That's a relief: White House says Stim bill is working

I must admit I had my doubts, but when the White House announced today that the stim bill had "created or saved" 650,000 jobs my heart soared like a hawk.

Tammy Luhby of CNN - with a perfectly straight face - gives us the details:

The largest stimulus program in the nation's history has created or saved at least 650,000 state and local jobs, according to a report released by the Obama administration on Friday.Based on approximately $150 billion in spending from the $787 billion recovery package, the tally is the first broad, concrete look at the stimulus program's impact on the economy. The numbers are drawn from tens of thousands of reports from state and local recipients as well as private companies.

The White House said the actual number of jobs created so far is likely closer to 1 million, since its report on stimulus job creation only focused on $150 billion of the $339 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds spent so far.

"We're solidly on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the time this program winds down," administration economist Jared Bernstein told CNN on Friday. "There's a lot more ammunition in that Recovery Act. The stimulus package is absolutely working, both in GDP terms and in terms of saving or creating jobs."

Needless to say, the fact that the "reports" are coming from states and companies without any corraborating data, with completely subjective criteria, and most importantly, without any rational definition of what constitutes a "saved" job, makes this White House study the most spectacularly political, and walloping unscientific report in history.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press of all things, supplies a little balance to this report by pointing out figures from another stim bill report: "A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced. A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending. A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees."

That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course, The thought that this report contains  even a germ of truth is so far beyond imagining, that they may as well have hired a novelist to write it.

The brazenness is breathtaking. Any other president who released something like this would have been laughed out of Washington. But here's CNN - you know, a "real" news network - swallowing this crap hook, line, and sinker. There is mention near the end of the piece that perhaps there is no agreed upon definition for what makes a job "saved" under the stim bill, but Ms. Luhby helpfully adds:

Among recipients' biggest hurdles are accounting for part-time or short-term jobs created, for people working on multiple stimulus projects and for positions saved recovery act funding.

Also, the job numbers do not include indirect positions, such as the deli worker who delivers lunch to the stimulus-funded construction sites or the concrete company that has to ramp up production to handle an increased number of contracts.

"The job numbers are at best going to be a rough outline of how the recovery act is impacting the economy," said Craig Jennings' senior policy analyst at OMB Watch.

Yes, those tens of thousands of deli workers who have been hired to deliver lunch to all those new job sites "indirectly" - probably - perhaps - could be included in the stim bill numbers. The question of whether delis still deliver to anybody is a little hazy but whose counting?

Come to think of it, my job has been saved "indirectly" because of the stim bill. Writing about White House prevarications and number creation is a growing business and I'm sure our editor Tom Lifson is grateful for all the opportunities we get here at AT to show that the White House from the president on down is full of lying little weasels.



I must admit I had my doubts, but when the White House announced today that the stim bill had "created or saved" 650,000 jobs my heart soared like a hawk.

Tammy Luhby of CNN - with a perfectly straight face - gives us the details:

The largest stimulus program in the nation's history has created or saved at least 650,000 state and local jobs, according to a report released by the Obama administration on Friday.

Based on approximately $150 billion in spending from the $787 billion recovery package, the tally is the first broad, concrete look at the stimulus program's impact on the economy. The numbers are drawn from tens of thousands of reports from state and local recipients as well as private companies.

The White House said the actual number of jobs created so far is likely closer to 1 million, since its report on stimulus job creation only focused on $150 billion of the $339 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds spent so far.

"We're solidly on track to create or save 3.5 million jobs by the time this program winds down," administration economist Jared Bernstein told CNN on Friday. "There's a lot more ammunition in that Recovery Act. The stimulus package is absolutely working, both in GDP terms and in terms of saving or creating jobs."

Needless to say, the fact that the "reports" are coming from states and companies without any corraborating data, with completely subjective criteria, and most importantly, without any rational definition of what constitutes a "saved" job, makes this White House study the most spectacularly political, and walloping unscientific report in history.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press of all things, supplies a little balance to this report by pointing out figures from another stim bill report: "A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced. A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending. A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees."

That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course, The thought that this report contains  even a germ of truth is so far beyond imagining, that they may as well have hired a novelist to write it.

The brazenness is breathtaking. Any other president who released something like this would have been laughed out of Washington. But here's CNN - you know, a "real" news network - swallowing this crap hook, line, and sinker. There is mention near the end of the piece that perhaps there is no agreed upon definition for what makes a job "saved" under the stim bill, but Ms. Luhby helpfully adds:

Among recipients' biggest hurdles are accounting for part-time or short-term jobs created, for people working on multiple stimulus projects and for positions saved recovery act funding.

Also, the job numbers do not include indirect positions, such as the deli worker who delivers lunch to the stimulus-funded construction sites or the concrete company that has to ramp up production to handle an increased number of contracts.

"The job numbers are at best going to be a rough outline of how the recovery act is impacting the economy," said Craig Jennings' senior policy analyst at OMB Watch.

Yes, those tens of thousands of deli workers who have been hired to deliver lunch to all those new job sites "indirectly" - probably - perhaps - could be included in the stim bill numbers. The question of whether delis still deliver to anybody is a little hazy but whose counting?

Come to think of it, my job has been saved "indirectly" because of the stim bill. Writing about White House prevarications and number creation is a growing business and I'm sure our editor Tom Lifson is grateful for all the opportunities we get here at AT to show that the White House from the president on down is full of lying little weasels.