Last year, with Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm standing by his side, President-elect Barack Obama proclaimed the importance of rapidly passing a stimulus package, described his intense focus on job creation, and noted that a new president can have an “enormous impact” on the economy.
This week, The Detroit Free Press reported that Obama’s stimulus package has “created or retained virtually no jobs” in Michigan, despite $1.2 billion in federal spending and the administration’s report that it created or retained 22,500 jobs in the Great Lakes State.
One wonders whether Michigan’s governor would still stand by Obama’s side and how she would rate the success of the president’s “enormous impact,” given that her state is currently suffering from a 15.3 percent unemployment rate.
There’s even more to the story. The Detroit Free Press reports that those who received stimulus funds or who have been promised stimulus funds greatly overstated the number of jobs created or protected. Shockingly, the paper’s analysis also revealed the following:
Three of every four stimulus grants, contracts and loans approved in Michigan created or retained one job or less.
Fewer than 700 awards had received some money, and nearly half of those — 327 — had created one job or less, at a cost per job of $2.7 million.
Some job estimates were wrong: General Motors Co., for instance, reported 105 jobs saved or created for a government purchase of 5,000 vehicles but later said no jobs were saved or created. The City of Detroit reported 342 jobs it now says were projections — not jobs already created or retained.
The news out of Michigan is a local angle to a mounting national story. An ABC News report reveals that the Obama administration altered its stimulus job growth numbers because its estimates are woefully inaccurate.
From ABC News:
The Obama administration, under fire for inflating job growth from the $787 billion stimulus plan, slashed over 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program because the reporting outlets had submitted “unrealistic data,” according to a document obtained by ABC News.
But this isn’t the first time this story has come to light. The Foundry previously wrote about the $25 billion in stimulus funds allocated for energy-efficiency that didn’t produce any of the promised jobs.
And in California, 26,156 jobs were reportedly “saved” with 268.5 million in stimulus dollars. In actuality, none of those jobs were in danger of being eliminated.
Given the nation’s 10.2 percent unemployment rate, when will the Obama administration quit playing games with its jobs numbers and be straight with the American people?