Recipients of economic-stimulus money said 599,108 workers were being paid by the funds in the last quarter of 2009, fewer than the number of jobs attributed to the package in the seven months after it was enacted.
The recipients' reports, published on the official government Web site recovery.gov late Saturday, are likely to fuel further controversy over the impact of the $787 billion package, as Democrats craft new jobs-creation proposals to address the country's 10% jobless rate. Many opinion polls suggest that most voters don't believe the current stimulus program, which was passed last February, is working....
The administration could face difficulty explaining how the reports square with its own calculations that the plan kept between 1.5 million and two million jobs in the economy through the end of 2009.
In his State of the Union address to Congress last week, President Barack Obama said that "because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed."
Those projections are based on macroeconomic models and try to include the number of jobs that exist indirectly as a result of people being hired to work on stimulus projects, or of people receiving food stamps or other aid funded by the stimulus program.
Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement that the 599,108 total was "a snapshot of the impact of a small portion of funds" and that the stimulus plan was on track. The reports cover about $54 billion of stimulus spending, Mr. Biden said. Federal agencies say that an additional $215 billion has been paid out in aid and tax cuts....
Stimulus recipients previously reported that they had directly "created or saved" 640,329 jobs by Sept. 30, but their filings were criticized after it emerged that some people had reported saving jobs when they had actually spent the money on pay raises or paying employees who were not in danger of being laid off.
In December, the White House Office of Management and Budget changed its guidance, telling recipients they should start counting every worker whose salary was funded with stimulus money, rather than guessing whether the jobs would have existed in the absence of the federal plan. Opponents of the program accused the administration of "moving the goal posts" to make the plan appear more successful.
Let's see: Saturday night release, misreporting, underreporting, changing the reporting rules, fail, fail, fail. And now the White House wants to borrow another couple hundred billion taxpayer dollars for another
Sign me up!