Kevin Price
November 3, 2009
How many jobs has Obama created?
By Kevin Price

For much of the year we have noted several hundred thousand jobs lost due to the recession. In fact, we are experiencing the highest unemployment in over a quarter of a century. Some how, in the midst of these horrible accounts, we are also being told that the stimulus package has either saved or created hundreds of thousands of jobs. These kind of paradoxes have become a hallmark of the Obama administration. It appears that he prefers as confusing of rhetoric as possible in order to justify his agenda.

Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo's report in "Stimulus jobs overstated by thousands" (in Associated Press/, October 30, 2009) that the Administration is going too far in its claims of job creation success. How far off? It is literally in the thousands.

The government's early accounting of jobs argued that the $787 billion stimulus program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with government money. That amount is overstated by least 5,000 jobs, according to the writers, who did a detailed analysis of the stimulus contracts.

5,000 is small change compared to the other results found by the authors. In fact, the numbers were as much as ten times as high as the actual number of jobs. These jobs were often counted multiple times. Worse still, some jobs were counted where they did not exist at all. The authors offer numerous examples of this funny math from around the country:

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) stated that the stimulus created and paid for 4,231 jobs. The reality is it created only around 1,000.

    280 jobs were allegedly created for a Georgia community college with stimulus dollars; but the reality is that no jobs were created at all.

    In Florida, a child care center said the recovery package saved 129 jobs. In reality, the center used the dollars to provide raises for its existing employees.

According to the authors there is no proof that the White House tried to distort job numbers in the report. However, the administration has embraced the purported 30,000 figure as fact and argue it is part of the President's agenda to creating or save 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010.

The reporting of future numbers should only get worse, according to the authors, when many more reports are produced showing thousands of jobs "saved" or "created" for the programs that were supposed to be "shovel ready" at the beginning of the year. This would include housing, schools, highways, and more. There is no question that some jobs will be created, but if they have made the kind of exaggerations reported to date, how much more will there be when large amounts of money are finally being applied? That leads to another question, why has it taken so long for the amounts to be applied when we were told at the beginning of the year that the need was urgent? Fox News projects that only approximately 10 percent has been applied. It appears clear that the stimulus is timed to be largely released in 2010 in order to assist the politicians who ushered its passage.

Furthermore, there is the larger question of future long term job creation. Any of the jobs that are created by the "stimulus" are short term and are subject to future tax increases or printing money in order to be maintained. Real jobs sustainable jobs are created through capital formation, profits, and a free market system. Instead of manipulating the job numbers created by a false stimulus, policy makers should be focusing on those things that will foster long term economic growth.

© Kevin Price


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Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)


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