Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goodbye to that "created or saved" jobs nonsense

Apparently, the Obama administration has thrown in the towel and now realizes that the idea of trying to count how many jobs were purportedly "saved" by the stimulus was just ridiculous. The White House is now counting jobs differently and has dropped the the "saved" measure.
Until a policy change last month, Obama administration officials had said they would keep a running count of the number of jobs created or saved by the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Going forward, the White House will only tally jobs one quarter at a time and not attempt to determine a total.

On top of that, the administration has directed Recovery Act recipients to report all jobs funded with stimulus money - regardless of whether they were new jobs or existing ones. That change gets rid of the controversial "jobs saved" designation, which asked recipients to determine which positions would have been eliminated were it not for stimulus.
They never could really count "saved" jobs, but that allowed them to inflate their numbers and attempt to prove that the stimulus had helped more people.

Meanwhile, William McGurn notices that the President and his administration are very careful not to use the word "stimulus" when talking about their new push for an additional $154 billion in spending. They are very determined to talk about "targeted" spending, not stimulus spending. Hmmm. I wonder why. Could it be that they realize that their previous stimulus bill has become a punchline. As McGurn concludes, after noting the Associated Press analysis from yesterday that the construction spending in the stimulus package hadn't increased employment in the construction industry,
The article goes on to express surprise that "despite the disconnect, Congress is moving quickly to give Obama the road money" he wants for his second stimulus.

That's not disconnect. It's classic Beltway. In Washington when your policies don't work, you don't change them. You change the name and hope nobody notices.