"If we see money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it, and we will call it out and we will publicize it."
-President Barack Obama, March 12, 2009
On October 30, 2009, the White House released a report claiming that $214.5 billion awarded in federal contracts, tax benefits, grants, and loans from the trillion dollar "stimulus" have "saved or created" 640,329 jobs. In reality, the U.S. economy has lost nearly 3 million jobs since February when the stimulus legislation was passed. Unemployment, which the President promised would stay below eight percent if the stimulus became law, has reached 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. The Administration's report is overstated, unverifiable, and uses unreliable practices to overstate the impact of the Democrats' stimulus bill.
Jobs "Saved": The Administration has no reliable way to measure jobs they claim to have "saved." The White House's numbers rely heavily on vague claims by recipients of jobs "saved" that are based on confusing reporting requirements and susceptible to Administration spin. Even with these reports, the White House cannot verify that these employees would have lost their jobs otherwise. As Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said when addressing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, March 4, 2009, "You created a situation where you cannot be wrong... If the economy loses two million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would've lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs. You've given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct."
"Saving" Existing Jobs: The stimulus act has also failed to create long-term, private-sector jobs. Reports now show that many of the jobs the White House is claiming were saved were never in jeopardy. The following is only an abbreviated list of some examples of the Administration's misleading reports:
Over-Reporting: Every day since the White House unveiled its stimulus jobs report, stories of over-reporting of the impact of the stimulus have piled up. Last week, the AP reported that the White House's original claims after the first round of recipient reports were over exaggerated by thousands of jobs. The White House attempted to dismiss the AP story as "misleading" and said that new data "are far sharper than the initial ones you saw two weeks ago." Still, the reported incidents of errors and fraudulent reporting continue to mount as the press digs deeper into the claims.
Broken Promises: While pushing for the "stimulus," President Obama said, "More than 90 percent of the jobs created by this plan will be in the private sector. They're not going to be make-work jobs, but jobs doing the work that America desperately needs done: jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, repairing our dangerously deficient dams and levees." However, more than half of all the reported jobs were public sector jobs that already existed, while manufacturing and construction jobs represented only 12 percent of the already questionable levels reported by the Administration. To make the situation worse, the AP reported on November 2, 2009, that "Many communities hit hardest by job losses, those built around dying factories and mills, have been slowest to see relief from President Barack Obama's stimulus plan."