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.
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:
“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.