Your Recovery Act dollars in action in … Gabbs?

As assorted Democrats tout the “surging” economy, thanks to Obama and his $840 billion in stimulus funding in the Recovery Act of 2009 — just think how much better off we’d be if it had been bigger — let’s take a look at the one aspect of any recovery that hits closest to home: Jobs. And let’s look close to home: Nevada.

As you may recall, when the Recovery Act was first approved and signed into law with much hoopla, Nevada got short shrift, despite being home of the greatest and most powerful senator since Oz, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In total stimulus funds, Nevada was targeted to get about $560 per person. Only Utah was targeted for less. That landed Nevada at 50th out of 51 when you include D.C. But that handout was supposed to create or save 34,000 jobs, putting the state second in the nation for per capita job creation.

Today, according to the Recovery Act website, Nevada has been “awarded” $3 billion, though only $1.7 billion had been received by Dec. 31.

As you might expect the city getting the biggest share of handout has been Las Vegas. That’s not necessarily to the city itself but to projects and agencies within the city, I surmise. You’d assume the second largest share would go to Reno or Henderson, right? Nay, nay, grasshopper. No. 2 on the list is Gabbs, population 238.

You see Gabbs has been “awarded” nearly $700 million. It has “received” $54 million and “expended” $65 million, thus creating or saving 91 jobs. Assuming there are a few children and retirees and stay-at-home moms and assorted layabouts, that is probably every single job in the town.

Some of the math doesn’t add up very well. Henderson has “received” $7 million of its “awarded” $24 million and created not one single, solitary job. Zilch.

On the other hand Carson City was awarded $251 million but has expended $893 million, creating or saving 264 jobs at $3.3 million per job.

As for those 34,000 jobs? If you add up all the jobs listed under all the cities the total is less than 950.

Tonopah Solar Energy

What about the companies and government agencies getting funding? The big winner was Tonopah Solar Energy with an award of $692 million. It is reported the company got a Department of Energy loan guarantee of $737 million. I can’t tell if those numbers should be added or subtracted. The company estimates the project “might” create as many as 50 permanent jobs — a bargain at $13.8 million if you only calculate the awarded stimulus funds.

Dan’s Water Well & Pump Service out of California got $2.7 million. No indication of what was done or how many jobs involved. Bigelow Aerospace, the company that hopes to build Budget Suites in space, got $3.8 million. Some guy named Robert Sweat got $21,000. There are 36 companies or agencies that got more than $10 million.

Let’s back off and look at the “recovery” and jobs picture from a slightly higher altitude.

Take James Sherk’s analysis at Heritage Foundation. He observes that Obama in this State of the Union address boasted about how the economy is roaring back — 22 months of private-sector job growth, a drop in joblessness in January (seasonally adjusted, of course) and lowest new unemployment claims in four years.

So how does this recovery stack up against other recoveries from recessions? Take a look at Sherk’s chart:

Sherk writes:

“In every prior post-war recession, employment has fully recovered within four years. As of December 2011 — four years after the recession’s onset — payroll employment remains 4.0 percent below the number of workers employed when the recession started in December 2007. Private-sector employment is 4.5 percent below pre-recession levels. That represents 5.6 million net fewer jobs; 5.2 million of those net job losses occurred in the private sector.”

You call that a recovery? As for that lower unemployment number, it is only lower because the number of people in the labor force has shrunk to a historic low. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the unemployment rate would be 1.25 points higher had the labor force remained stable.

On top of this, the CBO projects the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014.

I can’t really tell whether this is the most incompetent or most corrupt administration ever foisted on a gullible electorate.

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10 comments on “Your Recovery Act dollars in action in … Gabbs?

  1. nyp10025 says:

    1. Why in the world would you compare typical business cycle recessions with the credit collapse-driven Great Recession of 2007-2009? Isn’t that incredibly misleading?
    2. Your presentation of job gains attributable to the stimulus is also misleading. The official website you cite tracks only jobs directly linked to contracts awarded by the government, and does not include jobs attributable to the multiplier. A grant to repair a bridge might employ thirty construction workers who might otherwise have been unemployed. But the money they spend with their extra income goes to the local diner, the gas station owner, the grocer, etc., etc., and creates additional jobs. Your citations ignore that multiplier.
    3. Surveys of the nation’s top economists have found that most believe the stimulus reduced unemployment and was a net benefit for the economy. http://www.igmchicago.org/igm-economic-experts-panel/poll-results?SurveyID=SV_cw5O9LNJL1oz4Xi
    4. Most of the actual econometric studies on the stimulus have also found that it was a net positive. See, e.g., http://www.nber.org/papers/w16759.pdf
    and

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w16759.pdf

    5. Your argument that the drop in unemployment is due solely to the fact that “the number of people in the labor market has shrunk to a historic low” is completely bogus, and is based on ignoring BLS statistical adjustments. In reality, the number of people not in the labor force has fallen. According to the latest survey, The adjustment increased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population in December by 1,510,000, the civilian labor force by 258,000, employment by 216,000, unemployment by 42,000, and persons not in the labor force by 1,252,000. Although the total unemployment rate was unaffected, the labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio were each reduced by 0.3 percentage point. This was because the population increase was primarily among persons 55 and older and, to a lesser degree, persons 16 to 24 years of age. Both these age groups have lower levels of labor force participation than the general population.” http://bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
    6. Finally, although you are entitled to your loopy libertarianism, your remaining credibility shrinks even further when you say such dopey things as your claim that the relatively scandal-free Obama administration is “the most corrupt administration ever foisted on a gullible electorate.”

  2. Athos says:

    thanks for the example, petey. I was going to say that even if you forced our liberal wingnut crowd to read this article, they’d still say ” economy up! President zero is up! Numbers are up! Why don’t you right wingnuts admit it?!”

    Then along comes petey with his facts and websites all ready for us to check out (a waste of time) trying to discredit what’s in the article. No thanks, petey, if I don’t trust a socialist Plouffe boy trying to sell me slavery.

    If you want to be useful, petey, why don’t you find out (and tell us) what Robert Sweat did to earn his $21,000 Ø money?

  3. Athos says:

    And by the way, phony man, you should have got my tickets for me (like the good little collectivist, you are!)

    All your big talk about “what’s good for the village” but NO action when it’s YOU that has to do the heavy lifting! (which is the reason socialism has never worked through out history, petey!)

  4. Or what Bigelow Aerospace is doing with its millions?

    ________________________________

  5. Nyp says:

    Great point, fellas.
    Facts, schmacts. Who cares about “data” and all that complicated stuff when we already know the truth?

  6. By the way, Petey, those BLS stats you site to argue that the labor force decline is irrelevant are all seasonally adjusted.

    ________________________________

  7. Athos says:

    I guess Plouffe couldn’t come up with the Robert Sweat $21,000 question, either, eh petey?

  8. nyp10025 says:

    Isn’t Robert Sweat LLC a land resources management company?

  9. That needs stimulus?

    Sent from my iPhone

  10. Steve says:

    No doubt the stimulus (BEGUN BY THE DEVIL HIMSELF BUSH JR, nyp’s favorite president, got to keep this all partisan :) ) did have positive effects on the economy. Obama now claims the economy was ‘much worse’ than he knew at the time. Must mean he would have liked to double down on the stimulus at the time.
    In any case the stimulus has had positive effects on the economy.

    But hey if I took all the money I could get from all the sources I have, my current personal economy would expeience positive effects too. Thing is the stimulus money has to be paid back eventually. Not just to pay it all off, but so we can hold a credit rating that allows us to borrow again in the future. If I did take all that money available to me I would not be able to pay it back enough to hold my credit rating. I would be in serious trouble.

    Sure the stimulus has had positive effects but that bill is coming due soon, maybe sooner than you liberals think. I sincerely hope I am wrong but this is the deepest debt, with no back door, this country has ever incured. WWII created a huge manufacturing base and a world wide customer base, we dont have that today. As far as I can see we dont have anything like it today.

    That bill loooks ominous in light of the options we have for paying it down. But yes the stimulus had positive effects. In Keynes words to the effect, what the hell,,,in the end we are all toast anyway.

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