When President Obama started backpedaling on the number of Jobs his economic stimulus would create he started using the bogus term “Saved or created.” This is how William McGurn described the term for the Wall Street Journal:
“To begin with, the number is pure fiction — the administration has no way to measure how many jobs are actually being ‘saved.’ And if we had tried to use something this flimsy, the press would never have let us get away with it.”
“How do you know what a saved job is? How do you know what jobs would have been lost without this?” Davis said. “That was a clever political gimmick to make it even harder to determine whether this policy has any effect.”
As the job saved numbers began to come in people began to see how ridiculous the term was, for example, there was the AP released report that moved Job Saved from the ridiculous to the really comical. For example the Georgia Community Action Council which claims that 935 jobs were saved, impressive if true, but it can’t be true because only 508 people work there.
The Georgia nonprofit’s inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government’s latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an “extensive review” to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.
Now the word is out that there were even worse examples, but the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) threw out 60,000 Jobs that were even more ridiculus than the examples included in the report. Nice to know that the POTUS has minimum standards.
The Office of Management and Budget document shows that before an Oct. 30 progress report on the program the administration asked the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board to remove information from 12 stimulus recipients that contained “unrealistic data,” including “unrealistic job data.” (Read the document here.)
One recipient Talladega County of Alabama claimed that 5,000 jobs had been saved or created from only $42,000 in stimulus funds.
“The administration committed from the start to be upfront with the American people about the impact of the Recovery Act. Overall, the recipients provided good information on the impact of the Recovery Act across the country,” Rob Nabors, deputy director at OMB, told ABC News Monday. “The test that we used when examining the data for accuracy was, ‘Is that reasonable?’ When the answer was no, we acted accordingly.”
Perhaps by reasonable he was talking about the case in Fayetteville dug up by Hot Air where the sale of a single lawnmower was credited with saving 50 jobs
Some of the other recipients whose data was omitted included Belmont Metropolitan Housing Authority in Ohio that reported 16,120 jobs saved or created after receiving $1.3 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Shelton State Community College in Alabama reported 14,500 jobs saved or created after receiving $27,000 from the General Accounting Office. And Alkan Builders of Alaska reported 3,000 jobs saved or created after receiving $11 million from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
All told, the omitted data from the 12 outlets reflected 60,803 jobs saved or created from over $20 million in stimulus funds. If the administration had included the data in its report last month, the total job growth from the stimulus would have exceeded 700,000, rather than the 640,000 ultimately reported.
Last month the administration claimed that 640,329 jobs had been saved or created because of the $159 billion in stimulus money allocated as of the end of September….Since the latest stimulus report, there have been numerous media reports that the jobs numbers were inflated.
Beyond the AP example cited above some of the jobs created in the report that seemed a bid funky include:
The Denver Post also cited overstated federal figures with the Colorado Head Start program, noting that the government reported 269 jobs saved or created by the program, but only three were actually saved or created.
The Chicago Tribune noted that the administration said $4.7 million in stimulus money for schools in north Chicago had saved the jobs of 473 teachers, but the school district only employed 290 teachers. The statistics claiming that stimulus money had helped save or create 14,330 school jobs in Illinois were “riddled with anomalies that raise questions about their validity.”
The Boston Globe also reported that Massachusetts recipients of stimulus funds claimed that 12,000 jobs had been saved or created, “that number has been inflated by miscounts, erroneous figures, or claiming jobs for work not yet started.”