Phony Jobs for Phantom Districts

The blogosphere is abuzz today with news that the economic stimulus program has created or saved 30 jobs in Arizona’s 15th Congressional District.

So what is all the fuss about?

Well, for starters, the state doesn’t have a 15th Congressional District.

In fact, the stimulus  is credited with saving or creating jobs in phantom districts in other states as well. Like 35 jobs in Minnesota’s 57th Congressional District or 25 jobs in New Mexico’s 22nd Congressional District. In all, $6.4 billion went to 440 nonexistent districts, according to a report on watchdog.org. Another report found a total of 75,343 phony jobs.

The White House has responded on its blog, calling on critics to look at the “big picture,” noting that the stimulus still netted 600,000 to 700,000 jobs.

So let’s look at the big picture. Earlier this year, the White House economic team claimed that unemployment wouldn’t rise above 8 percent if the stimulus program was approved. And where are we today? 10.2 percent unemployment, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Sorry folks, the big picture doesn’t look much better for you.

The Heritage Foundation blog, by the way, has a great roundup of this story.

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