Porkulus job fables in Michigan
posted at 11:36 am on November 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The latest media reporting on the fraudulent nature of White House reporting on jobs “saved and created” comes from the blue state of Michigan. The Detroit Free Press reported yesterday that Michigan has received billions in federal funds, but has done nothing to stimulate hiring. And even those claimed to have been “saved or created” are greatly overstated:
Seven months into the massive federal stimulus program, the vast majority of government grants, contracts and loans in Michigan so far have created or retained virtually no jobs, a Free Press analysis shows.
The analysis also revealed that others who have been promised or have received stimulus money have overstated — in some cases greatly — the number of jobs created or protected. …
The Free Press examination of more than 1,800 government reports of those who have received or expect to receive stimulus money found the biggest impact was spurring or protecting public-sector or summer jobs — not private-sector jobs. Michigan has the nation’s worst unemployment rate.
The Free Press found very similar stories to those found by other newspapers in their states:
The Ingham County Health Department reported 97.49 jobs retained, but an official with the agency said without the funding, six jobs would have been lost. The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan in Sault Ste. Marie, which provides services to member American Indian tribes, reported 99 jobs created or saved thanks to $46,000 in cost-of-living adjustments for Head Start employees. An official with the tribal council said she believes no jobs would have been lost without the government money. …
General Motors Co., for instance, reported 105 jobs saved or created for a government purchase of 5,000 vehicles but later said no jobs were saved or created. The City of Detroit reported 342 jobs it now says were projections — not jobs already created or retained. …
Detroit reported on a grant award — $10 million for work on 14 improvement projects in the city — saying 342 jobs had been saved or created, despite none of the money actually reaching the city yet. Last week, city officials told the Free Press those were only projections — not jobs saved or created.
Obama promised to stimulate the private sector with Porkulus, but the vast majority of the jobs being reported are those of government bureaucrats. Peter Morici, the University of Maryland economist, told the Free Press that 90% of the supposed stimulus would take place in the public sector, not the private sector — and the FP’s numbers support that conclusion. Even those jobs are questionable, however:
Of 22,513 jobs reported, 13,555 were tied to state money for education, doled out to local school districts. Without a huge economic turnaround or more federal money after the 2-year stimulus ends, many of those jobs could be threatened.
Another problem: More than 3,000 were summer-only jobs for youths. Those jobs do little to bring down Michigan’s highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate.
Basically, this is crack cocaine for bureaucracies. It provides a one-shot lifeline to state bureaucracies to avoid having the states downsize in the middle of an economic turndown, when states should be looking at ways to tighten their belts. These same jobs will be back at risk in the next budget year, because the underlying problem — a bloated and oversized government — will not be solved by a one-time federal subsidy. The states don’t have the revenue to keep all of their bureaucracies in place for the long term, which means each year Obama will have to have a Porkulus outlay or the “saved or created” jobs will disappear due to the eventual exercise of fiscal responsibility.
Add Michigan to the list of states whose media are discovering the fraud of Porkulus:
- New Hampshire
- Florida and Georgia
- New Jersey
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