Patterico's Pontifications

11/4/2009

You Know What’s the Worst Part of the Stimulus?

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 10:33 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Jules Crittenden does:

“Never mind the inflated job counts and pay raises counted as jobs saved. I’m still stuck on the subsidies to social service agencies counting as economic stimulus part. That’s not economic stimulus. That’s welfare. AP.”

I’m stuck on both. Crittenden’s AP link reports many of those “created or saved” jobs weren’t actually saved or created:

“About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren’t saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.”

There are specific examples at the link, including this one from Georgia that shows the reporting scheme was intentional and systemic:

At Southwest Georgia Community Action Council in Moultrie, Ga., director Myrtis Mulkey-Ndawula said she followed the guidelines the Obama administration provided. She said she multiplied the 508 employees by 1.84 — the percentage pay raise they received — and came up with 935 jobs saved.

“I would say it’s confusing at best,” she said. “But we followed the instructions we were given.”

The White House acknowledged there may have been counting errors but defended the practice of counting raises as saving jobs:

If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job,” HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.”

The saddest part is some people really believe this.

— DRJ

34 Responses to “You Know What’s the Worst Part of the Stimulus?”

  1. It’s that some people insist on believing it. And for them, it doesn’t matter what the underlying facts actually are.

    Soon such people will be the only genuinely enthusiastic supporters Obama has left. But there are still a whole lot of them — many, many millions.

    Beldar (2c21c8)

  2. I thought the worst part of the stimulus was the back end loading of the spending – in 2010 and beyond, clearly not designed to help jump start the economy.

    Now you layer on these fabricated job statistics which just reinforce the point that it has basically done jack and squat, as predicted from the payout pattern of the spending would have suggested. Spending the money to give people raises instead of creating new jobs is complete BS under the circumstances. Opening up domestic markets for energy exploration and drilling could have created a number of private sector jobs but the environmental wackos and global warming religionists who hold sway over the Democrat party would have shit bricks.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  3. So by giving her people a raise (people she was never planning on firing or laying off) she was SAVING the jobs of MORE people than she employed?

    Am I getting that right?

    She gave 508 employees (whose jobs were never in danger) a raise.

    And Obama gets credit for saving 935 jobs.

    You know earlier this week I said if there were only one thousand employed persons left in the US in 2012 Obama would take credit for saving one thousand jobs.
    Its worse than that.
    He will take credit for saving one thousand eight hundred and forty jobs.

    Have Blue (854a6e)

  4. As Mitch Daniels (Governor of Indiana and former director of the Federal Office of Management and Budget) said, the stimulus, er, stabilization bill was just David Obey pulling out of his desk drawer a list of every Democrat spending proposal that had been rejected since the GOP won Congress in 1994.

    JVW (d32e06)

  5. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
    — George Orwell

    Pons Asinorum (b0bc5f)

  6. Somebody needs a remedial lesson in 5th grade math… Multiplying 508 by 1.95 PERCEHT is 9.86 jobs (BUT, y’all already knew that).

    More to the point, How many in the private sector, you know, the ones that paid the majority of the taxes that funded this stimulus got a raise this year. I guess a company that took NO government money, but cut pay by 5% to save all the jobs in the company should report that 1 out of every 20 employees actually LOST their jobs.

    JFH (d6afd3)

  7. So she followed the instructions? Which make no sense at all (multiplying the number of employees by the percent, let alone the ACTOAL percentage of .0185???)

    And she’s the HEAD of this agency? God help us all.

    MrJimm (29d438)

  8. It is official … they are SUPPLY SIDERS!!!

    By giving huge raises to lumps of flesh, they save the money which goes to investment which goes to innovation which goes to creating jobs.

    ** This logic they produce is by the way the very logic they mock and humiliated when they said Reaganomics doesn’t work **

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  9. And Obama is a narcissistic lunatic.

    Anyone of the liberal-thugcracy persuasion not concerned with the Dear Leader’s tin ear to these elections needs their head examined.

    HeavenSent (01a566)

  10. and if any corporate executive permitted or attested to this kind of accounting in a public corporation, does everyone understand what their fate would be?

    Prison.

    And probably a lengthy sentence too. No question about it. Which reminds me: I will *never* hire someone out of the USFG public sector. They’re trained in committing legal fraud, seek the bloat of unionization and have never known a single day of efficiency and drive in their employment life.

    HatlessHessian (cca288)

  11. David Obey isn’t well liked in his home of Wausau. You don’t see his signs in the country, unless they are riddled with bullet holes.

    Liberals can’t debate. They make up definitions and use their opinions as fact.

    They need to be defeated, and the Chicago gansters incarcerated, except Ayers and Dohrn. They should get a package from the Unabomber.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  12. JFH:

    That’s what I thought when I saw the multiplication error. A 6th grader would get an F for making a math error like that.

    The lesson to learn from this is that the people getting the money are people that could never hold a private sector job. To quote Ghostbusters, “You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve ‘worked’ in the private sector. They expect ‘results’.”

    MU789 (897b57)

  13. I give this country/economy another three months. We’ll see some ok numbers going to and thru the Christmas season, but by mid first quarter next year, the @#$% will hit the fan.

    Buckle up, we’re in for a rough ride.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  14. When you add in the amount of taxpayer monies being spent on “saving” the UAW jobs at GM and Chrysler, the total inanity of this spendulus becomes even more jaw – dropping. I can’t find the link at the moment, but remember one study stating that we’re paying about $200K for each job “saved” at those companies.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  15. Myrtis Mulkey-Ndawula is a CEO here, here. As all CEOs know, a 1.8% increase is almost double.

    Vatar (3899d0)

  16. The UAW is getting ready to strike Ford. That should save a lot of jobs; in Mexico.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  17. It would be interesting to see how the Leftists defend this.

    JD (332142)

  18. They’ll just change the subject….
    as usual!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0a796c)

  19. ““Never mind the inflated job counts and pay raises counted as jobs saved. I’m still stuck on the subsidies to social service agencies counting as economic stimulus part. That’s not economic stimulus. That’s welfare. AP.””

    It depends on how one defines stimulus. Some say only direct spending like infrastructure and repair is stimulus. In the first order, people are hired (or kept on) and money is placed in their pocket and they also have money to spend. And you also get the infrastructure which may facilitate other economic activity — this latter is sometimes the sole focus of what some people consider stimulus.

    But in the keynesian sense of creating economic activity, transfer payments may be stimulating. I say “may” because it depends on the recipients of the money going off and spending the money and generating economic activity with it — ie, their marginal propensity to consume (MPC). We know that the unemployed, for example, will be spending their unemployment insurance, same with food stamps — their MPC is high and close to one. So in that sense economists consider this stimulus. Attempts to calculate the multiplier effect (how much economic activity is generated from a dollar of government expenditures) show that there is a high multiplier for things like unemployment insurance and food stamps.

    imdw (cd4b7a)

  20. #19,
    When a company pays an employee out of profits, this is stimulating economic activity. When the government takes a dollar out of that employee’s paycheck and gives fifty cents to someone else while keeping the rest, this has the opposite effect. I think the same is true when the government puts private companies out of business or makes them lay off employees by overtaxing it to pay for more government employees. This is a burden on an economy, not a boost. A cancerous tumor does not improve the health of a body.

    Machinist (79b3ab)

  21. It depends on how one defines stimulus.

    No, it doesn’t – the only people defending this porkuplus spending are those completely in the tank for their Dear Leader. Those who engage in attempts at obfuscation and dissembling in order to bamboozle the broader electorate are falling flat on their faces, hence your hilarious Clintonian – commentary of what the definition of “is” is.

    Dmac (a964d5)

  22. They are overestimating “jobs saved” by a factor of 100 with that formula.

    The logical formula would be to count a job as “1/10th saved” if 10% of its salary is paid by the stimulus–508 * .0184 = 9.35 “jobs saved”.

    Wonder how many others made that mistake (“mistake”?).

    oneisnotprime (e25cc0)

  23. The multiplication factor used – 1.84 – neatly tracks the acceleration factor used by the WH Economic Advisor (can’t remember Ms. Happyface’s name at this moment – but she doesn’t seem to be the sharpest pencil in the box, which is probably why she got the job, can’t show up the boss and all) when she flacked the plan at the first of the year, notwithstanding the fact that most contemporary economists that are not Keynesians, think that Government spending has an acceleration factor of less than 1.0 (more like 0.8) on the economy.

    What it boils down to is that, once more, government does what it does best –
    It Lies!

    AD - RtR/OS! (0a796c)

  24. I think imao has the best pithy response to the bogus saved or created numbers:

    > See, if they hadn’t given their employees pay raises, they would have had to fire them.

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  25. Btw, for the record, liberals are so illiterate on basic business principles, that they might actually believe that if you don’t give someone a raise, you’ll have to fire them. So maybe they are not dishonest but instead very, very stupid. Doesn’t that make you feel better that they are in control of the government?

    A.W. (e7d72e)

  26. Propinquity…..
    Just received this email on “The Stimulus”:

    Just in case you get a check…

    Sometime this year, we taxpayers will again receive an Economic Stimulus payment.. This is a very exciting program. I’ll explain it using the Q and A format:

    Q. What is an Economic Stimulus payment?
    A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

    Q. Where will the government get this money?
    A. From taxpayers..

    Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
    A. Only a smidgen.

    Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
    A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set,
    thus stimulating the economy.

    Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of Asia ?
    A. Shut up or you don’t get your check.

    Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

    1 If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, your money will go to China ..
    2 If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to Saudi Arabia ..
    3 If you purchase a computer, it will go to India ..
    4 If you purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico , Honduras and Guatemala ..
    5 If you buy a car, it will go to Japan or Korea ..
    6 If you purchase useless plastic stuff, it will go to Taiwan ..
    7 If you pay off your credit cards, or buy stock, it will go to pay management bonuses and be hidden in offshore accounts.

    Instead, you can keep the money in America by:

    1 spending it at yard sales or flea markets, or
    2 going to baseball or football games, or
    3 hiring prostitutes, or
    4 buying cheap beer or
    5 getting tattoos.

    These are the only wholly-American-owned businesses still operating in the US ..

    Conclusion:

    The best way to stimulate the economy is to go to a ball game with a prostitute that you met at a yard sale and drink beer all day until you’re drunk enough to go get tattooed.

    AD - RtR/OS! (0a796c)

  27. This. Is. Fraud.

    Time to invoke the False Claims Act.

    Against the White House.

    My. God.

    starboardhelm (94c0da)

  28. The Tea Party is out protesting across the country. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-IA, ordered his district offices shut and everyone turned away.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  29. When all you do is focus on real or estimated numbers of jobs saved or lost you lose sight of the importance of which jobs are being counted. Are these profit making jobs or profit neutral, or worse profit negative? The negative jobs suck capital from real growth industries, and are burdens upon any real economic expansion. The powers that run our country now are very content to foment dissension around a symptom and not the root cause. I suggest not wasting any energy discussing these fabricated numbers beyond dismissing them. The heart of the matter is growth enhancing jobs versus jobs that preclude economic growth. No need to itemize them, for they are painfully apparent.

    Concerning infrastructure spending…remember Japan began their lost decade(s) by pouring their particular form of stimuli funding into massive infrastructure projects that did nothing to boost their economy to this day. Why? Because these projects did almost nothing to enhance their strength of exporting products to foreign markets. These stimuli were effectively a drag on their export economy. Having to import much of the energy and material resources for these projects, when added to high labor costs, led to the willful creation of huge debts that are still handcuffing their financial industry. These same mistakes I feel are being institutionalized by our present administration and legislature through the auspices of the Fed.

    In essence, what Japan and now the US mistakes for growth and wealth is believe lots of borrowed or ad hoc printed money changing hands rapidly and voluminously. When rather real growth and real wealth have more to do with profits from adding value be it from raw materials to finished products or selling one’s services. These endeavors require an end result of profit, leading to savings, leading to lending from those savings, which results in a true economic growth.

    political agnostic (534a92)

  30. Utter fraud. That’s the ACORN legacy in the White House.

    SPQR (6b1421)

  31. Has anyone been able to find a good defense of this yet?

    JD (8a886b)

  32. Another interesting issue with giving raises is that thoses raises become permanent and make next years payroll higher and shortfalls deeper.
    I realize that hiring new employees leads to payroll creep for subsequent years also….
    This type of approach really screws up the future

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  33. Results of the Stimulus can’t be measured in jobs.

    It’s not a jobs bill, it never was. Stimulating the economy was not the intent. Forget the name, that’s just a smokescreen for the actual intent, which can be measured and is proceeding as intended.

    The Bill was designed to fund the institutional left. That’s why the money is being released in increments, to keep the faithful ready for the 2010 and 2012 elections. It’s also why Democrats aren’t overly concerned about public opposition to their agenda, they aren’t worried because they already have enough money to buy their way back into office. The fix is in.

    If you’re focused on job creation, you’re missing the big picture.

    ropelight (cb104b)

  34. Clearly the idea is to expand the public sector and those institutions that depend on public largesse… by more largesse.
    Permanent redistribution of wealth from the productive sector to the non productive

    SteveG (97b6b9)


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