Lies, damned lies and stimulus jobs

David already discussed the White House's politically convienent penchant for overcounting stimulus jobs. it's one thing to be guilty of “persisting errors” in the data but — it's another thing altogether to be goosing the stats:

About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren't saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren't saved.

That type of accounting was found in an earlier AP review of stimulus jobs, which the Obama administration said was misleading because most of the government's job-counting errors were being fixed in the new data.

The administration now acknowledges overcounting in the new numbers for the HHS program. Elizabeth Oxhorn, a spokeswoman for the White House recovery office, said the Obama administration was reviewing the Head Start data “to determine how and if it will be counted.”

But officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.

“If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job,” HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.

Save a portion of a job? That doesn't make sense on any level. How can they justify plundering stimulus funds to preserve already existing government jobs? To do that and claim it's evidence that of the stimulus' success at “creating or saving” jobs is simply deceitful. How are government employees getting pay raises helping already unemployed Americans find jobs? The president really owes the American people an answer here. And much, much more scrutiny needs to be given to the jobs numbers coming out of the White House.

 

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