Free Markets, Free People

Your Government BS Statistic Of The Day – “Saved” And Created Jobs

The Magic Unicorn and Snake Oil show that is the federal government has invented a new statistic for your entertainment, because it certainly has no real meaning. Why do I say that, you ask?

Well read this and tell me what you think:

The first direct stimulus reports showed that stimulus contracts saved or created just 30,083 jobs, prompting more Republican criticism of the $787 billion package.

The data posted Thursday was the result of the government’s initial attempt at counting actual stimulus jobs. Obama administration officials stressed that data was partial — it represented just $16 billion out of the $339 billion awarded — but they said it exceeded their projections.

Two points – we have no idea, given that number, what percentage were “saved” and what percentage were created. But it is clear that the claim of saving a job is a useful tool to pad the total. Even then, however, that means that each “saved” or created job cost you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, $533,000 per job. And yes, that’s for those “saved” as well.

Doesn’t government efficiency just dazzle the heck out of you?

Fear not, though, you haven’t seen all the magic unicorns or snake oil yet. Feast your eyes on this:

“All signs — from private estimates to this fragmentary data — point to the conclusion that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save about 1 million jobs in its first seven months, a much needed lift in a very difficult period for our economy,” said Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden.

According to the White House recovery office’s rough calculations, the 30,083 jobs number projects out to a total of 1.2 million jobs saved or created by the stimulus through September.

Yessiree – when they get into the projecting business, why it’s even better than they thought. It seems – according to those wonderful projections – that we’ve been able to “save” or create 1.2 million jobs, at least in the world of statistics. Again, how many are “saved” vs. created seems to be an unknown. But whatever the mix, 1.2 million seems to be the number they’ll be crowing about.

Of course what they’ll be trying to forget are those other numbers they originally promised when they were selling the magic unicorns and snake oil called “the stimulus”. Seems the rubes were told that passage of that fantastic piece of legislation would most certainly “save” or create 3 to 4 million jobs.

Oh … that and keep unemployment under 8%.

Drink up folks – Dr. Obama’s elixer is guaranteed not to slip, rip, tear,  get rusty or roll down the hill sideways. Helps your wallet, does you good and makes child birth pleasant, besides the benefit you get from it. Now who’ll have another bottle of Dr. Obama’s Magic stimulus tonic?

Ah, Dr. Krugman wants more, doesn’t he?



9 Responses to Your Government BS Statistic Of The Day – “Saved” And Created Jobs

  • “Yessiree – when they get into the projecting business, why it’s even better than they thought. ”

    Yup, these are the same folks that want to do the next Census with projections.

    I can see it now: Blue states have a population of 1.2 BILLION people and Red states have a population of 30,083.

  • Of course, the one most important saved job is that massive CONJOB in Washington.

  • The most discouraging thing is that they get away with it.


    I wonder if I could get away going to my boss and saying that I’ve projected that I will create or save a few million dollars in business for my company this year and that I should get a huge raise and bonus for it.


    Maybe not.

  • This is along the lines of the reasoning that says that saving money is like a tax break, but if legislation leads to lower wages or higher costs of living, that is decidedly not a tax increase. Which allows the President to ‘promise’ that taxes won’t go up at all for a certain segment of the population, even though they’ll wind up with higher expenses and less disposable income in the end.

    Maybe they can add two more statistics to their analysis, Jobs Not Created and Jobs Not Saved. Those would probably have a significant negative impact on the totals, but they’d be more realistic. But we’re asking this of a political culture that wants people to think that lowering the deficit is the same as lowering the debt. Lying to the public through numbers is a time-tested trick in DC.

  • We know how this works. Forms are circulated that say:

    “In February 2009, President Obama and the Democratic Congress championed the preservation of jobs in our government agency. Faced with Republican haters who were demanding action to throw you all out on the street, they passed an unprecedented stimulus bill to protect you and your other government union employees from certain unemployment.

    For accounting purposes, please estimate the number of jobs that would have been lost had the haters got their way and 10% of your program’s funding was cut.”

    It’s just like “baseline accounting” (hard to call it accounting because when the private sector does it, people like Ken Skilling go to jail for decades, but when a government accountant does it, they get accolades, bonuses and trips to Las Vegas for “conferences”).

  • The first report of jobs created or “saved” in NH said that 781 of the 786 jobs were in gov’t

  • This is exactly like the Health care fiasco. Everything I have read convinces me that it would be actually a lot cheaper if the government simply purchased policies for the 30 million uninsured. In the same way, it would be cheaper to just give unemployed people cash.

    Not that I am advocating either program, but it would at least be more honest and less of an intrusion of government into our lives.

  • Interestingly, among the jobs they can legitimately claim to have “saved” there are tens of thousands of jobs that ought not to have been saved, analogous to Wall Street bonuses that ought not be paid. The biggest blob of saved jobs were on State public sector payrolls, folks that are overpaid (including benefit costs, estimated to be up to 150% of the equivalent private sector pay), and that contribute to ongoing deficit in nearly every State. We hear much of the bailout of Wall Street or the automakers, but scarcely a word on bailout of the States. Wihtout federal bailout of your state capitol, your governor might have had to cut state jobs, renegotiate pension beneift deals, and otherwise find efficiencies. With the baiout, the drunken party you and your grandchildren are paying for can continue.

    Here is something to look for to see if the same sort of belt-tightening we see in the private sector will happen in the public: a federal court has ordered CA to reduce overcrowding in its prisons, in effect to let some folks out. It occurs to me that, if it happens, such a reduction in prison population ought to lead to a correspnding reduction in the number of guards required, or at least the number of guard hours paid. CA prison guards are very strongly unionized, have had the home phone numbers of the last three governors, so don’t hold your breath waiting to see any trimming of their slice of the pie.

  • If we believe their number, that’s $655,833 per job.