Obama Stimulus Job Count Under New Criticism

Congressman Says: Reports of 640k jobs created/saved have been exaggerated.

ByABC News
November 13, 2009, 11:07 AM

Nov. 13, 2009 — -- Fuzzy math or flagrant fudgery?

Following a series of reports across the country of what look like over-the-top over-estimates of jobs created or saved as a result of President Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package, a senior Republican lawmaker has challenged the administration's accounting.

Ahead of a congressional hearing on the stimulus spending issue slated for next week, House Oversight and Government Reform ranking member Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has drafted a letter to Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which monitors stimulus spending. In his letter, Issa expresses concern that "grossly inaccurate" information has been fed to the public. Issa's letter questions whether the board's claim that an estimated 640,329 jobs were created or saved as a result of the massive spending measure is accurate.

According to a draft version of the Issa letter obtained by ABCNews.com, and which is not expected to be sent until Monday, Issa drops a stiff challenge on Devaney's doorstep. First, he asks whether he can certify that the number of jobs reported on the stimulus oversight board's Web site as created or saved is accurate and auditable, and whether Devaney, if he can't certify the numbers, would be willing to add a disclaimer to the site saying the numbers are not reliable.

Read Rep. Darrell Issa's draft letter to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board here.

A series of media reports have surfaced in the past week or so, uncovering examples of significant overcounting of stimulus-tied jobs in California, Massachusetts, Texas, Wisconsin, as well several states. For example:

The Globe described the Bay State's stimulus job figures as "wildly exaggerated."