Continuing in its quest to be the biggest propoganda mouthpiece for the Obama administration among all dinosaur media outlets, the Fish Wrapper (aka The Oregonian) published a story about how the Generational Theft Act of 2009 (also known as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act) has "saved or created" 9,653 jobs in Oregon.
After noticing similarities between the brains of meth users and stroke victims, Portland researchers Marilyn Huckans and Jennifer Loftis theorized they could devise a more effective treatment for addicts.
All they needed was a good chunk of money to prove it. And they got it -- nearly $1 million -- courtesy of the federal stimulus act, which in its first eight months has showered $1.8 billion on Oregon, according to reports released Friday.
"This is our big opportunity," said Huckans, who works with Loftis at Oregon Health & Science University. The money will be used to hire support staff and buy lab mice and equipment for two years of intense study. "We are finally able to get going."
The two brain scientists represent just a tiny slice of the hundreds of federal contracts, loans and grants that have gone to Oregon companies and projects as part of the massive federal effort to wrench the nation out of its deep economic dive.
Oregon's share of the money is buying safer passage for salmon on the Columbia River, funding a Beaverton program that keeps children out of prostitution and helping start a new business in Sandy that makes moulds for testing concrete. It's repaving hundreds of miles of roads, clearing brush from fire-prone forests and dredging shipping lanes in the state's harbors.
Federal officials said the spending has "created or saved" the equivalent of 640,239 full-time jobs nationwide. Of those, 9,653 belong to Oregonians, according to Friday's report.
The biggest chunk of jobs saved by the spending, both nationally and in Oregon, is for teachers.
Translation: the administration is repaying the union thugs - such as the NEA - for all the work they did to get him elected. But I digress...
A major issue with these "saved or created" jobs is their longevity. Take a look at these descriptions from the article:
- The money will be used to hire support staff and buy lab mice and equipment for two years of intense study. "We are finally able to get going."
- Company vice president Ken Dixon said he added six jobs to the overall stimulus calculation -- two carpenters who had been laid off were hired back; two who were in danger of being laid off were kept on; and two supervisors who had run out of jobs were put on the Bonneville project.
In both of these cases, they are short term. What happens when the brain study ends? Those people will be out of a job. What happens when the Bonneville project ends? Those people will be out of a job again. How is that long term help? Answer: it isn't.
Harry Esteve, the author of the
opinion piece article, also provided some unintended humor in a couple places.
The numbers also didn't include other parts of the stimulus package, such as tax cuts, higher unemployment checks and $250 bonuses to Social Security recipients. "Those create jobs, too," Bernstein said.
Now, I might be missing something very obvious here, but how does giving out more money in unemployment compensations and giving bonuses to Social Security recipients create jobs? Paying people not to work creates jobs? In which universe?
And farther down:
The project also helps illustrate one of the problems with the stimulus: Few people know much about it.
The other problems being the absolutely incredible amounts of debt this has put the country in and the total uselessness of it, but those are not things the Fish Wrapper likes to point out.
And then, we get to the more direct Democrat talking points:
The jobs and spending update -- the first of what will be regular quarterly reports on the stimulus -- came one day after news that the nation's gross domestic product had grown 3.5 percent, possibly heralding the end of what is being called the Great Recession. White House officials were quick to claim credit.
"This was an aggressive step to get money back into the economy," said Dan Pfeiffer, White House deputy communications director. He said the billions in spending "had a big role" in getting the economy back on track.
In which universe is still increasing unemployment considered the economy being "back on track"? If the Bush administration had dared to make that claim, they would have been pilloried by every news outlet in sight. Bush was even attacked when the economy was growing at "only" 3.5% and the budget office was putting out announcements about setting records for tax revenues.
And finally, in the last two paragraphs of a 22 page article, Esteve gets around to attempting to be even handed:
Others were a bit more skeptical about the long-term impact of the stimulus. Tim Duy, a University of Oregon economist, said there's no question that spending lots of federal money will put some people to work. The problem, he said, is the unemployment numbers are so high that they continue to threaten hopes for a solid recovery.
"The recession is like a pothole," he said, and the stimulus "threw some gravel in the bottom of the pothole. Is this good? Sure. But you're still dropping into a pothole."
Now, let's look at these false numbers in a little more context. Esteve relies on numbers put put by the White House that are incredibly bogus. In fact, they were even debunked by the Aparatchik Press (aka the A.P.) in detail:
WASHINGTON — A Colorado company said it created 4,231 jobs with the help of President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan. The real number: fewer than 1,000.
A child care center in Florida said it saved 129 jobs with the help of stimulus money. Instead, it gave pay raises to its existing employees.
Elsewhere in the U.S., some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times.
The government has overstated by thousands the number of jobs it has created or saved (ed. - Hmmm, sound familiar?) with federal contracts under the president's $787 billion recovery program, according to an Associated Press review of data released in the program's first progress report.
The discrepancy raises questions about the reliability of a key benchmark the administration uses to gauge the success of the stimulus. The errors could be magnified Friday when a much larger round of reports is released. It is expected to show hundreds of thousands of jobs repairing public housing, building schools, repaving highways and keeping teachers on local payrolls.
And that's just the beginning. It gets even better from there.
The White House seized on an initial report from a government oversight board weeks ago that claimed federal contracts awarded to businesses under the recovery plan already had helped pay for more than 30,000 jobs. The administration said the number was evidence that the stimulus program had exceeded early expectations toward reaching the president's promise of creating or saving 3.5 million jobs by the end of next year.
But the 30,000 figure is overstated by thousands — at the very least by nearly 5,000, or one in six, based on AP's limited review of some of the contracts — because some federal agencies and recipients of the money provided incorrect job counts. The review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs were credited to stimulus spending when, in fact, none were produced.
And the debunking goes on an on. Read the whole thing.
And the AP isn't the only typically so-liberal-they're-almost-falling-of-the-left-edge organization questioning these numbers. Even Katie Couric, she of the last place evening newscast, is questioning them. From the 10/29/09 CBS Evening News broadcast, a story filed by Chip Reid:
KATIE COURIC, HOST: Now let`s get back to that $787 billion stimulus Anthony mentioned. Earlier this year, the president claimed it would create or save three million jobs. There are some questions about how many it may have created so far. Chip Reid is at the White House tonight. And, Chip, I know the administration is putting out a jobs report card tomorrow. What can you can tell us about that?
CHIP REID, CBS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Katie, that report is going to claim that the stimulus has already created or saved hundreds of thousands of jobs, but if the administration`s first effort at counting stimulus jobs is any guide, tomorrow`s numbers could be hard to believe.
There's also Caroline Baum of Bloomberg News who calls it a "White House Fantasy":
Here’s the executive summary in case you missed it:
The crisis: “Inherited.”
The economy: “In terrible shape” (the inherited one).
The shocks to the system: “Larger than those that precipitated the Great Depression.”
The policy response: “Strong and timely.”
The efficacy of the policy response: a 2 to 3 percentage point addition to second-quarter growth; 3 to 4 percentage points in the third; and 160,000 to 1.5 million “jobs saved or created,” a made-up metric if there ever was one. (More on that later.)
What was most puzzling about Romer’s Oct. 22 testimony was her comment on the waning effect of fiscal stimulus.
“Most analysts predict that the fiscal stimulus will have its greatest impact on growth in the second and third quarters of 2009,” Romer said. “By mid-2010, fiscal stimulus will likely be contributing little to growth.”
And the money quote, from Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business:
“Government job creation is an oxymoron,” said Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business. It is only by depriving the private sector of funds that government can hire or subsidize hiring.
That’s why “jobs created or saved” is such pure fiction. It ignores what’s unseen, as our old friend Frederic Bastiat explained so eloquently 160 years ago in an essay.
But somehow, Esteve misses all this whie parroting the Democrat talking points about the "stimulus" bill.