Fred Lucas writes in an Oct. 24 CNSNews.com article:
Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday on CNN that nobody can say "that the stimulus did not create jobs," but he did not specificy how many jobs he believes President Barack Obama's stimulus created and how much each of those jobs cost.
According to the most recent report on the stimulus by the Congressional Budget Office, the law had created a maximum of 2 million jobs as the fourth quarter of 2011 at a cost of $412,500 per job.
CBO estimated that the actual total might be greater than that. In its calculation, there will be between 600,000 and 2 million people employed in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a result of the stimulus.
Taking the high-end number of 2 million and dividing it by the $825 billion cost of the stimulus yields a cost of $412,500 per job.
Unfortunately for Lucas, that crude calculation is not how this sort of thing works. As PolitiFact details:
We checked the White House report, and of the $666 billion stimulus total, 43 percent was spent on tax cuts for individuals and businesses; 19 percent went to state governments, primarily for education and Medicaid; and 13 percent paid for government benefits to individuals such as unemployment and food stamps.
The remainder, about 24 percent, was spent on projects such as infrastructure improvement, health information technology and research on renewable energy.
The White House points out that Recovery Act dollars didn’t just fund salaries — as the blog item implies. Lumping all stimulus costs together and classifying the total as salaries produces an inflated figure.
Lucas misleads further by dividing the entire amount of the stimulus by the number of jobs existing in a single quarter, ignoring jobs created earlier.
Lucas tried this same sort of dishonest calculation last month too.