"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Obama Deceit: The "Lives Touched" Stimulus Headcount

While putting an absurdly positive spin on the $787 billion economic "stimulus" package which saved us from the unemployment rate reaching 8%-- oh wait, I'm sorry it did and then some... but it was all Bush's fault-- the US Department of Energy (DOE) came up with a new term that will haunt us.

First there was "jobs created" by the stimulus, but then there didn't readily appear to be a whole lot of jobs created by the money. Next was "jobs created or saved" a wonderful bit of post-modernist thought which requires basically no proof for the numbers. After all, if only 10,000 jobs remained in the US, the Obama Administration could claim they were "saved" by the stimulus and it would've been worse without it. Yet, even that doesn't seem to be enough, so now the DOE have trotted out the new, touchy-feely sounding phrase "lives touched" by the stimulus.

Of course from the sound of it, every man, woman and child in the US is touched by the stimulus-- mostly with the feel of the stimulus going after their wallets. But wait, there is a definition of it. Rusty Weiss and NewsBusters.org has the details.

From Weiss' article:

"In late July, a Government Accountability Office report circulated which analyzed stimulus funding being spent by the Department of Energy. The main gist of that report involved the cost of each job being generated by the stimulus bill - a staggering $194,000. Tucked away in that report was a phrase that was new to most of us, a way to calculate jobs through a term called 'lives touched'.

"Last week it was confirmed that some departments being funded by the stimulus are indeed using the metric ‘lives touched' - a regression from the absurd ‘jobs saved or created', which was already a step down from the incalculable ‘jobs created'.

"A spokesperson from the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company explains:

"'Lives Touched' is a figure that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) uses to track the amount of people who have been positively affected by the Recovery Act funds. This total would include people who have been provided full time employment (i.e. saved and created jobs) through the Recovery Act and people who at some point have supported a project funded by the Recovery Act.'

"Essentially, the Obama administration had figured out another way to inflate job numbers to better fit their claims of success. And yet, the media has remained largely silent on this matter. Even as Vice-President Biden released a report on the Recovery Act yesterday, with a specific focus on the Department of Energy and job creation."


"The Biden report being cited, The Recovery Act: Transforming the American Economy Through Innovation, references several companies that have generated jobs through the Recovery Act. Each footnote in the report explains that the job estimates are from a company's own reports, which is the norm for reporting job results through the recovery website.

"Referring back to the CH2M company, we know that their reports include a directive to use numbers which estimate 'lives touched' by the stimulus. We not only know this from the spokesperson's explanation of the metric above, but by the reporting instructions provided to subcontractors which defines the phrase as '(the) total number of workers who have directly charged 1 or more hours of work time to a ... contract.'

"One hour of work and your life has been touched.

"Additionally, the instructions state that, 'The lives touched headcount will remain the same or increase over time as new workers become involved with ARRA contracts. The total headcount will never decrease.'

"In other words, a temporary, part-time, or seasonal worker can come into a project, work no more than one hour on said project, and that person will continue to appear in the headcount with each report. They will not be removed upon their departure from the project."


"When these numbers are presented publicly and then parroted through the mainstream media who have clearly not done their homework, as was the case with yesterday's Biden report, the result is deceit. The administration provided job estimates while failing to provide any context or explanation as to how the numbers were derived.

"An example of this can be seen in an April News Flash provided by the Office of Environmental Management. The chart on the right tallies up the total headcount or ‘lives touched' as 20,249. A statement on the left claims that 'EM Recovery Act funding has employed over 20,000 workers on stimulus projects in 12 states.'

"Which is it, employed or touched?

"A contract award summary for the National Opinion Research Center speaks volumes of the disparity. In their ‘description of jobs created' section, they explain how the numbers are derived:

"'...the total headcount, (the number of "lives touched" or, the number of people who have labor hours funded by stimulus funds, not distinguishing between part-time and full-time, or the length of the job, as of June 30th is a combined total of 480 staff members hired/retained as of the end of the quarter.'

"The summary then goes on to explain that only 2 of the 480 jobs being discussed were newly created positions. Two jobs, but a grand total of 480 are being reported. That's a markup up of 24,000%.

"It would be funny, if it weren't so sad.

"It's all part of the overall deception, however. The White House continues to throw out random numbers in their quest to convince the public that their behemoth stimulus bill is saving jobs at a massive rate [emphasis mine]."

Way to pad those numbers, boys. Too bad none of this actually creates jobs, but then the Obama Administration has always been all about simple appearances-- from inauthentic apologies, to bows to foreign nobility. No wonder Obama polls so well in Hollywood.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I seriously have an unfinished Fuzzy's Faux News segment that adds to the job count category "People who know people who know people whose job was saved or created." Pretty sad when your wildest satiric nightmare becomes policy.