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Real Numbers vs. Budget Numbers



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On the day that the unemployment rate officially tops 10 percent, the White House claim about “jobs created or saved” takes another hit. From the Sacramento Bee:

Up to one-fourth of the 110,000 jobs reported as saved by federal stimulus money in California probably never were in danger, a Bee review has found. California State University officials reported late last week that they saved more jobs with stimulus money than the number of jobs saved in Texas – and in 44 other states. In a required state report to the federal government, the university system said the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees.  That total represents more than half of CSU’s statewide work force. However, university officials confirmed Thursday that half their workers were not going to be laid off without the stimulus dollars.

 And here is the money quote:

“This is not really a real number of people,” CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said. “It’s like a budget number.”

— John J. Pitney Jr. is the Roy P. Crocker professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. With James Ceaser and Andrew Busch, he is co-author of Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics.



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