Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bogus jobs numbers in the stimulus & Ohio phantom congressional districts

The Washington Examiner has been compiling various news reports about the bogus numbers of jobs 'created or retained' by the stimulus funds.

In their spreadsheet, they even list a Toledo example:

Koring Group reported hiring 52 people, but it turns out that they double-counted jobs that “only lasted about two months.” The FCC estimates that “actual job count is closer to five.”

But this got me thinking about two items I saw on the November 10th Council agenda:

608-09
Accept ARRA Stimulus grant for prosecutor and intern for crimes of Violence Against Women,$40,193
Passed

614-09
Accept ARRA Stimulus grant for retention of jobs in Prosecutor's Office, $93,724
Passed

These positions have been funded in the past by Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant dollars and Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) and/or Byrne Memorial grant funds.

So these are not new positions in the Prosecutor's office.

But, they are now funded by ARRA - the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - and I can't help but wonder if they are part of the number of jobs 'created or saved' being claimed by government.

Certainly, since they are existing positions, they are not jobs 'created.' If these old grants had not been replaced (renamed?) by ARRA, it is likely they would have continued, so I don't know that we can say the jobs were 'saved.'

I still take exception to the 'saved' category, as any job that isn't eliminated could be claimed by the government as one 'saved,' regardless of any action of or by the government.

But that point aside - are jobs like these in the Prosecutor's office included in the claim? I couldn't tell by looking at the Recovery.gov website, which is supposed to track the stimulus funds.

Interestingly, though, I did find two curious expenditures at Recovery.gov:

$25,000 awarded on Aug. 12, 2009 as a sub-grant to TOLEDO ORCHESTRA ASSOCIATION INC.

$250,000 awarded July 1, 2009 to the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo - "To support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support duringt he current economic downturn, as described in application A09-904015 and the approved project budget."

Remember - the Arts Commission gets funding directly from the citizens as part of the City of Toledo's 'set-aside' for the arts. In 1977, Toledo City Council passed the 'One Percent for Art' program, which takes 1% of the capital improvement budget and spends it on art in public places each year.

And the number of jobs identified with these two programs? So far, only 2 for the $603,400 total in funds that the state and/ or city received.

Additionally Ohio has 18 Congressional districts, but Recovery.gov shows that money was spent in 9 Ohio districts that don't even exist! In fact, $3,438,956 in stimulus funds went somewhere - and there were even 3 jobs associated with those funds.

Congressional District # of jobs $ amount
21st congressional district 3 $1,241,652
99th congressional district 0 $660,000
69th congressional district 0 $400,000
87th congressional district 0 $336,108
85th congressional district 0 $250,000
49th congressional district 0 $230,000
20th congressional district 0 $208,836
54th congressional district 0 $100,000
56th congressional district 0 $12,000

And people think this same government can handle health care on behalf of every American?????

The bigger problem with this whole fiasco is that government only has what it takes from us. In order to have the money to spend to 'save or create' jobs, it has to tax us (or our descendants) or borrow and then, eventually, tax us to repay the loans. By doing this, they are removing our money from the economy and putting it toward their pet projects. If we'd been allowed to keep our money in the first place, we'd be investing it, spending it, and/or saving it, resulting in a better and more efficient use of the funds - which would result in a better economy meeting the needs of the consumers, rather than the wants of politicians.

For a better understanding of this concept, read Henry Hazlitt's "Economics in One Lesson" - Chapter Two: The Broken Window (may take a moment to download and Chapter Two starts on page 17 of the .pdf). Better yet, give a copy of the chapter to our elected officials and ask them why, in light of the lesson, they continue to do the wrong things.

For more information on how the stimulus funds are being distributed in Ohio, be sure to read Ohio Watchdog and check out their information showing the jobs 'created' in our 9th Congressional district cost over $467,000 each - and that the majority of spending has been to government entities, including the City of Toledo (roughly $23 million), the University of Toledo (rougly $45 million) and Toledo Public Schools (roughly $40 million).

I sure do hope TPS doesn't ask for a levy any time soon.

2 comments:

Tim Higgins said...

Maggie,

I especially like the numbers of jobs saved or created in Recovery.gov in the Minnesota 57th, New Mexico 22nd, and Arizona 15th Congressional Districts ... none of which exist.

Now perhaps I should expect no less from the Administration of a president who visited all 57 states; but it strikes me that with such pronouncements, this Administration loses what little credibility that it ever had.

gordon gekko said...

What do you expect from a president who's visited 57 states?

Google Analytics Alternative