Vice President Joe Biden released a glossy looking report (PDF) on Friday, September 17, 2010, purporting to defend the regime’s $814 billion stimulus package. Entitled “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America,” it’s got to be the much anticipated Friday Doc Dump. Because, well, it’s nothing more than a defense of the indefensible.
I read the whole report, and my analysis shows that of the 100 projects—costing a total $8.3 billion of borrowed taxpayer money—92 of them reported jobs 16,693 jobs “saved or created.” The projects showing job impacts cost approximately $7.5 billion, for an average cost per job created (or saved) of $447,019.41.
That’s FOUR HUNDRED, FORTY-SEVEN THOUSAND, NINETEEN DOLLARS AND FORTY ONE CENTS PER JOB “SAVED OR CREATED?!?”
THIS is the 100 best? This is supposed to demonstrate the wonderful things we are saddling our children with billions in debt for?
As a frame of reference, the median household income in the US is about $50,000, meaning that for these projects that are “changing America,” the government spent nine times the amount of a typical job’s income. It’s changing us, alright.
A few examples of the galling waste:
- The Nevada “Smart Grid” project, worth an estimated $137.9 million, “created or saved” 60 jobs for a per-job average of $2.3 million.
- A123, a battery manufacturer in Livonia, Michigan used $249 million to build factories that “created or saved” 90 jobs. Average: $2.8 million.
- The Kansas Broadband upgrade project cost $49.5 million and saved a grand total of nine jobs for a $5.0 million per job average.
- New dormitories at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi: $621,000 per job.
- A new roof for the Bean Federal Center in Indianapolis: $592,000 per job.
Some of the projects in the report didn’t even bother to estimate the number of jobs “created or saved,” and for good reason. They didn’t create or save any. The Dallas County Hospital District borrowed $680 million to finance a hospital construction project that would have been built anyway. The impact: Transferring both the credit risk and the financing costs to the taxpayer for zero net job creation. But that’s not all! Call in the next 20 minutes and you’ll get our special $15 million deal to build electric car charging stations, $50 million to build solar panels that were going to be built anyway AND this exclusive $39 million New York Broadband upgrade!
This is not “absolutely headed in the right direction.” This is headed right over a raging waterfall, and the only corner we’ve turned is the last river bend before the shoals. If this money were put in the hands of taxpayers and small businesses, this recovery summer wouldn’t be such a train wreck.
The list of the 92 projects, with their estimate price tags and estimated numbers of jobs created or saved appear in the table below. The data comes straight from the report.
|1.30||Ann Arbor Autism||1|
|4.70||Kansas Highway Patrol||22|
|39.50||Denver Fed bldg||40|
|40.00||Pike Place Market||50|
|137.90||NV Smart Grid||60|
|111.00||TN Smart Meter||80|
|30.00||New Bedford Harbor||80|
|77.00||Atlantic Ave Viaduct||110|
|28.00||Denver Union Sta||110|
|24.90||Raleigh Nat'l Guard||122|
|5.20||CA Smart Meters||200|
|25.00||St. Louis Bridge||875|