2009-11-21 / Editorials & Letters

Stimulus jobs are very costly

Just in from Recovery.gov are the state summaries for stimulus spending and jobs created/saved. “Recovery.gov is the U.S. government’s official website providing easy access to data related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse,” states the Recovery.gov home page.

For Ohio, Recovery.gov lists 6,020 awards totalling $5,041,060,256 (that’s a bit over $5 billion) that created/saved 17,095 jobs. That works out to nearly $295,000 per job created/saved.

The official website breaks down the Ohio numbers by Congressional District. Ohio has 18 Congressional Districts. Most of our readers reside in the 18th District - Rep. Zack Space or the 7th District - Rep. Steve Austria.

The totals for the 18th District are $309,355,127 in awards and 306 jobs. That just a bit over $1 million per job. What a deal!

Jobs are a comparative bargain in the 7th District - $167,834,446 in awards and 366.4 jobs - at just $458,000 each.

But according to Recovery.gov, Ohio has 28 Congressional Districts – a 00, 20th, 21st, 49th, 54th, 56th, 69th, 85th, 87th and 99th. Awards in these “new” districts ranged from $12,000 in the 56th to $1,865,319 in the double-zero. Eight jobs were created/saved in the double-zero, but the total jobs created/saved in these “districts” was a meager 11. Awards totalled $5,303,915 in these new “districts,” which averages out to $482,174 per job. That’s cheaper than in the real 18th District.

This looks like more than just “potential fraud, waste, and abuse.” Spending $5.3 million in 10 non-existent Congressional Districts looks like the real thing.

Remember, this is the official website for stimulus spending, specifically created, we were told, to make sure that not one dollar of the billions spewing out of Washington would be misspent. Something is terribly wrong if the federal government can’t even accurately allocate 6,020 awards across 18 Ohio Congressional Districts. Ohio isn’t the only state that’s added Congressional Districts according to Recovery.gov reports. Fact-checking and data review must be non-existent.

What does this mean? First, take the jobs created/saved data with a grain of salt. They are likely pulled out of the air and no more accurate than the Congressional District summaries. Second, contrary to the pledges and claims that every stimulus dollar will be tracked, stimulus spending is out of control and is doing very little to promote sustainable economic growth. At an average of nearly $300,000 for every job claimed to be saved or created, it is not putting people back to work or getting the economy growing again. And since the federal government can’t even get the most basic tracking information right (allocating awards to Congressional Districts), it is obvious they have no idea whether it is being spent properly or not. Our children and grandchildren will paying for this monstrosity of waste for many years.

Here’s something else to ponder if it’s not too close to bedtime (you don’t want to have nightmares). These are the same people that want to take over your health care. We can laugh a bit when it’s about 10 bogus Congressional Districts in Ohio, but it’s not so funny when you, a family member or an employer disappears in the proposed national health care bureaucracy. That’s what we’ll have when the ‘public option’ becomes the only option. Tell your U.S. Senators that you don’t want ANY public option since it will soon become the ONLY option. Call Senator Sherrod Brown at (202) 224-2315. Brown currently supports a strong public option. Call Senator George Voinovich at (202) 224-3353.

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