Monday, November 16, 2009

Over a 10% error rate: Obama administration bookkeeping

I knew that eventually some journalist would start putting together a list of all the reports of phony "saved or created" stimulus jobs so that the public could get an idea of exactly how many bogus jobs were reported in the administration's claim. And now, the Washington Examiner has just what we need - an interactive map linked to news analyses done mostly by local journalists into the claims for their particular region.
More than ten percent of the jobs the Obama administration has claimed were "created or saved" by the $787 billion stimulus package are doubtful or imaginary, according to reports compiled from eleven major newspapers and the Associated Press.

Based only on our analysis of stimulus media coverage in the last two weeks, The Examiner has created this interactive map to document exaggerated stimulus claims. The map, which will be updated as new revelations appear, currently reflects an exaggeration by the Obama administration of about 75,000 jobs, out of the 640,000 jobs supposedly "created or saved."
And they're just getting started. Check back later and see how the number falls with more updates as other journalists get in on the fun.

A larger than a 10% error rate is not confidence inducing for the government's ability to keep track of any sort of economic data related to the stimulus. Their record keeping seems to be as big a mess as the stimulus bill was in the first place.

UPDATE: Here's a cute error that ABC found.
Here's a stimulus success story: In Arizona's 9th Congressional District, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that's what the website set up by the Obama Administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There's one problem, though: There is no 9th Congressional District in Arizona; the state has only eight Congressional Districts.

There's no 86th Congressional District in Arizona either, but the government's recovery.gov Web site says $34 million in stimulus money has been spent there.

In fact, Recovery.gov lists hundreds of millions spent and hundreds of jobs created in Congressional districts that don't exist.

In Oklahoma, for example, the site lists more than $19 million in spending -- and 15 jobs created -- on Congressional districts that don't exist. In Iowa, it shows $10.6 million spent  and 39 jobs created -- in non-existent districts.

In Connecticut's 42nd District (which also does not exist), the website claims 25 jobs created with zero stimulus dollars.

The list of spending and job creation in fictional Congressional Districts extends to U.S. territories as well.

$68.3 million spent and 72.2 million spent in the 1st Congressional District of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

$8.4 million spent and 40.3 jobs created in the 99th Congressional District of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

$1.5 million spent and .3 jobs created in the 69th district and $35 million for 142 jobs in the 99th district of the Northern Mariana Islands.

$47.7 million spent and 291 jobs created in Puerto Rico's 99th Congressional District.
Close enough for government work.

Aren't you excited about putting these guys in charge of everyone's health care?