Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Administrator Admits Data Unsupportable

This should come as no surprise given that independent groups and others (myself included) have cataloged that the website includes billions of dollars going to congressional districts that don't exist and that basic defects in the database render it useless. The head of, Earl Devaney, admits that they can't certify the jobs data.
Earl Devaney, the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, responded to questions posed by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., late yesterday to say the board can’t vouch for the numbers submitted by recipients of stimulus funding.

“Your letter specifically asks if I am able to certify that the number of jobs reported as created/saved on is accurate and auditable. No, I am not able to make this certification,” Devaney wrote, in a letter provided to ABC News.

Devaney rejected Issa’s suggestion that the site include a more prominent disclaimer, such as an asterisk or a footnote. He said the site already does mention in a note to users that “errors and omissions” are likely.

Devaney said that while he can’t yet provide a list of all entities that were required to submit information but failed to do so, “I expect to have access to this data shortly.” He also said the board will seek to correct data that proves to be faulty, and is promising “increasingly higher levels of accuracy in the future.”
Jobs created or saved is a bogus metric, and combine that with phantom districts, and the entire enterprise is a waste, except to highlight that the waste is pervasive and overwhelming and that the Administration's claims of job creation ring hollow for most of the country, 75% of which still finds itself in recession. MSNBC would like us to believe that 1 in 4 metro areas are showing signs of growth, but that ignores that the bulk of the nation is mired in recession despite all the money thrown about via the stimulus package. Indeed, few areas of the country are actually showing growth, but most are just shrinking at a lower rate than previously indicated.

Moreover, even liberal groups are realizing that the stimulus package was a failure, and are clamoring for another stimulus package to kickstart job growth.

Even President Obama is now warning of a double dip recession. He and his economic team have already botched any projections on job losses (and purported job creation) by a wide margin, so noting that there's a possibility of a double dip recession doesn't hurt him politically as much as you would think. If anything, it insulates him further should the double dip not materialize, he can go on to claim that but for his actions, the double dip would have occurred. If the double dip occurs, he can brand Republicans as standing in the way of his economic plans to jump start health care reform or other nonsense, even as the Democrats control both chambers of Congress with significant majorities such that they don't need Republican support to pass legislation.

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