Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bogus Job Reporting

In a lame effort to provide “transparency” to the Stimulus program passed early this year, congress found $18,000,000 to fund a website:  http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx to report the jobs. Newspapers in individual localities have done an outstanding job of isolating projects in their cities and verifying the false reported numbers on the multi-million dollar web site.

The first issue is the cost of the government website. This was the brain child of Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a close ally of Nancy Pelosi. It is an area in which we have a measure of experience.

Over the last two years we have posted over 550 articles with a total word count in excess of 550,000 words. In addition we have posted numerous pictures, charts, graphs, and miscellaneous other notations and comments. It is the equivalent of a thousand page book with 12 point text. We make these points not to stress our importance (insert laugh track here!) but rather our persistence. This is the result of two people otherwise occupied with making a living, keeping pets, caring for twenty acres of yard and forest, traveling, protesting, cooking food, cleaning house and generally doing those things which most other people do.

Unless you count the cost of our internet hook-up (ISP) which also serves as a mail, entertainment and information source for our family, our total outlay has been $0..00! Thanks to Blogspot, it is a free service which anybody with primitive skills may enjoy. Yes it has taken a lot of time but it is also our primary recreation. We also consider it a vital link in a huge total of other bloggers dedicated to reporting and opinionating on current events. Among those blogs is the Washington Examiner which has posted an extremely informative article on false claims from recovery.gov on erroneous figures regarding job creation and salvation with stimulus funds.

With the cooperation of major newspapers throughout America, who are far better able locally to isolate discrepancies, they have listed many ridiculous claims of job provision through the stimulus bill. Click on their site and enjoy using the interactive map to see what’s happening in your area. There is also an ever growing list of individual allocations from the stimulus and the alleged “jobs saved” and “jobs created” categories. With each entry you are provided with a link to the reporting newspaper and the full article with the pertinent information.

We can easily understand typographical errors on a blog site. As a result, we use a system of editing each other twice over, looking for typos, misspellings, grammar, and possible false assertions. The most important check is on plain common sense. We question each other unmercifully and attempt to verify facts. When we fail to have solid back-up, we scrupulously admit it. On many occasions (e.g. Honduras) we forward the entire post for editing to a third party with a request for verification of facts from an expert before posting. And, yes, sometimes something slips through the cracks and we attempt always to correct any error. This is typical of all the bloggers whom we routinely consult.

As you read through the published list of obvious errors on the Examiner blog you will find case after case of numbers which don’t compute, misidentification of the result of the stimulus money, and claims of non-existent progress. The Examiner also contains an invitation to other local sources to forward additions to the list which may have not been covered. One would think that $18 million would pay for some pretty exotic quality proof readers to insure the accuracy of the entries. Apparently not!

The most frequently reported error observed was interpreting a minimal raise in pay with a “job saved.” With soaring unemployment, it is difficult to believe any story about a petulant employee rushing out the door because they didn’t get a 2.3% raise in pay to then be counted as a “job saved.”

At present, and subject to change, we have a total of 75,343 bogus job additions reported. To keep up with the total, put the Examiner post in your favorites and watch the total grow, which it surely will. Obviously, all of the stimulus money was not spent the day after the bill passed. The opportunities for mis-reporting will increase exponentially as more of the cash becomes available. The opportunity for fraud, waste, and misrepresentation is all too clear the farther it goes. The time to slam the door on this ridiculous outlay is now!

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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