“Created or saved” is out of work

The White House is abandoning its ridiculous pretense of counting the jobs created or saved by the stimulus:

The Obama administration has taken some heat and mockery for using the nebulous and non-economic term of jobs being “saved or created” by the $787 billion stimulus program.

So it’s gotten rid of it.

In a little-noticed December 18, 2009 memo from Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag the Obama administration is changing the way stimulus jobs are counted.

The memo, first noted by ProPublica, says that those receiving stimulus funds no longer have to say whether a job has been saved or created.

“Instead, recipients will more easily and objectively report on jobs funded with Recovery Act dollars,” Orszag wrote.

In other words, if the project is being funded with stimulus dollars – even if the person worked at that company or organization before and will work the same place afterwards – that’s a stimulus job.

Trying to count and then to take credit for jobs that already exist was an awfully silly enterprise by an awfully foolish administration. Indeed, the very idea that the jobs could be counted was contrary to the entire premise of the stimulus plan.

The media too has to accept some blame for playing along and pretending that the administration’s announced goal of 3.5 million jobs created/saved was somehow meaningful. Ed Pound, the communications director for recovery.gov was more honest when he replied to a question about the created/saved numbers by saying “Who knows, man? Who really knows?”

You can see here how the stimulus package has performed relative to a meaningful prediction.

(Via the Corner.)

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