Obama claims 650,000 jobs “saved or created” via Porkulus

posted at 9:30 am on October 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

By which we should deduce that over a million jobs got saved or created, indirectly, according to the White House.  The official report will come out later today, but Jake Tapper grabs the advance leak from the White House and runs it down.  Pay very close attention to the sources of this data:

The Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus bill directly saved or created about 650,000 jobs as of the end of last month, administration officials announced this morning.

The numbers come from Congressionally-mandated reports submitted earlier this month by tens of thousands of state and local governments, private companies, colleges, universities, and community organizations nationwide, administration officials said, with the majority of the funds coming from state governments.

Factoring jobs indirectly created from the stimulus — not reflected in these numbers — an administration official says in a statement that “because these reports show that less than half of the spending through that date created or saved about 650,000 jobs, they confirm government and private forecaster’s estimates that overall Recovery Act spending has created and saved at least 1 million jobs.”

Moreover, the administration emphasized, these reports do not reflect the job impact of the stimulus plan’s tax cuts, direct payments to individuals, and grants and awards of amounts under $25,000 per recipient. Nor, officials cautioned, do they reflect the indirect job impact of the funds, such as when employers for stimulus projects hired to meet new demand or when hired workers spent their paychecks.

The “majority of funds” came from state governments because Porkulus distributed the money in block grants to the states.  What did the states do with that money?  They did save jobs, but primarily bureaucratic jobs.  States used the money to temporarily paper over budget gaps which would have forced the layoffs of state employees, which should have been a necessary step in slimming down state-level spending.

The administration will claim that it saved the jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters with the data submitted by the states.  Indeed, we have already seen this in New Hampshire, which listed almost all of its “saved or created” jobs from their education system. What I wrote at the time is just as applicable now:

In looking at the table on the last page of the report, it becomes clear that New Hampshire and the federal government directed the money primarily at politically sensitive government jobs.  Over two-thirds of the jobs are in the Department of Education, and another 745 in “government services.”  Directing the money there allowed New Hampshire to avoid the politically difficult job of downsizing and streamlining in response to the downturn in revenues during the recession.  The White House can claim that they saved the job of teachers, police officers, and firefighters whose jobs were never in jeopardy, and New Hampshire avoided cutting jobs elsewhere by shifting the money to cover budget shortfalls.

Meanwhile, what happens to these jobs when Porkulus runs out?  Almost none of these jobs are established on new economic growth.  They’re either jobs that New Hampshire has to fund anyway (teachers, police officers, firefighters) or one-off project jobs that will disappear when the money does.

No one was going to have a mass layoff of police officers and teachers in New Hampshire or anywhere else.  The jobs really at risk were administrative jobs within state government, primarily union jobs (in large part represented by Obama’s ally, the SEIU), as states had to confront an economic reality of lower revenue and rising spending.   Porkulus provided a one-time method of ignoring that reality for a few months by burdening the entire nation with the bad policy decisions of the individual states.

But all that did was to delay that day of reckoning, not eliminate it.  When the grant money runs out, those states will still have to make tough decisions on the size and costs of their bureaucracies.  They will still have to either raise taxes or start trimming their payrolls, and it won’t be the teacher or the firefighter who gets the pink slip.  Porkulus will do the same thing that Cash for Clunkers did, which was to postpone the inevitable — and cost us a fortune in doing so.

Update: By the way, it was almost two months ago when the administration first claimed it had saved or created one million jobs.  I guess nothing much happened after September 10th.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


What a miserable lying failure.

rjoco1 on October 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM

Couric thinks he is a liar.

OmahaConservative on October 30, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Where has all the money gone…?

Seven Percent Solution on October 30, 2009 at 11:39 AM

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!!!!

mobydutch on October 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM

I saw this same thing on one of the history channel shows. It was a different country different time but the same kind of evil.

kahall on October 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Out beyond the White House lie,
The jobs keep going off to die.
So step up with a plan,
While you still can,
To get a piece of the American Pie.

Yoop on October 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Out: Trickle down

In: Trickle out

faraway on October 30, 2009 at 9:51 AM

There’s really no need to get all wee-wee’d up, is there?

Fed45 on October 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Just how many jobs did Bush save?

Whocares on October 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM

He didn’t need to. The job market was doing just fine …until 2006. I don’t quite recall what wss significant about that year, though.

Fed45 on October 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Just how many jobs did Bush save?

Whocares on October 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM

900,000,000,000 gazillion,gatrillion jobs created and saved by the Bush administration.

God I just love this new liberal math.

Baxter Greene on October 30, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Messiahs are in the business of saving things. The One is still learning – next month it will be exponentially higher.

Fuquay Steve on October 30, 2009 at 12:55 PM

The administration will claim that it saved the jobs of teachers, police officers, and firefighters with the data submitted by the states.

This will raise the GDP……NOT! So much for recovery!


BigMike252 on October 30, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I stopped reading at “community organizations”, fairly confident that I had the gist of it.

Murf76 on October 30, 2009 at 1:24 PM

Really, I’m too young to remember this in a detailed political sense, but isn’t that what they thought in the very late 70’s as well:

Lines for gas
Hostage crisis

Everyone thought our best days were behind us, and then along came Reagan…

Oh, and it’s kind of hard to get real optimistic when the Liar in Chief’s staff is saying we will just have to get used to the new normal of 10% unemployment. If GW had said that, heads really WOULD have exploded. For the life of me, I don’t understand the double standard on these things. Do those on the left REALLY want things to be demonstrably WORSE? (And I’m not talking about the lefties in power, I’m talking about the ones who put them in power.)

UnderstandingisPower on October 30, 2009 at 9:53 AM

I am old enough to remember the Carter years in a detailed political sense, although I was young and naive at the time and actually voted for Carter in 1976.

“Malaise” was only part of the problem. Unemployment was over 10%, inflation was at 13%, and mortgage interest rates were over 20% by 1980. At those rates, who could buy a house that didn’t already have one? Businesses couldn’t invest in new equipment to increase productivity, because they would need a phenomenal rate of return to pay back the loans. The stock market was going nowhere but down, since stock prices couldn’t keep up with inflation, so no one wanted stocks. The only investments that could keep up with inflation were government bonds and money-market funds, which weren’t invested in the productive economy, but that’s where RICH people put their money, meaning the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Meanwhile, the high interest rates forced up the value of the dollar against foreign currencies (where interest rates were lower), meaning that American exports were expensive in foreign countries, and foreign imports were cheap here, which led to further transfer of jobs overseas.

What caused this in the Carter years? Tax increases, runaway spending, kowtowing to the unions (assembly-line UAW people made twice as much as engineers back then), foreign-policy weakness against Iran and the Soviet Union, bumbling in Afghanistan (the Russians invaded it then) unwillingness to use America’s energy resources (domestic oil prices were capped at $6 / barrel).

Aren’t we seeing the same thing now under Obama? Tax increases and runaway spending, even worse than under Carter. Kowtowing to the unions by giving them the lion’s share of GM? Check. Foreign policy weakness against Iran and Russia? Check. Bumbling in Afghanistan? Check. Unwillingness to use America’s energy resources–what would Cap and Trade do to our coal industry?

Add to that a massive, expensive, and destructive government takeover of the health-care system (which even Carter was smart enough to avoid), and we’re looking at a repeat of the Carter years under Obama, only worse.

Except for one caveat. An American President is not a dictator, but needs Congressional approval to get things done. Carter, like Obama, had Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, who willingly pushed through his policies, and Republican resistance was weak due to popular hatred of anything Republican after the Watergate scandal.
President Clinton, in 1993-94, tried to do many of the things Obama is doing now, but Republicans took over the House in 1994, and kept Clinton in check for the next six years, and Clinton became much more moderate in response.

There are now many House Democrats who only won their seats in the last two elections, and some Senate Democrats who remember 1994 and know that Democrat majorities may not last forever, and may worry about following Obama over a political cliff. They’ve been getting an earful from their constituents.

This is why need to not give up now, but work like crazy to take back the House, and cut back on the Democrat majority in the Senate in 2010. This could result in gridlock in 2011-12, as Obama vetoes lots of Republican initiatives, but Obama can’t raise taxes without House approval! For this reason, Obama may only have two years to wreak havoc, whereas Carter had four.

In response to the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, Clinton moderated his policies in 1995-96, and both Clinton and the Republican Congress were re-elected in 1996.
Obama might lack the political realism and pragmatism that Clinton had in 1995, and still try to force a radical agenda through Congress, but with less success than now. But this would pave the way for a Republican President in 2012. The question is–who would be the next Reagan?

Steve Z on October 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

He didn’t need to. The job market was doing just fine …until 2006. I don’t quite recall what wss significant about that year, though.

Fed45 on October 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM

The Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. That was significant enough.

Steve Z on October 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Elementary mathematics are easy.

Obama + lips moving = liar

TrickyDick on October 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM

It is interesting that putting the numbers into a calculator shows that each job cost $605,384.62 assuming that half the money was spent on those “650,000 jobs”. Even if we say that an average job is on the order of $100,000 that gives a wastage factor of six times.

sabbahillel on October 30, 2009 at 1:59 PM

The Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. That was significant enough.

Oh, that’s right! /sarc. And since Congress controls spending…..well….hmmmm…

Fed45 on October 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Moreover, the administration emphasized, these reports do not reflect the job impact of the stimulus plan’s tax cuts,

Ya lets not forget that (if you still have a job) $0.19 per hour!

That’s like $1.56 per DAY! ($1.00 after state and local tax)!

DSchoen on October 30, 2009 at 4:18 PM

The super intelligent people in the Whine House are dealing with a difficult and complex problem when they’re tracking employment numbers. So questions regarding jobs “created” or jobs “saved” naturally lead to using the complex coordinate system. Jobs “created” (or “destroyed”) are plotted on the horizontal or real axis and jobs “saved” are plotted on the vertical or imaginary axis. Is it clearer now?

ya2daup on October 30, 2009 at 4:30 PM

I’m surprised he didn’t say “57 jobs were saved…or created”.

That’d be more than enough for these knucklehead Democrats to not feel buyers’ remorse.

Dr. ZhivBlago on October 30, 2009 at 4:35 PM

If we can spend money in the billions why can’t we get results in the billions or millions. How about save 10 million jobs and resign.

workingforpigs on October 30, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Even if this were true, and “saved or created” wasn’t the stupidest and most annoying thing I’ve ever heard, and we accept the BS claim that 1 million jobs were created… That means it cost a measly $787,000 per job… of our tax dollars (actually future generations’ tax dollars). Way to go Barry.

But don’t waste time worrying about that (I’m sure you won’t)… I bet you have more important things to do… like meeting with an hiring radicals, terrorists, population control advocates, and communists. Oh, and spending hundreds of thousands of our dollars for “date night”. And of course you’re busy setting records for time spent playing golf and attending fund raisers. Afghanistan? What Afghanistan!?

RightWinged on October 30, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Totally credible. I personally saved over 500,000 acres of wooded lands this year alone. I accomplished this through a strong determination to not play with matches.

obleo on October 30, 2009 at 5:40 PM

I am a fledgling here at Hotair, where i refer to several times a day, but have been reticent to post for fear of getting chewed up and spat out. But I have to ask, just what the hell has happened over at LGF? Its awfully funny how this article, generated by CBS of all people, has not even seen the light of day over there. Can someone please fill me in? As i said, i am new here and am just coming up to speed…thanks for your time..

mldlalex on October 30, 2009 at 7:30 PM