Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fuzzy Math Update

The Administration's inflated tally of stimulus-package jobs is increasingly unreliable: at least 90,000 of the 640,000 jobs claimed are phony. The Associated Press detailed the latest leakage:
In its report to the federal government last month, the [California] Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reported saving 18,229 correctional officer jobs since May by using the stimulus money to pay their salaries as the state struggled with a massive budget deficit.

State Auditor Elaine Howle questioned the total. The department is planning about 5,000 layoffs, less than a third of the jobs it claims to have saved.

The remaining 13,229 jobs appear never to have been in danger, Howle said in a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders.

"It appears that Corrections simply reported how many correctional officers' salaries were paid with Recovery Act funding, regardless of whether these positions were truly at risk of being eliminated without federal funding," she wrote.

The state auditor's finding reflects broader concerns about how the federal government is tracking the $787 billion stimulus package and determining how many jobs across the country were saved or created. Corrections Undersecretary Mary Fernandez defended the department's calculations.

"We followed the federal formula," she said.
Perhaps. Unless the formula is part of the problem.


OBloodyHell said...

It's a simple formula, really: Take 'x' dollars in funds. Divide by 100,000. That's the number of jobs saved.

It's not an example of fuzzy math, it's an example of GIGO

Assistant Village Idiot said...

If you did your taxes this way, you'd be sent to jail.

OBloodyHell said...

> If you did your taxes this way, you'd be sent to jail.

The government does all its books this way.

Come the revolution, one thing that needs to be set in stone is that the next Fed

a) must use GAAP accounting rules for all bookkeeping procedures

b) probably should be limited to doing all things by the same rules as the private sector, with perhaps a few exceptions (the capacity for deadly force, for example).