In SF Bay Area, stimulous creates 7 jobs at a cost of $16,142,857 per job — sort of

The Chronicle was always first in line for the Obama slobber fest, but the bloom is apparently wearing off of that well-drooled upon rose too.  Today, the Chron has a front page story vigorously attack the myriad accounting errors on the administration’s boastful website about its economic chops:

Nine months after President Obama promised that his $789 billion stimulus package would be the most transparent spending bill in history, much of the information available to the public for the Bay Area and the rest of the nation is incomplete or inaccurate.

The White House’s Recovery Act Web site – – shows that $660 million has been awarded to Bay Area transportation projects to create 997 jobs, which amounts to a staggering $661,986 per job.

Last week, the site showed that California Congressional Districts 00 and 99 received millions of dollars in stimulus funding even though neither district exists.

The Bay Area’s total also included $1.8 million to purchase buses in Duluth, Minn., which the federal Web site pinpointed with a dot just below San Leandro, and $4.8 million for road work in Laredo – which is in Texas.


A month ago, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to the White House and stood beside Vice President Joe Biden as Biden proclaimed that the stimulus had created 110,000 jobs in the state.

But it would take hundreds of clicks on the interactive map to verify the claim, and even then there is no accounting for the quality or duration of the jobs.


However, a $65 million BART “tunnel hardening” project and a $48 million grant to the Santa Clara County Transportation Authority have so far created only seven jobs. State officials said that is probably because the money has been awarded but not yet spent.

Overall, the White House claims the stimulus is creating far more jobs than it had expected. The initial estimate was that 396,000 jobs would be created in California. The White House says 110,000 jobs have already been created although only a fraction of the stimulus dollars have yet to reach the state.

Job numbers are squishy, and there is disagreement over what should count. The White House counts not only new jobs but also those that might otherwise have been lost. They also include short-term employment in their totals.

Read the rest here.

Apropos the highlighted language above, I’m no math whiz, but I’m calculating that this means the American taxpayers are on the hook for $16,142,857 per job over the last nine months.

I’m not a fool, and I’m not being intentionally naive here.  I appreciate that, as the article itself says, the jobs may yet be created because the projects are still theoretical, not real.  I’m also willing to concede that the projects may be good ones, and that people currently employed may have stayed employed as a result of the project awards.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that Obama promised us that his stimulous would immediately save and create jobs.  The key was immediate relief, not long-term relief.  And yet here we are with $113 million promised — meaning $113 million ear marked in the public coffers and needing to be paid for by taxes — AND NO JOBS.

This is a perfect paradigm of the problem with government works programs.  They are too slow.  Had Obama taken a leaf out of Bush’s 2001 tax refund plan, and instantly gotten money into the hands of American citizens, people would quickly have created jobs.  The market is enormously responsive; the government is not.  All we get are higher taxes, more government control — AND NO JOBS.

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    Has it occurred to anyone that the $789 Billion never actually existed and that the entire bailout process is just a made up number to assuage the masses, which would make sense if we’re $12 Trillion in debt. It all reminds me of a small child, who has covered their face with their hands while announcing to the parents, “You can’t see me, I am hiding”. Very charming and cute with a little one pretending they’re invisible (transparent). Alarming and scary when the pseudo magicians in DC play this game. Of course, when you live in la la land …..

    Do you think the Treasury will accept my transparent check when taxes are due.

  • Mike Devx

    > The headline read: In SF Bay Area, stimulus creates 7 jobs at a cost of $16,142857 per job – sort of
    I remember the days when we used to be outraged – OUTRAGED – when the Pentagon procurement process went awry, and hammers cost $400, or screws $40.
    Here we have a stimulus job costing over two million dollars.
    At least conservatives and liberals alike were pissed off about the $400 hammers.  I am not seeing much outrage about these stimulus jobs among the left.  They simply don’t care.  It’s their baby, they’re happy with it no matter how bad the failure of Obama’s plans.
    Obama’s Annennberg Challenge in Chicago was a $100 million disaster.  Turns out he was just getting warmed up.   A hundred million was nothing compared to this.
    Amidst the tales of the $400 hammers, the Pentagon process actually for the most part went well.  Can anyone, anyone please, point me to even one stimulus package, so far, that has actually worked?  There’s got to be at least one success story out there, somewhere.  Anyone?

  • Mike Devx

    Sadie #1:
    > Do you think the Treasury will accept my transparent check when taxes are due.

    Just tell em your children and grandchildren will pay it, Sadie.  Right when they pay for everything else.


    No problem, Mike. I’ll make sure they use the ‘disappearing ink’ pen.
    “There’s got to be at least one success story out there, somewhere.  Anyone?”
    Not an one, in fact……..Thomas Sewell has something to say on the topic.
    Never thought I would have lived long enough to say that $400 hammers were the good ol’ days. The $40 screw was a bargain when you consider were getting gang-raped for billions!

  • Ymarsakar

    What’s not to hate about Democrats?
    Either you’re looking at a dupe, who won’t let anyone else tell them they are being played, or else they are active agents getting paid for their support.
    What’s not to hate about Democrats getting rich through impoverishing others.
    THey want you to quit being angry at evil. They want you to hate only who they tell you to hate.
    The sheer hypocrisy of Leftist millionaires telling me that the American dream is dead, on top of idiot ideologically lobotomized authors like John Scalzi voting for Obama because he ‘hated Bush’s deficits’ and talking about ‘teabaggers’ because ‘that is what they call themselves’, if God wants to bring the Wrath of the Heavens down on the earth once more, he knows who he can call to use as his hands.