Transparency is on at the White House- however, I expect President Obama wishes it wasn’t quite so transparent. Turns out information being sent in regarding what the stimulus has done to boost employment is somewhat inaccurate.
The Associated Press started the now-mainstream stimulus critique reports a few weeks back- doing a commendable job as watchdog- and put the White House on stimulus defense. Now, however, comes a new wrinkle in stimulus efficiency and White House competence- namely, the White House is reporting job numbers in congressional districts that don’t exist.
To be fair, I am not blaming the administration. It’s not their fault people reporting numbers don’t know what district they live in. However, it does not look good on the heels of the AP report (which was, admittedly, preliminary) and the other stories regarding stimulus measuring difficulties that have come out recently.
Unfortunately, Democrats and liberals can defend against the claims the stimulus isn’t working. Yes, these public relations disasters makes President Obama, Democrats and the stimulus look rather dumb in the public eye. Yes, it’s great fodder for conservative blogs, newspapers, radio and TV shows and speeches. Yes, it speaks volumes about government incompetence and wasteful spending ($18 million to overhaul the site and this is the inaccuracy they get?). However, if the jobs were created- and for the moment let’s assume they were and aren’t overstated by the same people who don’t know what district in which they live- doesn’t that lend credence to President Obama’s claim that the stimulus worked?
Personally, I say no. I say it is another obvious harbinger for Democratic health care reform, the EFCA, cap-and-trade and the renewal of NCLB next year that government can run very little well, especially proven over the last decade. Maybe my libertarian college friend Jon O’Neill is right and a third-party candidate will win the 2012 presidential race. It would serve Republicans and Democrats right.