Reasons for pessimism

Nov 6 2009

From the AP via James Taranto (“Close Enough for Government Work“):

—– Quote —–
“President Barack Obama’s economic recovery program saved 935 jobs at the Southwest Georgia Community Action Council, an impressive success story for the stimulus plan,” the Associated Press reports.

Hey, great news! Just one little problem: “Only 508 people work there.” The story continues:

The Georgia nonprofit’s inflated job count is among persisting errors in the government’s latest effort to measure the effect of the $787 billion stimulus plan despite White House promises last week that the new data would undergo an “extensive review” to root out errors discovered in an earlier report.

About two-thirds of the 14,506 jobs claimed to be saved under one federal office, the Administration for Children and Families at Health and Human Services, actually weren’t saved at all, according to a review of the latest data by The Associated Press. Instead, that figure includes more than 9,300 existing employees in hundreds of local agencies who received pay raises and benefits and whose jobs weren’t saved.

You read that right: Civil servants got pay raises, and the Obama administration claims credit for “saving” their jobs:

Officials defended the practice of counting raises as saved jobs.
“If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job,” HHS spokesman Luis Rosero said.

Aren’t you excited to think that these people may soon be in charge of your health care?

—– End Quote —–

One of several possibilities seems obvious here:
1. These guys are idiots
2. These guys think we’re idiots
3. Both


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