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I am simply shocked by Obama’s incompetance! /sarc


search4truth on October 29, 2009 at 1:54 PM

Economy grows in third quarter, signaling end of recession
This recession just keeps ending. It’s the ending-est recession of ALL TIME.
LibTired on October 29, 2009 at 9:00 AM

So the Bush recession is now over and the current recession is 100% Obama/Democrats?

DSchoen on October 29, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Several months ago Rush had a caller that owned a business. He did some work for another business that got stimulus money. A few days later he got a several page form to fill out – it asked how many jobs were saved at his company. He called the gumminent and said \”No jobs were saved\” and he was told \”Did somebody talk to the other company on the phone? Did somebody fill out the order? Those people are \”saved jobs\”. EVERY person that did work in this transaction were counted as \”saved jobs\”.

darwin-t on October 29, 2009 at 4:06 PM

That cover picture looks like the O telling Biden to STFU.

Big John on October 29, 2009 at 8:59 PM

Where’s Sheriff Biden on this abuse? I thought no one messes with Joe?
anglee99 on October 29, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Joe has moved onwards and upwards: he’s now “Lunchpail” “Sheriff” “In Country” Joe, strategerizing for Afghanistan

ya2daup on October 29, 2009 at 10:33 PM

BTW, The Precedent stated that the recession is “abating” (and lest we forget, he’s a Master of Abation)

ya2daup on October 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM