Associated Press set the White House grumbling yesterday when the wire service reported that President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan “overstates by thousands the number of jobs created or saved” tied to the $787 billion stimulus program, notes Grumpy Editor.
Writers Brett J. Blackledge and Matt Apuzzo should be applauded for their efforts in reviewing an early progress report of stimulus contracts that found the government’s accounting of jobs linked to the program claimed more than 30,000 positions paid for with recovery money --- but the figure was overstated by at least 5,000.
The AP pair discovered errors in one out of six jobs credited to the stimulus program.
That represented about a 17 percent job inflation.
The AP writers also uncovered some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs, some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times, and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.
But not to worry, responded the White House because “it is aware there are problems.” Obama adviser Ed DeSeve told AP, “If there’s an error that was made, let’s get it fixed.”
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Look for additional scrutiny of government figures with new data, slated for release today, showing the stimulus program helped create or save about 650,000 jobs.