Patterico's Pontifications

11/17/2009

Stimulus Statistics (Updated x2)

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 4:55 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Recovery.gov lists jobs “saved or created” by the Obama Administration’s stimulus plan in Congressional districts that don’t exist:

Here’s a stimulus success story: In Arizona’s 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There’s one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.

And ABC News has found many more entries for projects like this in places that are incorrectly identified.”

The Obama Administration cites human error, saying it can only report what it’s told:

“Some recipients clearly don’t know what congressional district they live in, so they appear to be just throwing in any number. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts, and so on. Human beings make mistakes,” [Communications Director Ed] Pound said.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairman and Democratic Congressman David Obey says it’s outrageous and the Obama Administration should “work night and day to correct the ludicrous mistakes.”

— DRJ

UPDATE: It’s been 24 hours and it’s still not fixed. Yee-haw!

UPDATE 2: The Washington Examiner has a map of inflated job numbers. It currently shows “75,343 bogus jobs ‘created or saved’ by the Stimulus.”

44 Responses to “Stimulus Statistics (Updated x2)”

  1. The good thing is we can spend our way out of this here recession.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  2. Joe Biden was going to make sure that all this stimulus money was getting spent correctly.

    I think the website well matches Joe Biden’s basic level of competence. Obey is just pissed that Obama administration incompetence makes them look as dishonest as they actually are.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  3. How in the holy hell could it cost $84,000,000 to create and run a website?

    JD (9769aa)

  4. I bought a cup of coffee from the crunchy earth granola hippie chick running the coffee shop at my train station this morning.

    I’m pretty sure that counts as saving or creating a job.

    Is this a great country or what!!!!!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  5. Report it, daleyrocks. After all, it’s based on people “just throwing in any number.”

    DRJ (dee47d)

  6. Patterico – Can you come up with a scenario where it costs $84,000,000 to create and save a website?

    JD (9769aa)

  7. Prosperitah! Cause of the monies…we spended them!

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  8. JD,

    Website hosting fees for a business:

    Depending on the ISP, speed of the connection, equipment and software you buy, it may cost between US$5,000 to US$10,000 just to set up a server on the Internet, and between US$1,000 to US$20,000 a MONTH for ISP and common carrier charges.

    Website hosting fees for government: Priceless.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  9. We expected all along that recipients would make mistakes on their congressional districts, on jobs numbers, on award amounts,

    Did any of the mediacritters bother to ask what they were doing to correct the mistakes in the jobs numbers?

    JD (9769aa)

  10. That costs extra.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  11. Hey soo many Barrack nominees paid their from Tax rates that didnt exist either!

    EricPWJohnson (82e829)

  12. They mention the 99th Congressional District in the US Virgin Islands, the 99th Congressional District in the Northern Marianas Islands, the 99th Congressional District in Puerto Rico, the 69th Congressional District in Arizona… that’s 366 Congressional Districts out of a total of 435 for the United States as a whole. That leaves 69 Congressional Districts for 49 States. Maybe that’s because the whole population of the US in located in NYC, LA, and Chicago – because they’ve all moved out of Detroit.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  13. So, let’s assume government math, and it costs them $50,000 per month ($400,000 to date) for carrier charges, and $50,000 up front for the server set-up, hell, let’s double that to $100,000 for a freaking Bentley-style server. Now we are at $500,000 total. Surely the government already had a national map broken down by State and congresscritter district, but let’s give them another $100,000 just in case, for a total of $600,000. Let’s add in a contract to some staffing agency for minimum wage-ish data entry to get the made-up numbers entered into the system, but since this would likely have to go through AFSCME, let’s take 435 (number of real districts) people at 40 hours at $20 per hour to input all the data – round up to $350,000 for a total of $950,000. Let’s assume that none of the Barcky people were smart enough to come up with this idea on their own, so they had to outsource the idea to a consulting company, and they gave them a $1,000,000 contract to design something that had probably already been designed – $1,950,000. There are probably some technical aspects that I have not included, so let’s be generous and give them another $5,000,000 for sh*t JD did not know about, for a total of $6,950,000. We are still not anywhere near $84,000,000. I would love to see the money trail on that stimulus package.

    JD (9769aa)

  14. A recession is just a hole you fill up with monies the Chinese ones give you. The little president man shoved the monies into our little country’s hole over and over until he was satisfied. Mark Zandi says the little president man doesn’t want to do it again but he darn sure will if he has to.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  15. Somebody may want to compare those jobs and the credit card donations to the campaign. I think that 99th district is in China. The 00 district is in Saudi Arabia.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  16. Oh, I forgot lawyers, so add another $5,000,000 for a total of $11,950,000. And he prolly had to kick some money back to Daley ($1M), hire Axelrod’s firm ($1M), get investment advice from Soros ($1M), pay off Stern @ SEIU ($1M), and chuck a little to ACORN ($50,000), for a grand total of $16,000,000. That still leaves around $68,000,000.

    JD (9769aa)

  17. I live in Arizona. Where do I apply to become a district? Shame to waste all that gubmint spending money.

    Gazzer (f4dafa)

  18. JD, in the Chicago Way, I think there is a minimum amount for any project. $84M is just their baseline.

    Gazzer (f4dafa)

  19. I am going to name myself CongressCritter for the 72nd Congressional District in Indiana. I will create or save 897 kazilliongillion jobs as soon as the White House sends me the stimulus dollars. Thank you.

    JD (9769aa)

  20. JD: Here is a report from Herald Examiner:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-21433-Middlesex-County-Libertarian-Examiner~y2009m9d1-How-much-stimulus-money-has-been-spent-as-of-September-2009

    The Herald accounts for $84.587 billion (they missed a few zeros in the final number but if you compare it to the other data it looks right), which means 14.5% of the stimulus funds have been spent thus far.

    Here’s the thing. That adds up to one million four hundred and nine thousand seven hundred and eighty three dollars and thirty two cents ($1,409,783.32) PER JOB SAVED. And the jobs have only been “saved” for one year. And if you factor out the government jobs (and remember Obama’s claim — the stimulus would mostly create or save private secrod jobs) the cost per private sector job saved is OVER $14 MILLION.

    Somebody please check my math and point out if I’m wrong. If I didn’t miss a zero somewhere than THIS should be the issue. To hell with whether the number of jobs “created or saved” is 60,000 or 54,000 or 50,000. Regardless of the number, the amount of waste here is breathtaking, even for the Federal Government. Honestly, you could have “created or saved” more jobs by tossing this money out of a truck to random strangers with no strings attached.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  21. Thanks, Sean P. I had not seen that. I was just trying to figure out the $84,000,000 they spent for the mostest transparent website EVAH to track the monies you were referencing. I maintain that the cost of the website alone is indicative of the overall operation.

    JD (9769aa)

  22. The importantest thing is the little president man knows how to spend our monies so we don’t have to worry about which stuff to stimulus. He went to Harvard.

    happyfeet (b919e7)

  23. It would take all of the Big-8 (even if they still existed) to audit this mess and “follow the money”.
    Now would be the time to start a search-engine program on hard-ticket items purchased by wives, mothers, aunts/uncles of our intrepid betters.

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  24. They (Quinn and Durbin) are saying they’ll create or save over 3,000 jobs when they create Gitmo North due west of me. They’ll be bringing in 100 prisoners.

    My math (not gubmint math) says that’s 300 jobs per prisoner.

    At a very conservative $30K per year, per job (and this is NOT including any benefits) that ends up being $9,000,000 in salaries per year per prisoner. (30K x 300 = $9,000,000).

    The population of Thomson is only 500.

    kimsch (2ce939)

  25. “I maintain that the cost of the website alone is indicative of the overall operation.”

    Yup. No argument there.

    About the only thing the stimulus was good for was to stir up enough distrust of government spending to maybe, possibly kill the health care bill, cap n’ trade, additional financial and/or auto bailouts, and any other number of wasteful programs that make the stimulus bill look modest by comparison. So there is that, hoopefully.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  26. So, after the whole $787 bil has been wasted spent, does that mean all those created and saved employees will get canned?

    The econominical Dana (474dfc)

  27. Yes.

    JD (9769aa)

  28. Since they don’t exist, what difference will it make?

    AD - RtR/OS! (138fbd)

  29. JD,

    You’re very good at government math. Are you sure you don’t work for the government?

    DRJ (dee47d)

  30. I’ve updated the post: 24 hours and counting.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  31. DRJ – So far, I have only been able to account for $16,000,000. That leaves $68,000,000 unaccounted for. Surely some computer-type person can point out some technical aspects that I missed, even though I gave them a $5,000,000 allocation. Anyone know how to file a FOIA, or would this type of informaiton even be covered by them?

    JD (9769aa)

  32. How odd–the portside trolls don’t seem to want to chime in on this one. The talking points fax machine at Media Matters must be out of order.

    M. Scott Eiland (c552ec)

  33. I just went and looked at the “stimulus” dollars in my town – almost all of it went to municipal and county governments, and school districts. There was one grant to a non-profit agency, and another to a local hospital. The vast majority of our meager “stimulus” dollars were passed along to government entities.

    JD (9769aa)

  34. JD,

    Seriously, my guess is the government paid all the federal agencies to collect and transmit data to Recovery.gov, so in addition to added labor costs for the website there may be far more labor costs throughout all government agencies. This was probably used to increase salaries for existing employees as well as create new jobs solely to report data — and I bet they counted them! — not to mention the continuing labor costs and all the new managers and seminars that accompany them. If so, it’s bureaucracy and waste at its worst unless it produces a valuable product. So far it hasn’t.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  35. JD,

    This continues the trend shown in the preliminary stimulus report that showed most of the money went to government, especially local schools. It was basically used by state and local governments to balance their budgets.

    I also updated the post with a Washington Examiner link that maps inflated job numbers.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  36. All of that, DRJ, and it still cannot get simple things like congressional districts right, much less how they are measuring “created or saved”. I know that government accounting is, at best, goofy, but why in the hell would they have to pay government agencies to do government work? The best figure I could find was that there are approximately 1300 seperate and distinct federal departments and agencies. If you account for $50,000 per entity, for doing the jobs they are already paid to do, that comes to a total of $65,000,000. That just leaves us with $3,000,000 left to spend.

    JD (9769aa)

  37. I ahve decided that I personally have saved all the jobs available in DE-2

    EricPWJohnson (82e829)

  38. There you go, JD. I guess they got a big-user discount on webhosting.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  39. “The talking points fax machine at Media Matters must be out of order.”

    The stimulus will fix that. Another 500 jobs saved!

    Sean P (4fde41)

  40. I bet the remaining $3,00,000 went to various techies and webhosting services, who will just coincidentally, donate similar sums of money to the DNC and OrganizingFoAmerica.

    JD (9769aa)

  41. With the discovery of these miscellaneous errors, just think of the additional jobs that will be created or saved to correct them as well as the added cost to the web site!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  42. Watchdog.org says the total amount is 6.4 billion spent in 404 fictional congressional districts. I must have done my math wrong because I got over 7 billion tracking the same data.

    In any case, there are other funky reporting issues. Supposedly most of the spending is through government contract. So, why are there so few round numbers in the reporting? Who is negotiating contracts for the extra $4 instead of settling for a nice, accountant friendly multiple of $10 or $100?

    If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that the extra dollars (just like the .4 jobs saved) are to create the illusion of accurate reporting to cover up the deep level of BS.

    Hadlowe (061332)

  43. The bad data displayed on recovery.gov is on purpose. The more those numbers are picked at and modified and debated, the less attention is paid to the real issue: the government is mythically counting jobs saved. There is no such animal.

    The Obama Administration wants you to focus on dollar costs per job, jobs saved in each state, jobs created in each sector, etc. etc. The more you debate those numbers, the more people believe that saved jobs is a real thing.

    So what if the number changes from 700,000 to 500,000. They will then claim secondary jobs saved because of the half million. They’ll toss in how the unemployment savings are doubled since they now have saved more primary and secondary jobs. They’ll have you looking at all the wrong things; debating how many angels are dancing on a pin.

    The entire recovery.gov premise is built on a lie. You cannot count saved jobs.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  44. […] were reported to be created or saved in congressional districts that don’t exist. The sale of one lawnmower was credited with saving 50 […]

    Patterico's Pontifications » L.A. Times Applies That Famous Journalistic Skepticism to Ridiculous Job Creation Numbers (e4ab32)


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