Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The stimulus was never really about jobs

And isn't this heartening? A federal grant from the stimulus of almost half a million dollars went to Nevada to plant trees. Jobs created? 1.72. All that money got one full-time temporary job and 11 short-term jobs. They now claim that the grant was never about creating jobs but for improving natural resources in Nevada.
So in effect only 1.72 permanent jobs were created.

The stimulus also resulted in the planting of hundreds of trees - with critics scornfully suggesting that is the only good thing to come out of the stimulus project.

'Looking at the failure of the stimulus to live up to its promises, not just in Nevada, but throughout America, I think the question becomes ‘is there any good use of stimulus money?' said Douglas Kellogg, communications manager for National Taxpayers Union, in an email to

But a Nevada state official says job growth was never the aim.

Read more:

'If the question is "was this a job-creating project?" the answer is "no, it wasn't,"' said Bob Conrad, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

'It was one of a number of projects that we do believe helped improve natural resources in the state.'

Conrad said the $490,000 is being used for a number of projects. Those projects include tree inventories, salaries for staff at the nurseries through the Nevada Division of Forestry, plant material and plant supplies.

'The goal obviously was to make trees available to local government entities, parks, schools, things like that, at our state nursery,' said Conrad. 'We basically grew and provided about 2,000 trees to these local entities.'

But the stimulus was sold as building up the economy and creating jobs. We were told that unemployment would climb to 8.5% in 2009 and 9% in 2010 without the stimulus. Oops. I'm sure they're sorry about that projection.

But the stimulus wasn't sold as a necessity to improve natural resources in Nevada. Instead, it became a grab-bag of all sorts of liberal wish list proposals that had been lying around for years and could be gathered up and stuffed into the stimulus bill and sold to America as a way to improve the economy.

No wonder that it has failed so miserably at fighting unemployment. It was never meant to. But at least Nevada got a bunch of trees. Mission accomplished.