The recovery.gov website lists a number of job creation success stories in congressional districts accross many states. For instance, in Arizona’s 15th congressional district 30 jobs were created with $761,420 in stimulus money. There is one problem though. There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state only has eight.
The website also lists that Pennsylvania received $13 million to create 32.2 jobs in congressional districts that don’t exist!
The fiction not only extends to, at best, sloppy reporting of congressional districts, but, as many news agencies have found, the number of jobs created are false too. For instance, the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council claimed to have saved 935 jobs with the $1.3 million it received, even though only 508 people work there. In reality, the group used most of its grant to give raises and now says it created 9.35 jobs.
In fact, of the 650,000 jobs that the White House says it has created, over 75,000 are false.
For argument sake, let’s pretend these jobs “created or saved” were real and that the stimulus did create jobs. The government and all its proponents will tell you the immediate effects of the spending, i.e. what is “seen.” The other effects which emerge subsequently are “unseen” and are not accounted for in “jobs created data.” The seen in this case, as we all know, is the job created. The unseen is the opportunity foregone in releasing the stimulus funds. The unseen is the taxpayer money that could have been saved and invested in the creation of other jobs that are now not created. When the government spends on its own behalf, this implies that the taxpayer spends on his own behalf that much less.
But there’s more! The taxpayer pays for these jobs that are created by the government but gets nothing in return. If he keeps his money he can give to anyone he pleases, getting in return what he expects.