Stimulus jobs - another Clunker?
In typical bureaucratic fashion, President Obama's economic recovery plan is showing signs of being another clunker. Government reports seem out of line with reality. The massive bureaucracy of government, once again shows how not to do things.
A report Thursday from the Associated Press related to stimulus spending for businesses, is excerpted here:
An early progress report on President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.
The government's first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.
The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.
The data partially reviewed by the AP for errors included all the data presently available, representing all known federal contracts awarded to businesses under the stimulus program.
The AP's review was not an exhaustive accounting of all 9,000 contracts, but homed in on the most obvious cases where there were indications of duplications or misinterpretations. Here are some of the findings:
- Colorado-based Teletech Government Solutions on a $28.3 million contract, reported creating 4,231 jobs, although 3,000 of those workers were paid for five weeks or less.
- The Toledo, Ohio-based Koring Group received two FCC contracts, again for call centers. It reported hiring 26 people for each contract, or a total of 52 jobs, but cited the same workers for both.. The jobs only lasted about two months.
The AP's review identified nearly 600 contracts claiming stimulus money for more than 2,700 jobs that appear to have similar duplicated counts.
- Barbara Moore, of the Child Care Association of Brevard County in Cocoa, Fla., reported that the $98,669 she received in stimulus money saved 129 jobs at her center, though the cash was used to give her 129 employees a 3.9 percent cost-of-living raise. She said she needed to boost their salaries because some workers had left "because we had not been able to give them a raise in four years."
- Officials at East Central Technical College in Douglas, Ga., said they now know they shouldn't have claimed 280 stimulus jobs linked to more than $200,000 to buy trucks and trailers for commercial driving instruction, and a modular classroom and bathroom for a health education program. The 280 were not jobs, but the number of students who would benefit.
- The San Joaquin, Calif., Regional Rail Commission reported creating or saving 125 jobs as part of a project to lay railroad track. Because the project drew from two pools of money, the commission reported the jobs twice, bringing the total to 250 on the report. (that number has since been revised to 74)
On Friday, ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper wrote:
Posting its results late this afternoon at Recovery.gov, the White House claimed 640,329 jobs have been created or saved because of the $159 billion in stimulus funds allocated as of Sept. 30.
Officials acknowledged the numbers were not exact, saying that states and localities that reported the numbers have made mistakes.
Ed DeSeve, senior advisor to the president for Recovery Act implementation, said he'd been "scrubbing" the job estimates so much since they came it at the beginning of the month that he now has "dishpan hands and my fingers are worn to the nub."
The White House argues that the actual job number is actually larger than 640,000 - closer to 1 million jobs when one factors in stimulus jobs added in October and, more importantly, jobs created indirectly, such as "the waitress who's still on the job," Vice President Biden said today.
So let's see. Assuming their number is right -- 160 billion divided by 1 million. Does that mean the stimulus costs taxpayers $160,000 per job?
Jared Bernstein, chief economist and senior economic advisor to the vice president, called that "calculator abuse."
He said the cost per job was actually $92,000 -- but acknowledged that estimate is for the whole stimulus package as of the end of 2010.
From the government website, I get the $158,705,328,811 allocated. If ABC is using those numbers, with the ONE MILLION job figure used by the White House, then they are correct. That does work out to $160,000 per job.
However, using the 640,329 jobs created or saved, as shown on their website, and abusing my calculator rather severly, the cost is $247,000.00 per job.
Assuming that the earlier AP story is correct - and the Administration seems to agree that it is, then the real cost per job may be much higher.
Cash for Clunkers = $24,000.00 government cost per car sale.
Stimulus Package = $ 165,000.00 - 250,000.000 per job?
Again, from the government website, the cost per capita, for the stimulus package is $35,031.00 . That is the cost is for every man, woman, and child in this country.
Not being a politician or government bureaucrat, I have to ask.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada