The Magically Appearing Stimulus Jobs

Nov 16, 2009 3:59pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: We’ve long been wondering what taxpayers would get for their $18 million Website redesign at Recovery.gov. ABC’s Jonathan Karl is reporting on one thing we never guessed might have been purchased: Jobs created in congressional districts that do not exist. There’s Arizona’s 15th Congressional District, where 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending, according to Recovery.gov. Arizona only has eight House seats. So the $34 million that Recovery.gov tells us was spent in the state’s 86th district is equally incredible. Another gem: More than $36 million in stimulus funds spent between the 69th and 99th districts of the Northern Mariana Islands — a self-governing US territory that gets only one (non-voting) representative in the House. (Did Jack Abramoff do a better lobbying job than anyone could have imagined?) These figures seem more likely to be data-entry errors than evidence of fraud or corruption. But for an administration that’s prided itself on scrupulous accounting surrounding everything connected to the stimulus, mistakes like these contribute to suspicions that counting jobs “saved or created” is more art than science. And there’s more in that vein today: ABC’s Matthew Jaffe reports that the administration has been forced to slice 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on stimulus spending because of what officials deemed to be “unrealistic data” flowing in from stimulus recipients.

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