Stimulus Dishonesty

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on October 29, 2009

It is nice that the press is paying attention to the degree to which the number of stimulus jobs has been overstated by the Obama Administration. But more media outlets need to flood the zone on this issue. The facts of the story would seem to merit that kind of treatment:

An early progress report on President Barack 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.

Read it all. The story states that there is no evidence of dishonesty, but the fact that the jobs report is written in a manner that is in accordance with the Obama Administration’s political interest in showing that the stimulus is addressing the problem of unemployment is certainly worth noting.

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