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Stimulus Misses States That Need It Most

Some surprising reporting from the New York Times:

Job Program Found to Miss Many States That Need It Most

By MICHAEL COOPER and RON NIXON

October 16, 2009

Businesses with federal stimulus contracts have created few jobs in states with the worst unemployment rates, according to data released Thursday by the federal government.

The new jobs reported Thursday come from a small slice of a sliver of the $787 billion stimulus program: the roughly $16 billion worth of stimulus contracts that were awarded directly by federal agencies, of which about $2.2 billion has been spent so far. But the preliminary data represented the first time that the federal government has reported actual job figures, and not just job estimates, and they provided the most complete snapshot yet of how one component of the sprawling program — direct federal contracts — was shaping up.

One thing was clear: while the federal contracts have created or saved 30,383 jobs, they were not directed to states with the highest jobless rates. Businesses in Michigan, whose 15.2 percent unemployment rate in August was the highest in the nation, reported creating or saving about 400 jobs. Businesses in Nevada, which had the next highest unemployment rate, reported 159. And businesses in Rhode Island, which had the third-highest unemployment rate, 12.8 percent, reported the fewest jobs: just six.

More jobs, by contrast, were reported in some of the states with lowest unemployment rates. Businesses in North Dakota, whose 4.3 percent unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation, reported creating or saving 219. The most jobs were reported in Colorado, whose 7.3 percent unemployment rate was below the national average that reached 9.8 percent last month, and where businesses reported creating or saving 4,695 jobs…

The new jobs figures by themselves did not shed much light on the question of how well the stimulus program was accomplishing President Obama’s goal of saving or creating 3.5 million jobs over two years. The administration estimates that the program has already created or saved one million jobs — a figure that includes jobs from money that went through states, which will not be reported until the end of the month; layoffs that were averted when the stimulus gave fiscal relief to states; and jobs that were created or saved when people spent their tax cuts or other aid. But with the unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, Republicans are asserting that the program is failing to create enough jobs…

White House officials were sensitive to the gulf between the 30,383 jobs in the report and the goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs. Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who oversees the stimulus, issued a statement saying that the jobs figure exceeded their expectations but cautioning that “it is too soon to draw any global conclusions from this partial and preliminary data.”

This article is interesting as far as it goes. But it seems to sidestep the most shocking news about the stimulus plan so far. That it has only “created or saved” 30,383.

The White House is certainly right to be “sensitive to the gulf between the 30,383 jobs in the report and the goal of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs.” The gap is downright laughable.

And how on earth can Obama’s chief economist claim that “the jobs figure exceeded their expectations”?

As we have noted several times before, the unemployment rate is even worse than what Mr. Bernstein predicted it would be without Mr. Obama’s ‘recovery plan’:

(Click to enlarge)

But even as recently as June 9, 2009, the self-same Mr. Bernstein claimed that the stimulus bill would save or create “600,000 jobs over the second 100 days.”

The day before, June 8, 2009, his boss Mr. Obama promised to deliver more than 600,000 jobs “this summer.”

Just a little more than a month ago the administration was still holding onto this rosy scenario. On September 3, 2009, Mr. Biden said the stimulus was working “faster than expected.”

Mr. Biden then went on to say that Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers would report that the number of jobs created or saved because of the stimulus plan would back up his predictions of 150,000 jobs in the first 100 days and another 600,000 formed or saved over the second 100 days of the act.

But we are now 269 days into Mr. Obama’s administration and all the White House can point to so far is these 30,383 jobs.

Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and Mr. Bernstein were only off by 569,617 jobs.

And yet we are supposed to believe these same people when they assure us that ‘healthcare reform’ will save billions of dollars. And that ‘cap and trade’ will grow rather than harm the economy.

When have they ever been wrong before?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, October 16th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Stimulus Misses States That Need It Most”

  1. proreason says:

    Well, when they said the Stimulus would create jobs they weren’t lying. They meant it. Even though the entire world knew the Stimulus was a political payoff and would not create a single job.

    Not like Bushhitler who when he said Iraq had WMD, didn’t mean it. Even though the entire world agreed that Sadaam had the weapons.

    That, you see, is the difference between a transparent administration (Obamy), and one founded on lies (Bushhitler).

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I want to know how stimulated the people will be when hyperinflation hits about this time next year, the arabs cut our oil off and we’re all unemployed.

    But then, we’ll all truly be equal at that point.

    Mission accomplished.

    • Petronius says:

      Bingo! That’s a very good forecast, Rusty.

      But you left out a couple of details. The Israel-Iran War. A major terrorist attack within the US. A stock market crash. And when helter-skelter comes down, they’ll blame it on Bush, capitalism, Wall Street, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Big Oil / Big Pharma / Big Health Insurance / Big This-That-and-the-Other-Thing.

      It will be like the Jimmy Carter era, but on steroids.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      … and that, too .. will be Bush’s fault.

      More of the terrible, terrible mess that was left for poor, poor o-blah-blah!

      Biden and o-blah-blah had no idea how bad things were – waa waa waa.

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    HELP!!

    We’ve been raped!!

  4. canary says:

    It has been determined that the states that supported Obama the most, the very states Obama has visited the most, were the main recievers.

  5. joeblough says:

    Are there actually people out there that believe that the “stimulus” is really intended to help business or working people generally?

    I know, I know … lots of people say it.

    But does anybody out there actually believe it at this point?

  6. Confucius says:

    According to the U.S. Department of Labor, median wages in 2008 was $32,390.

    According to this article, each “stimulus” job cost approximately $72,410.

    I’m surprised Obama hasn’t won the Nobel Prize in Economics.


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