Up to one-fourth of the 110,000 jobs reported as saved by federal stimulus money in California probably never were in danger, a Bee review has found.
California State University officials reported late last week that they saved more jobs with stimulus money than the number of jobs saved in Texas – and in 44 other states.
In a required state report to the federal government, the university system said the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees.
That total represents more than half of CSU’s statewide work force. However, university officials confirmed Thursday that half their workers were not going to be laid off without the stimulus dollars.
“This is not really a real number of people,” CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said. “It’s like a budget number.”
That certainly was not the way Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger described it at a news event with Vice President Joe Biden late last week, where he focused on people, not budgets.
“Anyone that criticizes the stimulus money should talk to those 100,000 people that have retained their jobs or gotten jobs because of the stimulus money, especially the 62,000 teachers that have kept their jobs or gotten jobs,” Schwarzenegger said.
Schwarzenegger was, of course, clearly wrong to have made the comments he made. But it cannot be stressed enough that those comments were entirely in line with the White House’s own message concerning the stimulus’s impact on jobs.
It is clear that the “created or saved” metric is wrong, misleading, and utterly dishonest. It ought to be ditched ASAP by the Obama Administration and by the mainstream media. Whoever propagates the “created or saved” meme ought to be called out for either ignorance or mendacity.