Is there a category for “jobs ended” by Porkulus?
posted at 1:36 pm on December 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The Obama administration makes plenty of noise about its risible “saved or created” accounting for jobs, but how much of Porkulus goes to ending jobs? In Iowa, over $43 million in stimulus funds will pay the salaries of outgoing professors in three universities:
More than $43 million of federal stimulus money meant to save or create jobs is being spent on salaries and benefits for outgoing employees by Iowa’s three state universities.
The University of Iowa has directed $33.4 million in stimulus money to the salaries of employees taking early retirement or otherwise leaving the university by June 30. Iowa State University will use $5.9 million and the University of Northern Iowa $3.6 million on the salaries and benefits of employees who took early retirements.
University officials defended their use of the money, saying the one-time cash infusion is wisely spent on temporary costs, as opposed to ongoing expenses that would have to be somehow funded or cut in the future.
“The money truly is saving jobs,” University of Iowa vice president and treasurer Doug True said. “I know that. I believe it to the bottom of my feet.”
And to think that some academics scoffed at the notion of faith-based initiatives in government. It’s the new religion! True believes that funding early retirements creates jobs, even if the evidence shows that these universities will have spent tens of millions of dollars to reduce staff.
In other words, the stimulus is funding downsizing. That may or may not be good policy — it probably is — but it isn’t job stimulation. It’s not even “saving” jobs. It’s doing what Iowa needed to do anyway, which is to pare down the staffs at its state-run universities. They didn’t need federal money to do it, either, and this kind of decision-making should have been the norm rather than a crisis response.
Iowa joins the states where media has discovered that “stimulus” means anything but, and that jobs “saved or created” is largely a fable:
- New Hampshire
- Florida and Georgia
- New Jersey
- California (San Diego)
- New York