Creative Accounting

Here’s another article finding significant errors in the counting of “jobs created or saved” by the stimulus bill.  In this case, one agency reported saving almost twice as many jobs as actually existed.  Even more galling, another government spokesman tried to defend the practice of counting the raises given to government employees as somehow equivalent to “saved” jobs.  The article quotes an HHS spokesman as saying that “If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job.”

The definition of what constitutes a job “created or saved” is inherently slippery.  What is really appalling is that even the slippery definitions have been pressed beyond the breaking point, so that non-existent jobs get counted and raises for government employees are defended as “saved” jobs.  In view of the kind of information reported in the linked article, does anyone actually think the federal government’s statistical evidence for the “success” of the stimulus spending bill has any credibility whatsoever?

It’s bad enough that the figures have been jiggered to make it look like the stimulus spending has had any material positive impact.  What is really infuriating, however, is that a government employee thinks that American taxpayers are so gullible and dim-witted that they will swallow the explanation that a raise given to government workers is equivalent to a job “saved.”   How gratifying to think that our tax dollars are helping to pay the salary of someone who clearly has only contempt for our intellect.

1 thought on “Creative Accounting

  1. Pingback: Other Than That, The Numbers Are Completely Accurate « Webner House

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