Stimulus spending figures for most states have been out long enough to show that there are many overstatements about the impact of the $787 billion federal Recovery Act.
The U.S. government has a website where taxpayers can track the stimulus spending and view the running total of jobs saved or created. The Obama Administration claims that a total of 640,329 jobs have been saved or created.
Update: Tuesday, President Obama announced that his administration has saved 1 million jobs.
White House officials heralded the unparalleled transparency
in reporting job numbers to the public, but acknowledged there is no consistent standard across states or localities, or among federal agencies giving out stimulus funds, in differentiating between a “saved” job and a “created” job.
Tapper asked Ed DeSeve, senior advisor to the president for Recovery Act Implementation and Jared Bernstein, chief economist and senior economic advisor to the vice president, how they knew the requests for funding by public officials to prevent layoffs were legitimate. DeSeve replied, “What we have to do is expect that our public officials are honest. I know that's a high bar."
In a recent AP article, STIMULUS WATCH: Salary raise counted as saved jobs
showed that much of the state of Georgia’s impressive jobs saved/created numbers appear to be far from accurate. The Southwest Georgia Community Action Council claims they were able to save 935 jobs with stimulus funding, but they only have 508 people employed. The Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services claimed to have saved 14,506 jobs. But, according to the AP audit, three-fourths of those claimed saved jobs were not saved at all. Instead, the money was used to give raises and benefits to existing job holders.
The AP article goes on to discuss the rationalizations for the overcounting by the Obama Administration:
The administration now acknowledges overcounting in the new numbers for the HHS program. Elizabeth Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House recovery office, said the Obama administration was reviewing the Head Start data "to determine how and if it will be counted."
But officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.
"If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job," HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.
Exactly how many portions of a job does a raise save and how will that be counted on the stimulus job's saved/created ticker on recovery.gov?