Another Porkulus fable in New Hampshire?
posted at 12:55 pm on May 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
Remember when Barack Obama put Joe Biden in charge of implementing the stimulus package, because “no one messes with Joe”? Apparently someone has been messing with Joe, or at least feeding him and the White House the wrong numbers. A month ago, the Obama administration announced that it had “saved or created” over 12,000 jobs in New Hampshire through its Porkulus spending as a way of helping Democrats campaign for re-election:
The White House estimates the federal economic stimulus package has saved or created 12,000 jobs in New Hampshire, but also admits the figure is speculative.
The estimate, released Friday by President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, shows the White House could be within striking range of its initial prediction that stimulus money would create or save 16,000 jobs in the Granite State. …
In January, the stimulus office reported that as of December, if all stimulus money had been paid out only to people working 40 hours a week over a full year, then the equivalent of 2,021 jobs had been created.
The White House touted its new estimates as proof that the $787 billion stimulus package has put people to work and helped resuscitate the staggering economy.
“From tax cuts to construction projects, the Recovery Act is now firing on all cylinders when it comes to creating jobs and putting Americans back to work,” Vice President Joe Biden wrote in a statement.
A month later, the Recovery.gov website tells a different story:
The actual reported “saved or created” jobs in New Hampshire come to a little over 10% of what Biden and the White House claimed. In almost 1100 awards through Porkulus, the bureau tracking the “saved or created” jobs across the country could only find 1432 jobs, or 1.31 jobs per award. The amount of Porkulus money spent in New Hampshire is more than $772 million, which means that the cost of saving or creating each job documented through Recovery.gov comes to $539,248.29.
The State of New Hampshire’s numbers are much closer to the Recovery.gov website than previous White House claims. They show 2,223 jobs saved or created through Porkulus, which makes the investment in each job only $347,370.02. A bargain!
Needless to say, Democrats like Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, who voted for Porkulus, will have to account for the lack of impact this bill has had in New Hampshire. Had this money been put to use by the private sector, it would have created a lot more than 1432 jobs, and would have also created actual economic growth. One of the Republicans vying to challenge Shea-Porter, Sean Mahoney, wants an audit of how the money is being spent:
“When three different government entities report widely disparate jobs figures after spending the same enormous pot of money, it’s time for the politicians to start answering questions. Especially politicians like Carol Shea-Porter who voted for this debacle,” Mahoney continued.
Last month the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report claiming the stimulus has created 12,000 jobs in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Recovery.gov, the website set up by President Obama allegedly to “root out waste, inefficiency and unnecessary spending in our government” estimates the stimulus has created only 1,432 jobs. On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Office of Economic Recovery released its jobs report for the first quarter of 2010 estimating the stimulus created 2,223 jobs to date.
“Carol Shea-Porter voted for the stimulus spending bill with all manner of promises about transparency and job creation. We’re slowly finding out both those promises were empty,” Mahoney stated. “It would be tempting to chalk this up to just another Washington politician’s phony rhetoric. But we’re talking about almost a trillion dollars in taxpayers’ money.”
“The Government Accountability Office needs to audit the stimulus law. They need to come clean as to where our money went. They didn’t spend it creating the jobs they promised. And they are flouting their own standards or transparency and accountability,” Mahoney continued. “Carol Shea-Porter is plugged in to the powers that be in Washington. She would be wise to be the first elected politician to call for an audit of stimulus spending.”
It’s worse than that, Sean. Someone is messing with Joe Biden! Or, more likely, Biden and this administration are messing with us.