"Stimulus" Fuzzy Math of the Day: Politics vs. Economics

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Posted: Nov 24, 2009 2:52 PM
Guest post from Mattie Duppler with the Center for Fiscal Accountability

W
hile taxpayers were sold a lemon with the “stimulus” deal, they aren’t buying the claims by proponents of the spending package that jobs have been “saved or created” since its passage. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC news poll, 62 percent of people polled thought the “stimulus” had either hurt or had no impact on the economy. The percentage of people who thought it would create jobs in the future dropped six points, demonstrating a decreasing amount of faith in the President’s platitudes about a “recovering” economy. These numbers will likely get worse as the Administration’s credibility continues to erode over its reporting of false recovery.gov.

The numbers reported on recovery.gov have gotten so misleading, Congressional leaders are asking that the Administration stop using them all together. Reps. John Boehner and Darrell Issa sent a letter to Vice President Joe Biden today, asking him to stop using the unverifiable metric of jobs “saved or created” and start focusing on real job creation. Their letter states:

“The inaccuracy of the job creation and retention claims posted on the Administration’s website, www.recovery.gov, has not prevented Administration officials from touting this misleading and inaccurate number as evidence that the President’s stimulus spending package is succeeding even as the unemployment rate continues to rise. The reality is that the metric of jobs ‘created or saved’ was invented by politicians, not economists – it cannot be verified as accurate.”

The Representatives went on to chide the President for not taking the promulgation of false data more seriously, after Obama called the misreporting on the recovery site a “side issue.” Plainly, the letter states:

“We respectfully submit that the President is missing the point.”

We couldn’t agree more.