Bogus Porkulus numbers epidemic hits Wisconsin, too

posted at 1:55 pm on November 5, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The credibility of the Obama administration on stimulus accountability continues to crash today, this time in Wisconsin. The state’s largest newspaper calls the numbers of jobs “saved or created” not just inaccurate, but “wildly inflated.” The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel picks up the trail blazed by the Associated Press and discovers that the numbers exist only as a product of an artificial White House calculus:

A stimulus job report that says more than 10,000 jobs were saved or created in Wisconsin is rife with errors, double counting and inflated numbers based more on satisfying federal formulas than creating real jobs, a Journal Sentinel review has found.

In one case, five jobs were mistakenly listed as 50 – and then counted twice. In another, pay raises to workers were listed as saving more than 100 jobs. And in another, jobs were listed as saved even though the money had not been received and no work on the project had begun. …

Double-counted jobs: About $7.3 million of federal money will flow to the Parkland Sanitary District in Douglas County to replace its sewer system, a project listed as creating or saving 100 jobs even though work won’t start until this spring, federal recovery data shows.

But that number is inflated by 95 jobs, Parkland Sanitary District treasurer Eric Shaffer admitted. …

Pay raises: United Migrant Opportunity Services based in Milwaukee reported saving 113 jobs through spending $18,000 of a Head Start preschool grant, or about $160 per job. The award provided their employees a 1.8% cost-of-living wage increase. The nonprofit provides services to migrant farm workers in Wisconsin and other states.

You have to love the example of the Parkland Sanitary District data being part of the White House claims.  They took credit for 100 jobs that don’t even exist, at least 95 of which they overstated when the jobs really do begin.  They took a 1900% markup on five phantom jobs — for a sewage project.  If anyone doubted that the White House numbers were crap, this should utterly convince them.

More phantom jobs exist in Wisconsin’s data, all of it from contracts given directly from the federal government.  One contractor claimed to have saved 24 jobs without receiving any money at all for that project, which may be the most efficient use of government funds in US history.  Five low-income housing projects reported saving 38 jobs through renter’s assistance, even though it saved — at best — five jobs.  It turns out that the money came from a HUD grant that had nothing to do with job creation.

Of course, the Wisconsin experience in Porkulus spending has other things in common with the rest of the country:

Once again, we see the high cost of “saving or creating” jobs in education — jobs that weren’t at risk in the first place.  It would take twenty years for the tax revenue from those jobs to repay the federal outlay for them, which we all will have to pay eventually.

The poor accounting for this massive spending program should be a national scandal.  At least the Journal-Sentinel and the AP are doing their part.  Where are the rest of the national media outlets, who make such a pretense of “speaking truth to power”?

Update: David Freddoso: “Stimulus saves nine out of every five jobs.”


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The print edition of the paper last weekend just reported the administration’s stimulus numbers, front page, with no question of whether or not they were legit.

I’m guessing way more people saw that ‘reporting’.

BadgerHawk on November 5, 2009 at 1:59 PM

We need to expose this conspiracy in 2011. Hearings for all of these crooks. Phone records, emails.

marklmail on November 5, 2009 at 2:00 PM

The poor accounting for this massive spending program should be a national scandal one more in the articles of impeachment presented against this insane, treasonous, un-American Precedent.

This is flat-out fraud, on the largest scale, and should be prosecuted as such – after the impeachment.

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Just more feather bedding.

fourdeucer on November 5, 2009 at 2:01 PM

The… new… swine… flu.

Epic subhead.

John the Libertarian on November 5, 2009 at 2:03 PM

I heard someone on the news report yesterday that an employer had given an increase in pay and in benefits to his entire work force. No new personnel were hired, no existing personnel were stricken from a list of people targeted for layoffs. All the boss did was give a pay raise and increased benefits.

This was reported as jobs saved.

LOL.

fogw on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

And to think there are Americans who want these people to manage their healthcare system.

“My brother died because he couldn’t get an operation.”

“No he didn’t, we propped his corpse behind a desk so technically he’s still alive AND we saved his job.”

Bishop on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Have we reached the point at which everyone simply knows that Obama and his gang lie about everything, so this is generates mostly yawns?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

“My brother died because he couldn’t get an operation.”

“No he didn’t, we propped his corpse behind a desk so technically he’s still alive AND we saved his job.”

Bishop on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

“He’s just sleeping.”

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:06 PM

It is so far beyond my comprehension, why anyone with a brain would blindly follow this ilk, (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) and accept the garbage they speak, as truth, and fact.

Spin it all you like, but a lie, is a lie…and some just keep letting themselves be fed this pile of crap. Amazing!

capejasmine on November 5, 2009 at 2:06 PM

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel picks up the trail blazed by the Associated Press and discovers that the numbers exist only as a product of an artificial White House calculus:

I wouldn’t even say it’s calculus. Having taken calculus in high school and college (meaning I went very deep into calculus), calculus makes sense. It may be difficult for average people to understand, but it does make sense and most of the time calculus and physics go hand in hand.

This is outright lying because not only does it not make sense, but it’s not physically possible for the White House’s numbers to be true.

Yeah, I made a physics pun.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

I believe it’s time the right revive a long-known trope the left used during the Vietnam era to characterize the differences between what the government was reporting to the public and what the actual casualties were.

This administration now has a CREDIBILITY GAP on its economic policy front.

Good Lt on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

“My brother died because he couldn’t get an operation.”

“No he didn’t, we propped his corpse behind a desk so technically he’s still alive AND we saved his job.”

Bishop on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM
“He’s just sleeping.”

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:06 PM

ROFL!!!! Thanks for the laugh!

capejasmine on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

One contractor claimed to have saved 24 jobs without receiving any money at all for that project, which may be the most efficient use of government funds in US history

Pulitzer worthy

uknowmorethanme on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Have we reached the point at which everyone simply knows that Obama and his gang lie about everything, so this is generates mostly yawns?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

It’s even worse. If we ever found something that The Precedent did not lie about, that would be news.

We are well through the looking glass.

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:08 PM

I agree — should be front page news Boldface — and demand criminal investigations

wheels on November 5, 2009 at 2:09 PM

Congress Approves $500 Billion For Monument

Christien on November 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Have we reached the point at which everyone simply knows that Obama and his gang lie about everything, so this is generates mostly yawns?

GaltBlvnAtty on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM

We knew it over 15 years ago, when Rahm the Snake was Clinton’s apologist and spinmeister.

Same snake, different prez.

fogw on November 5, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Who was it that felt if you were going to lie, tell a big lie…just as many people will believe a big lie as a small one.
So why should they “fudge” the report, might as well just put whatever numbers that make them look good.
I guarantee, just as many will support him, then if just a few numbers were “massaged”.

Adolf Hitler in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf for a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”.

And one that fits the liberals perfectly…as well as most Rino’s.

The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. Mein Kampf, vol. 1, ch. 6: ‘War Propaganda.’

Please, indulge me, sorry for the long quote, but it is important. Read it carefully, I never had, and notice the “lie always leaves traces behind it”.

All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes. …Hitler wrote in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf (James Murphy translation, page 134):

right2bright on November 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Hey Obama: You lie! You lie! You lie!

Christian Conservative on November 5, 2009 at 2:12 PM

You know, when the O talked about this earlier this spring, he talked about something different when sepaking of jobs and I pray to God that it really comes back to haunt him. the O said that it would create 3 million private sector jobs. The GOP needs to get an ad up and run that from now until Nov of 2012. the O can create as many govt jobs he wants, but it is the private sector that he was specific about. BTW, is it 2012 yet?

ConservativePartyNow on November 5, 2009 at 2:13 PM

capejasmine on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

The really sad part is that Cleese supported the Indonesian imbecile – though I’m still not clear on why a Brit was opening his fat mouth and mucking around in our elections. Cleese wasn’t even able to spot his own parody on parade in reality. Monty Python proved that they (Cleese, at least) didn’t really understand their own humor.

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:14 PM

I saw this earlier. I’m flabbergasted that the Journal-Sentinel would dare to doubt TEH WUN, given that they’ve lovingly slobbered over his every economic footfall since he took office.

My guess is that circulation numbers just keep dropping.

MadisonConservative on November 5, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Porkulus: the only swine flue that anyone is dying from these days.

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Hey Ed:

Check out the Chicago Tribune front page headline from yesterday….

You think these numbers are bad, The Trib crushed Obama yesterday on the education job numbers….

They claim to have created or saved teacher jobs across the state by the thousands, and when the Trib contacted indivisual districts the superintendents indicated that the jobs they saved were greater than the total amount of teachers in entire districts.

FRONT PAGE in Ogabe’s home town paper….link that article to this and create an update…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Everything about this administration can be summed up with “You lie!”

Dusty on November 5, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I would like to take this opportunity to repeat a point I’ve made in similar threads. Official WH data show an amount of dollars spent to “save or create” a certain number of jobs, and one can do the math and see it works out to an obviously unbelievable amount per job (that is, the workers certainly are not being paid that much, or anywhere near it). From reports such as this one in Wisconsin, we know that the actual number of jobs “saved or created” is much lower than the WH claims; thus the amount of dollars per job is even higher. Put it all together:

Someone — not the workers — is getting a huge amount of money out of this.

So who is it? Where is the money going? Is anyone in the major media looking into this?

jwolf on November 5, 2009 at 2:16 PM

I’m a job, you’re a job, wouldn’t you love to be a job too, be a job, get counted twice, be a job, get counted again….

(to the I’m a Pepper, you’re a pepper jingle)

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:17 PM

If anyone doubted that the White House numbers were crap, this should utterly convince them.

“Sorry, but I’m not seeing a pattern here. That’s just a few anecdotes. And besides, what’s wrong with improving the country’s morale?”

– I’ve got to stop channeling Bleeds Blue.

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:19 PM

They claim to have created or saved teacher jobs across the state by the thousands, and when the Trib contacted indivisual districts the superintendents indicated that the jobs they saved were greater than the total amount of teachers in entire districts.

FRONT PAGE in Ogabe’s home town paper….link that article to this and create an update…

PatriotRider on November 5, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Obama: How many of them there teachin’ jobs did we save there in un unmmm Chicago?

Duncan: It looks like about 3….?

Obama: Hell, make it 300,

Duncan: well, okay. Can we go shoot some hoops now?

Obama: Right on!

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:19 PM

So who is it? Where is the money going? Is anyone in the major media looking into this?

jwolf on November 5, 2009 at 2:16 PM

They are all looking into it, and will report it as soon as they have all the facts…about 3 1/2 years from now, right after the election…

right2bright on November 5, 2009 at 2:19 PM

I’m a job, you’re a job, wouldn’t you love to be a job too, be a job, get counted twice, be a job, get counted again….

(to the I’m a Pepper, you’re a pepper jingle)

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:17 PM

A majority of the people out of work are probably singing…

“Oh I wish I were a Barack Obama saved job!”

(To the tune of “Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener” if you didn’t already know)

MobileVideoEngineer on November 5, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Someone — not the workers — is getting a huge amount of money out of this.

So who is it? Where is the money going? Is anyone in the major media looking into this?

jwolf on November 5, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Remember all of those Czars? They have unlimited access to all those bucks with absoutely no congressional oversight. They are literally “spreading the wealth” from porkulus to whomever they want to.

Johnnyreb on November 5, 2009 at 2:21 PM

They are literally “spreading the wealth” from porkulus to whomever they want to.

Johnnyreb on November 5, 2009 at 2:21 PM

True, that answers the question of who’s doling it out; it’s still important to find out who’s getting it.

And that famously citizen-friendly “Recovery.gov” site, with a multi-billion dollar “transparency” budget, doesn’t seem to provide many clues….

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:24 PM

This is not some little exaggeration or inflation of the numbers….this is bold face lying to the media & American people.

I guess they feel that if they are going to lie, why not lie big time.

PatriotRider on November 5, 2009 at 2:27 PM

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has violated the edict that the press shall not portray the Obama Administration in a bad light. Consequences to follow.

Cicero43 on November 5, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Double-counted jobs: About $7.3 million of federal money will flow to the Parkland Sanitary District in Douglas County to replace its sewer system, a project listed as creating or saving 100 jobs even though work won’t start until this spring, federal recovery data shows.

But that number is inflated by 95 jobs, Parkland Sanitary District treasurer Eric Shaffer admitted. …

Payoff to unions.

Pay raises: United Migrant Opportunity Services based in Milwaukee reported saving 113 jobs through spending $18,000 of a Head Start preschool grant, or about $160 per job.

Payoff to La Raza.

I guess Soros doesn’t have his fingers in Wisconsin, so he doesn’t get a payoff here.

I bet Bernie Madoff is kicking himself for not thinking of working for the government in his ponzi scheme.

rbj on November 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

And that famously citizen-friendly “Recovery.gov” site, with a multi-billion dollar “transparency” budget, doesn’t seem to provide many clues….

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:24 PM

If I weren’t so cynical about Obama, I’d say I was surprised, but…

jwolf on November 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Consequences to follow.

Cicero43 on November 5, 2009 at 2:28 PM

They’re not a “real” news organization.

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has violated the edict that the press shall not portray the Obama Administration in a bad light. Consequences to follow.

Cicero43 on November 5, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Right out of the new V series…..

PatriotRider on November 5, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Meanwhile in the White House:

Gibbs: Mr. President, we need new jobs saved and created for the today’s press conference.
Obama: Sure … sure … hey, what was the score of the game last night.
Gibbs: The Yankees won, 7-3.
Obama: Great … let’s make it …. 73,000 jobs created or saved this week.

PackerBronco on November 5, 2009 at 2:31 PM

From the website:

Jobs Created/Saved as Reported by Recipients 640,329, Funds awarded 158,705,000,000 58%

So we can divide the total $$ awarded by the number of jobs “saved” and we come up with $247,849 expended per job. Someone check my math on that ok? And remember folks, all of these “saved” jobs are only 1-9 months old, so the real number is much bigger. Big government is really screwing us, as is costs over a quarter of a million dollars to “save” one job…….

Johnnyreb on November 5, 2009 at 2:33 PM

DUDE there is sooo much unused comedy out there that is just so ready to get tapped! Where is the right wing SNL, Where is the right wing Dave Chappelle show? If somebody took this on, they’d make a killing in the next 3 years, it’d be a slaughter from day one if it was done right!

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:33 PM

YOU LIE!

Cicero43 on November 5, 2009 at 2:34 PM

i can see it now, ObamaMath by Jack Handey….

The ObamaClinic….staffed by Nanzi and harry and with cameos by Toooom Daschle…

Hillary’s trips…. Bill in tow… playing grab as$

Pure wasted COMEDY GOLD

ted c on November 5, 2009 at 2:34 PM

**Breaking News**

Obama Touts Thousands of Porkulus Environmental Clean-Up Jobs Created :

The leaves falling in New England means lots of kids are going to work raking lawns for a few bucks. Economic recovery in full swing!

red winger on November 5, 2009 at 2:37 PM

The unabashed arrogance…did they not think people would check their numbers?!? The stimu-lies are right there, in black and white. So what will the ramifications be? Will the press insist the administration fess up about these phony numbers? Or will they put their head in the sand? This is disgusting.

karlant on November 5, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Johnnyreb on November 5, 2009 at 2:33 PM

It’s pretty sad when even using their own inflated numbers (apparently inflated by several orders of magnitude), you still are forced to conclude that their “stimulus” was an utter failure….

So, if the number is actually 1/10 or 1/20, as the Journal-Sentinel is implying, then we’re talking millions of dollars per job.

And, as you say, the poor schmuck manning the shovel ain’t getting no millions.

Wonder what that dude who embezzled millions from ACORN is up to about now?

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:40 PM

FYI the term “wildly” has since been scrubbed from the article…

karlant on November 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Wonder what that dude who embezzled millions from ACORN is up to about now?

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:40 PM

This is probably a way to fund ACORN through the back door while they are “chaining up” the front door.

MobileVideoEngineer on November 5, 2009 at 2:46 PM

karlant on November 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Guess Anita Dunn has a hotline to the MJ-S, too.

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Where are the rest of the national media outlets, who make such a pretense of “speaking truth to power”?

no, no, no, Ed.

Didn’t you hear what Valerie Jarrett said? The White House are the ones “speaking truth to power” to those in the media. This is how things work in the Age of Obama.

Joe Caps on November 5, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Hitler did it best: The Big Lie.

AndAwayWeGo on November 5, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Obama lied, jobs died.

WisCon on November 5, 2009 at 2:54 PM

Job, job, jo job, bonana bana bo bob, me my mo mob, JOB.

“The Name Game” (early ’60′s)

jodetoad on November 5, 2009 at 3:02 PM

So who is it? Where is the money going? Is anyone in the major media looking into this?

jwolf on November 5, 2009 at

At this very moment they are investigating a newly discovered cave system in Arizona where this and all other truths about this administration will be stored along with spent nuclear fuel rods. These archives will be readly available for perusal. Visitors are advised that they must provide their own radiation suits and bat-resistant hair nets. To aid in finding these archives, maps of Rhode Island will be available in the basement of CIA headquarters.

SKYFOX on November 5, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Yeah Barry, you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig. Likewise, you can flavor and garnish the stimulus with all kinds of magic numbers to make it look like steak but it’s still pork, and not fit for American consumption.

Goldy1 on November 5, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Hey, is Timmy using Turbo Tax to calculate jobs?

BobMbx on November 5, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Math is hard!

The leaves falling in New England means lots of kids are going to work raking lawns for a few bucks. Economic recovery in full swing!
red winger on November 5, 2009 at 2:37 PM

HOWEVER, thanks to these slacker trees taking time off, local CO2 levels are projected to spike at dangerous levels!

In a related matter, have HA readers noticed that we’re leaking daylight during the past few weeks? (Stolen shamelessly from El Rushbo.)

ya2daup on November 5, 2009 at 4:04 PM

ya2daup on November 5, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Sorry! Blockquote inversion caused by panic over the continuing light leakage crisis (soon to be a catastrophe)!

ya2daup on November 5, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Wonder what that dude who embezzled millions from ACORN is up to about now?

notropis on November 5, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Up to tens of millions. On his way to a cool $100 million, thanks for asking.

rbj on November 5, 2009 at 4:09 PM

One report earlier today shows that the purchase of a new Toro lawn mower used to cut grass at at state veteran’s cemetery saved 50 jobs!!!!

How many state employees does it take to cut grass with one mower?????

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on November 5, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Funny they count pay increases as “jobs saved” but where do they count pay cuts as “jobs lost”? This is sheer buffoonery, and I’m aghast and agog that those fools in Washington are either so stupid themselves, or, more likely, consider us so stupid, that they would even try this on.

$800+ billion pissed down a rathole. That’s pretty impressive, even by my wife’s standards. The cash and barter economy beckons….

mr.blacksheep on November 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Like Freddoso I’m saddened that i wasn’t pessimistic enough.

I also thought that so long as 2 million jobs remained, Obama would take credit for saving 2 million jobs.

Now we know that it isn’t a requirement for 2 million jobs to remain for Obama to make his claim, they’ll fudge the numbers as they go… I don’t know why I expected even that level of honesty, and I apologize for my excessive optimism and credulity.

gekkobear on November 5, 2009 at 5:19 PM

WHERE IS SHERIFF JOE BIDEN?

GarandFan on November 5, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Tougher to get away with inflated numbers when there isn’t an election to steal.

chickasaw42 on November 5, 2009 at 6:02 PM

It’s probably too late for this but oh well.

“My brother died because he couldn’t get an operation.”

“No he didn’t, we propped his corpse behind a desk so technically he’s still alive AND we saved his job.”

Bishop on November 5, 2009 at 2:05 PM
“He’s just sleeping.”

progressoverpeace on November 5, 2009 at 2:06 PM

He’s not dead yet.

cobrakai99 on November 5, 2009 at 8:01 PM

Yeah, I made a physics pun.
MobileVideoEngineer on November 5, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Me think they be using Boolean logic!

AND our best hopes
AND NOT reality
OR we just make it up
Equal jobs saved or created!

DSchoen on November 5, 2009 at 8:21 PM

I’m shocked. The Milwaukee journal is your typical lefty liberal rag. I’m surprised they didn’t try to justify those numbers. Mention the deceit to Comrade Feingold and he’ll pretend he can’t hear you. You could try mentioning to Kohl, but I think he actually died 10 years ago and they’re just propping him up in his seat. He still thinks he’s stocking at the old mans grocery store.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Hey Obama you schmuck. I’m in Wisconsin & I need to go back to work very soon.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:37 PM

One report earlier today shows that the purchase of a new Toro lawn mower used to cut grass at at state veteran’s cemetery saved 50 jobs!!!!

How many state employees does it take to cut grass with one mower?????

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on November 5, 2009 at 4:29 PM

LOLOL…You’re closer than you think. There’s a federal verterans hospital called Woods. You could very well be right.

Jeff from WI on November 5, 2009 at 8:39 PM