The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

L.A. Uses Stimulus Funds To Pay Over $2 Million Per Job - But Only Created 16 Jobs

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What?  So I'm painting with money?  So what?!!?  It's Federal Stimulus.  No big deal.

OH NOES!!!  Another report comes out that praises Pres "The Guiding Light" Obama's Stimulus job creating bill. 

Come on.  I am sick and tird of hearing about how he's turned this economy around.  I am weary of hearing how he squashed unemployment through increased taxes and spending.  We get it.  Alright already.  I don't need another in the long line of how brave, awesome, and magnificent Obama was to save us with his massive Stimulus funding.

A new piece of evidence has emerged in the debate over the effectiveness of President Obama's 2009 stimulus package, and it's not good for Democrats. According to two newly released audits performed by the Los Angeles controller, L.A. spent enormous portions of the $594 million in stimulus funds it received on projects that created or saved just a handful of jobs. All told, the audits — available here and here [pdf] — examined $111 million in stimulus spending by the city's Department of Transportation and Department of Public Works, and found that the money went to projects that created or retained just 54 jobs. That works out to roughly $2 million per job.

The $71 million that went to the Department of Public Works, which funded 15 road-surfacing and similar projects, was projected to save or create 238 jobs. But according to the audit, the money created just 7.76 jobs or slightly more than $10 million per new job and saved 37.7 (the fractions are a result of calculating the number of jobs by hours worked). The Department of Transportation's $40 million created or retained just nine jobs, the audit found.

And this was just an audit of the first $111 million of the nearly $600 million they received.

I'm sorry, but I'm not buying the moniker of "created or saved" when it comes to funding jobs.  Either that person was previously emplyed or not!!  If that person never held a job with that company, or a seasonal part-time position was turned permanent, and they now employment - that is a job created.  A job retained or saved is one where the person was ALREADY working and had funding for the foreseeable future or for a limited future time. 

If the person's funding source was just switched to federal and they just keep going as usual, then that is neither retained nor created.  I think that moniker of "saved" or "retained" is a rather dubious idea anyway.

And, if an AUDITOR can't tell the difference between a created job or one that was retained due to a new federal funding source, then there are bigger problems in this country.  Are you telling me that an auditor would not be able to tell if a pregnant mother is about to create or retain a human at the time of conception?  And, only through federal monetary assistance can the mother RETAIN that human?

I'm sure, though, that Los Angeles will be able to explain this away by touting the high cost of living there.  Right?

The audit didn't find any misspent funds or waste. But the breakdown of how some of the money was spent seems to indicate efficiency was not exactly the order of the day for project managers. The Department of Transportation, for instance, spent $9 million to install new LED lightbulbs in traffic lights at 1,800 intersections. Less the $228,000 in labor costs associated with the project, that's nearly $5,000 per location to change lightbulbs. Another project spent $4 million to install 65 new left-turn arrows, averaging more than $61,500 per arrow.

Are they really going to play that $100 hammer shell-game again?


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