President Obama’s Fictional Job Factory Print
Thursday, November 19 2009

By Sam Batkins

What’s the easiest way for the President to claim credit for jobs “created or saved” by the $787 billion federal stimulus bill?  Just make the jobs up and promote them on a taxpayer-funded website using bogus numbers and non-existent Congressional districts.

That appears to be the solution adopted by the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, an agency established by Congress and the Obama Administration to track the spending of stimulus dollars, on its newly revamped $18 million website, 

In fact, it didn’t take long for reporters and watchdog organizations to discover that many of the jobs the Obama Administration claims have been “created or saved” by stimulus funds thus far are not only in Congressional districts where no money has been spent, but also in districts that don’t exist, like Arizona’s 15th District, or its 86th.

Of course, Arizona only has eight Congressional districts, and barring an influx of 40 or 50 million people to the state, Arizona will not have 86 Congressional districts any time soon.  And that stimulus-inspired “thermoplastic-coated steel” picnic table in Batavia, Illinois that cost taxpayers $1,108?  Turns out it created “no new positions.”

In the nine months since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka The Stimulus Bill), the federal government has distributed more than $158 billion in stimulus funds.  The Obama Administration claims that the distribution of those funds has created or saved more than 640,000 jobs.  However, even its Recovery Board admits that “5-10% of the totals are wrong.”  And, according to an analysis performed by The Washington Examiner, at least 75,343 of those jobs are spurious. 

When the already debunked phony stimulus jobs are removed, the actual number of jobs allegedly “created or saved” hovers around 565,000.  Divided by the amount of money spent, that means U.S. taxpayers have ponied up $280,730 for each job supposedly saved or created.  That’s quite a hefty sum considering the average annual household income in the United States is $50,303.

Below are charts illustrating the point. 


The Obama Administration’s creative math and admitted widespread inaccuracies highlight an important deficit of the stimulus: government does not create new wealth.  It can only borrow money or tax its citizens and redistribute that money elsewhere.  As our 10.2% unemployment rate and three failed stimulus bills have demonstrated, government does a lousy job of that. 

Indeed, an equally misguided but much more efficient “stimulus” would have been for Congress and the Administration to take the full $787 billion and cut $50,000 checks to each of the 15.7 million people currently unemployed in this country. 

Then again, this is Washington, D.C. we’re talking about, where inefficiencies and flawed policies rule the day and lies about them pollute the news.

to view the pdf click here.