Costly jobs

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keeping track of federal stimulus programs is hard to do. Just ask the bureaucrats in Washington who are eager to point to results but have meager data. Monitoring how all those billions of stimulus dollars -- along with billions more of bailout dollars -- wasn't built into those programs, and now the government can't say for sure what it has been spent or how effective those programs have been.

President Obama predicted early on that stimulus dollars would create or save 3.5 million jobs. Monthly employment reports have continued to show jobless increases, even though the numbers shrank a bit last week and fueled a huge stock market rally.

Now the Obama administration is taking the heat for latching on to flawed job numbers related to stimulus projects. Even those numbers showed only 30,000 new jobs, not the hundreds of thousands that were predicted.

Some analysts say it is too early to tell what impact stimulus and bailout billions have had on the U.S. economy. Suffice to say that the lack of accountability leaves taxpayers wondering where the money had gone. Simple math also points to the spending of hundreds of thousands of dollars to create each of the few jobs the administration can claim in its latest round of reporting.

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