Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Analysis finds stimulus confusion
WASHINGTON — The federal government sent Bob Bray $26,174 in stimulus aid to fix a fence and replace the roofs on public apartments in Blooming Grove, Texas, a town of fewer than 900 people outside Dallas. He hired five roofers and an inspector to do the job. But the number of jobs he reported to the government looked very different — 450 jobs.
"Oh, no," said Bray, who runs the local public housing authority part-time with his wife, Linda, when asked about the discrepancy. He said that he told the government that he had created six jobs but that a federal official told him that wasn't right. So he reported the number of hours the roofers worked instead. The Department of Housing and Urban Development caught the mistake, but he couldn't fix it before the jobs figures were published. "The money was great, but the reports are really confusing," he said. "I've been fighting with it for over a month and a half."
USA TODAY reviewed the reports to determine the number of jobs created or saved per stimulus dollar. The review found 14 recipients that reported saving or creating more than 100 jobs for less than $1,500 per job — suggesting they overreported the number of jobs. Those included:
•The police department in Plymouth, Conn., claimed in its report that a $15,355 grant used to buy new computers had created or saved 108 jobs. The department had 22 law enforcement officers last year, according to the FBI. Mayor Vincent Festa said that the town has resorted to "counting paper clips" to save money but that it had no plans to lay off any of its police officers, even without the stimulus. He said he could not explain the report, and the town's police chief did not return telephone calls Monday.
•The Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, which employs about 500 people in its Head Start preschool program, reported creating or saving 935 jobs with about $1.3 million in funding. Beverly Wise, the group's fiscal officer, said she followed the advice of federal officials to come up with the number. "I thought it was high," Wise said of the number she reported, adding that the process was confusing. The group is using its stimulus money to give a 1.84% pay raise to its employees and pay for other needs such as playground equipment and training for the teachers who serve 2,300 low-income children.
•Teach for America, which helps place recent graduates in teaching jobs in urban and rural districts, reported that a $2 million grant created or saved 1,425 jobs. Spokeswoman Kerci Marcello Stroud said officials used that money to pay part of the salaries of 125 employees; a separate $6 million allowed it to expand the training program to include 1,300 more graduates.
Liz Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House stimulus effort, said the reports give "the American people one of the best looks ever at real-time information about a major initiative" and the reporting "allows people to find any mistakes, as it should — which will help us correct them promptly." http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-11-02-stimjobs_N.htm?csp=34
Would that be allow people to find mistakes....or find where records have been falsified or manipulated?
Stimulus jobs in U.S. overstated by thousands
WASHINGTON — An early progress report on President Obama's economic recovery plan overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved through the stimulus program, a mistake that White House officials promise will be corrected in future reports.
The government's first accounting of jobs tied to the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money. But that figure is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to an Associated Press review of a sample of stimulus contracts.
The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.
• A company working with the Federal Communications Commission reported that stimulus money paid for 4,231 jobs, when about 1,000 were produced.
• A Georgia community college reported creating 280 jobs with recovery money, but none was created from stimulus spending.
• A Florida child care center said its stimulus money saved 129 jobs but used the money on raises for existing employees.
There's no evidence the White House sought to inflate job numbers in the report. But administration officials seized on the 30,000 figure as evidence that the stimulus program was on its way toward fulfilling the president's promise of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year.
The White House released a statement early Thursday that it said laid out the "real facts" about how jobs were counted in the stimulus data distributed two weeks ago. It said that had been a test run of a small subset of data that had been subjected only to three days of reviews, that it had already corrected "virtually all" the mistakes identified by the AP and that the discovery of mistakes "does not provide a statistically significant indication of the quality of the full reporting that will come on Friday."
While the thousands of overstated jobs represent a tiny sliver of the overall economy, they represent a significant percentage of the initial employment count credited to the stimulus program.
In fact, the AP review shows some businesses undercounted the number of jobs funded under the stimulus program by not reporting jobs saved.
Here are some of the findings:
• Colorado-based Teletech Government Solutions on a $28.3 million contract with the Federal Communications Commission for creation of a call center, reported creating 4,231 jobs, although 3,000 of those workers were paid for five weeks or less.
"We all felt it was an appropriate way to represent the data at the time" and the reporting error has been corrected, said company president Mariano Tan.
• The Toledo, Ohio-based Koring Group received two FCC contracts, again for call centers. It reported hiring 26 people for each contract, or a total of 52 jobs, but cited the same workers for both contracts. The jobs only lasted about two months.
The FCC spotted the problem. The company's owner, Steve Holland, acknowledged the actual job count is closer to five and blamed the problem on confusion about the reporting.
The AP's review identified nearly 600 contracts claiming stimulus money for more than 2,700 jobs that appear to have similar duplicated counts.
• Barbara Moore, executive director of the Child Care Association of Brevard County in Cocoa, Florida, reported that the $98,669 she received in stimulus money saved 129 jobs at her center, though the cash was used to give her 129 employees a 3.9% cost-of-living raise. She said she needed to boost their salaries because some workers had left "because we had not been able to give them a raise in four years."
• Officials at East Central Technical College in Douglas, Georgia, said they now know they shouldn't have claimed 280 stimulus jobs linked to more than $200,000 to buy trucks and trailers for commercial driving instruction, and a modular classroom and bathroom for a health education program.
"It was an error on someone's part," said Mike Light, spokesman for the Technical College System of Georgia. The 280 were not jobs, but the number of students who would benefit, he said.
• The San Joaquin, California, Regional Rail Commission reported creating or saving 125 jobs as part of a stimulus project to lay railroad track. Because the project drew from two pools of money, the commission reported the jobs figure twice, bringing the total to 250 on the government report. Spokesman Thomas Reeves said the commission corrected the data Tuesday. http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-10-29-stimulus-jobs_N.htm?obref=obinsite
WASHINGTON — President Obama's economic advisers estimated Thursday that the economic stimulus package has saved or created about 1 million jobs.http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-09-10-stimulus-jobs_N.htm?obref=obinsite
WASHINGTON — Recipients of stimulus aid created or saved more than 640,000 jobs this year, the Obama administration said Friday in its most complete accounting yet of the $787 billion plan's impact on the economy.http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-10-30-stimulus-jobs_N.htm?obref=obnetwork
Don't these people recognize that figures are eventually going to be checked and their "Oh, we made a mistake" excuse can only be used so many times? No more "politics as usual", Barack? Oh, really...?