New Hampshire stimulus: $8.32 million per job

With the entire nation wondering at the effectiveness of a stimulus package that has resulted in not saving 2 million jobs thus far, the data on job creation has finally begun to arrive.  In New Hampshire, which got $416 million dollars, officials have proudly announced that the money has created jobs — 50 of them, to be exact.  Only 34 of them are full time:

More than $400 million in federal stimulus money has come to New Hampshire this year, and more is on the way.

The Office of Legislative Budget Assistant reported last week that $413.6 million made its way to the state under a list of programs that involve education, highways, environmental, health and human services, energy and law enforcement. …

So far, a total of 50 jobs have been created by the funding, 34 of them full time. The OES will be headed by a director whom Gov. John Lynch has not yet appointed. All five OES jobs are described as full-time temporary positions that will go out of existence in September 2011, the end of the federal fiscal year.

You read that right.  The stimulus package in New Hampshire has created 50 temp jobs, apparently all of them bureaucrat positions, and none of them permanent.  The Office of Economic Stimulus (OES) employs five of those people, and when the governor appoints the director, that position will pay a $110,000 salary, plus benefits.

Roughly speaking, those 50 jobs cost the American taxpayer $8.32 million per position.  If we calculate part-time positions as one-half of a full-time job, the cost per full-time job would be $9.9 million.  At that rate, the $787 billion Porkulus package should generate about 79,495 jobs across America — or about what we lose today by 1:37 pm in new unemployment claims. And of course, all of those would last only as long as the stimulus money kept coming to fund them.

Patrick Hynes at Now Hampshire points out the fallacy of transparency even on these pathetic returns on the stimulus: has repeatedly asked the state’s “stimulus czar” Orville “Bud” Fitch for up-to-date tallies of stimulus jobs created in New Hampshire. At the end of May, Fitch did not know. On June 26th, Fitch told, “We are just now rolling out a reporting system to gather information from grant fund recipients.”

According to stimulus backers, accountability and transparency were to be hallmarks of the historic spending measure.

Jazz Shaw follows up on this weekend’s report on the waste of stimulus funds in New York:

When Route 17 began work two years in the Southern Tier to expand to four lanes and convert it to a continuation of I-86, not only did the state hire many new workers in the area, but local businesses reported significant benefits as well, all of which resulted in more jobs and increased prosperity in the region. The same could be happening right now on major pending projects around Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo if the money had been quickly and properly targeted, since the plans for those projects have been drawn up and waiting for years.

Instead, federal stimulus funds are being shunted to cover up the holes and warts of a dysfunctional state government, with the taxpayer left to pick up the check. And, as the Syracuse Herald article points out, the long range effect of this will be virtually [nil]. …

When this stimulus money was first dished out in titanic proportions, a bit more time and effort on the part of Congress could surely have targeted for real job creation and long term benefits. Using it as a “stabilizing” stop-gap patch for failing state governments is resulting in it having roughly the same benefit as pouring golf balls down a gopher hole.

And the Obama administration is considering an encore.

Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 7:21 PM ET
Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET