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Monday, November 09, 2009
Just how many jobs were "created or saved" by the Federal stimulus package? Hard to say. It is notoriously difficult to prove the "saved" portion of the equation. However, notwithstanding such difficulties, the Federal government provided "guidelines" as to how states and localities could determine whether a job was "saved" by the stimulus. This, in turn, led to a number of jobs "saved" that the good folks on the pro-stimulus side of the debate could flaunt on the Sunday talk shows.
One problem, however, is that the guidelines are probably not very reliable as the folks who gave us the stimulus also gave us the guidelines. This problem was highlighted in the case of the California State University system which, by the government's guidelines, was able to save fully 50% of its work force with the stimulus money. On the other hand, UNC Charlotte had to let go 15 people due to the recent crisis, suggesting that the CSU system would not have had to let 50% of its work force go save the stimulus.
This sentiment was basically confirmed in this Sacramento Bee story:
California State University officials may have followed federal guidelines in reporting that stimulus money saved an inordinate number of campus jobs, but someone in the university system should have objected to reporting the numbers because "they don't make sense," California's stimulus watchdog official said Friday.
Full story here
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