$830,000 in job funds to Oakland questioned

Of course, this is just an isolated incident, and in general the stimulus package has done a great job of righting the economy. Oh, sorry, that was sarcasm, for those who didn’t notice.

From SFGate.com:

Federal stimulus dollars intended for job creation in Oakland were spent instead on trips to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and a Concord water park, rent, church repairs, bus passes, salaries and car allowances, according to a state review released Tuesday.

Oakland, which has struggled with a 17.7 percent unemployment rate, received $3 million last year for summer youth, adult and dislocated worker programs. But more than $830,000 of the money received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from February to December 2009 was not properly accounted for or was misspent, according to the state Office of the Inspector General.

In addition, state auditors found the city inflated the number of jobs created, claiming 35 when only about six jobs were created with the stimulus dollars.

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Obama’s federal government can weatherize your home for only $57,362 each

From LATimes.com:

Who could forget the $5 billion in Obama administration stimulus money that was going to rapidly create nearly 90,000 green jobs across the country in these tough economic times and make so many thousands of homes all snuggy and warm and energy-efficient these very snowy days?

Well, a new report due out this morning will show the $5-billion program is so riddled with drafts that so far it’s weatherized only about 9,000 homes.

Based on the initial Obama-Biden program promise that it would create 87,000 new jobs its first year, that would be about 10 jobs for each home weatherized so far. Makes for pretty crowded doorways.

ABC News reports that the General Accountability Office will declare today that the Energy Department has fallen woefully behind — about 98.5% behind — the 593,000 homes it initially predicted would be weatherized in the Recovery Act’s very first, very chilly year.

(UPDATE 12:22 p.m. An Energy spokeswoman disputes the independent GAO numbers as outdated and conclusions as inaccurate. Full statement below.)

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Obama: Stimulus package prevented another depression

This is so stupid for so many reasons, it just boggles the mind that Obama could ever make such a statement. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there that will actually believe him.

From Raw Story:

On the anniversary of his huge stimulus bill, President Barack Obama admitted Wednesday that millions of Americans had yet to feel the economic recovery, but insisted he had staved off a depression.

Obama also lashed out at Republicans he accused of misrepresenting the aims and achievements of the $862-billion mix of tax cuts and government spending, which he said had saved or created two million jobs.

“One year later, it is largely thanks to the Recovery Act that a second depression is no longer a possibility,” Obama said, at an event marking the anniversary of the day he signed the bill last year in Denver, Colorado.

“We acted because failure to do so would have led to catastrophe.”

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Four Hawaii Phantom Districts Receive $45,639,408 in Stimulus Funds for 3.4 Jobs

You just have to wonder where the money went…

From WatchDog.org:

Hawaii received $2,284,000 million of federal stimulus funds for the 11the Congressional district, $40,903,941 million for the 15th Congressional district, $1,651,811 for the “00” Congressional district, and $799,656 in the 99th congressional district creating a combined “3.4” jobs or $13,423,355 per job, according to the federal government’s transparency web site for stimulus funds, http://www.Recovery.gov/.However, Hawaii has just two congressional districts, 1 and 2.

Those districts received $592,211,484 million and $174,075,308 respectively, according to the federal web site, creating combined total of 1,541.5 jobs.

See the full report on Hawaii here: http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/StateSummaries/Pages/statesummary.aspx?StateCode=HI

Media inquires to the governor’s office, the state budget office, Hawaii’s US Senators’ office, and the Recovery.gov web site manager this morning about the $45,639,408 allocated to four phantom districts has so far has yielded two responses.

US Sen. Daniel Akaka’s spokesperson, Jesse Van Dyke Broder, says the allocation report most likely has a “clerical” error. He says his office will alert the White House to the problem.

Russell Pang, spokesperson for the governor, says “Mark Anderson, who is the lead for the state on our federal stimulus funds, is sorting through this to see if he can match up what we’ve been awarded / received versus what is reported below for each district.”

Hawaii is far from the only state finding clerical errors in the Recovery.gov web site.

According to the Franklin Center report seen here – http://watchdog.org/2009/11/17/6-4-billion-stimulus-goes-to-phantom-districts/ – New Mexico Watchdog broke the story on Monday morning after finding that $26 million in stimulus money had been distributed to 13 congressional districts–ten more than the state actually has. They say similar reports soon followed from New Hampshire, Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota and West Virginia.

$25 billion “stimulus” program produces 0 jobs

Money, well… spent. Ok, more like pissed away.

From HotAir:

When Nancy Pelosi pushed Porkulus through on a party-line vote in the House and Harry Reid could only get three Republicans in the Senate, the GOP opposed the bill because it wouldn’t stimulate a nymphomaniac stripper on a Friday night.  The bill almost entirely consisted of nothing more than a laundry list of Democratic pork and progressive wish lists that had been circulating around Capitol Hill for years.  The Washington Post highlights one of the most prominent of the Porkulus programs, a $25 billion “energy efficiency” program that proves the point:

In Baltimore, the 300 block of East 23 1/2 Street is getting patched up in time for winter. One economic stimulus program is paying to insulate 11 rental rowhouses, another is paying for furnaces and a third is covering the cost for reflective roofs to be installed by prison inmates in a job-training program.

The block is part of one of the biggest initiatives ever undertaken by the federal government, a nationwide push to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. But as the national unemployment rate crosses into the double digits and Republicans question the stimulus program’s impact, the work on East 23 1/2 — even with all of its activity — has so far not produced a single job.

Nine months after Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus package, there is little tangible to show for one of its biggest single areas of investment, the $25 billion energy-efficiency effort. That points to one of the central tensions of President Obama’s landmark stimulus package: His goal was to inject money quickly into the economy while at the same time laying the groundwork for his broader, transformational agenda on energy, education and health care.

The Post doesn’t have that quite right.  This program and its zero-jobs output shows that Obama intended to lay the groundwork for a broad progressive agenda that would have the federal government eating up more capital and assuming greater power over the lives of Americans.  Not even Obama could sell this as an injection of cash into the economy. Most of the money went to states, which have mainly held onto it while they study the best way to build their bureaucracies on “energy efficiency.”

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Salary Raise Counted as Saved Job

Yeah, sure, that makes sense. If you get a raise, you didn’t lose your job, so your job must have been “saved.” With creative counting like this, it’s no wonder that they can claim that more than 640,000 jobs have been “saved or created” by the stimulus bill.

From CNSNews:

The government’s latest count of stimulus jobs significantly overstates the effects of the $787 billion program under a popular federal preschool program, raising fresh questions about the process the Obama administration is using to tout the success of its economic recovery plan.
 
An Associated Press review of the latest stimulus reports – which the White House promised would undergo extensive reviews to ensure accuracy – found that more than two-thirds of 14,506 jobs credited to the recovery act under spending by just one federal office were overstated because they counted pay increases for existing workers as jobs saved.
 
The inflated job count is at least partly the product of the administration instructing local community agencies that received money to count the raises as jobs saved.
 
“That’s more than ridiculous,” said Antonia Ferrier, a spokeswoman for Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner.

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Obama: Recovery Act created and saved over one million jobs

This number just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

From Raw Story:

US President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States was recovering from deep recession and that “hundreds of thousands of jobs” had been created through massive investments.

The president cited this week’s report on gross domestic product, pointing out that in the third quarter, GDP grew for the first time in over a year — and faster than it has in the previous two years.

“Today, I am pleased to offer some better news that – while not cause for celebration – is certainly reason to believe that we are moving in the right direction,” the president said in his weekly radio address.

Obama said the 787-billion-dollar Recovery Act stimulus package passed earlier this year had helped create or save over one million jobs.

Data posted on Recovery.gov, the website of the independent panel overseeing the stimulus measure, showed 640,329 jobs directly saved or created up until September 30.

Since the survey data only accounts for half the spending during that time, officials say the true number of jobs created is over a million.

Republicans, however, accused the administration of making up job creation numbers “out of thin air” to disguise the failure of Obama’s economic policies.

Unemployment remains a key hurdle to sustained recovery, with the latest monthly figures in September pushing the jobless rate to a new 26-year high of 9.8 percent, with job losses accelerating to 263,000.

However, Obama said there was reason for optimism.

“We’ve saved jobs by closing state budget shortfalls to prevent the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of police officers, firefighters, and teachers who are today on the beat, on call, and in the classroom because of the Recovery Act,” Obama said.

“And we’ve also created hundreds of thousands of jobs through the largest investment in our roads since the building of the interstate highways, and through the largest investments in education, medical research, and clean energy in history.”

The president however warned that a lot of work still lay ahead and said that he wanted to create an economy where jobs were readily available and incomes were rising again.

“The economy we seek is one that’s no longer based on maxed out credits cards, wild speculation, and the old cycles of boom or bust – but rather one that’s built on a solid foundation, supporting growth that is strong, sustained, and broadly shared by middle class families across America,” Obama said.

This video was released by the White House on Oct. 31, 2009.