The Obama administration continues to push its “jobs created and saved” theme, taking credit for up to a million jobs on account of its $787 billion economic stimulus package (roughly a quarter of which has been spent). But some in the media remain skeptical.
The higher claim of 1 million was based on extrapolation – the White House report examined the first $150 billion of $339 billion stimulus funds spent so far.
The White House recently “fired back” at Associated Press (AP) for saying that the number of jobs created or saved was “overstated by thousands.” AP reviewed data from the first progress report of the stimulus and found huge discrepancies.
“[S]ome jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times,” Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo wrote for AP.
“The discrepancy raises questions about the reliability of a key benchmark the administration uses to gauge the success of the stimulus. The errors could be magnified Friday [Oct. 30] when a much larger round of reports is released. It is expected to show hundreds of thousands of jobs repairing public housing, building schools, repaving highways and keeping teachers on local payrolls,” AP concluded.
Baum called the phrase a “made-up metric if there ever was one.” She quoted Bill Dunkelberg of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) who said, “Government job creation is an oxymoron” because it merely takes money away from the private sector’s ability to hire.
The network news media have let the administration get away with using such a fictional metric for months now. On May 28, NBC “Nightly News” spotlighted a stimulus-funded project that “saved or created” jobs and brought “hope” to a