Free Law Seminar
St. Lukes Nursing Center
will offer a free seminar addressing the
importance of and questions about Durable Power
of Attorney, power of attorney, living wills and
advance directives at the Center on Wednesday,
October 21 at 6:30 p.m.
Presenters will be Carthage
attorneys Kevin Checkett and Mariann Morgan. Mr.
Checkett established his law firm in 1977 and has
narrowed his practice to estate and business
planning. The Kansas City Magazine and 417
Magazine of Springfield recently named him as top
After graduating cum laude from
the University of Georgia School of Law, Ms.
Morgan clerked for a federal bankruptcy judge,
followed by positions with large law firms in
Atlanta and Winston-Salem. She joined Checkett
and Pauly in 1999.
A question and answer session
will follow. Refreshments will be served. For
more information call 358-9084.
The City of Carthage Public
Works Committee will meet this afternoon at 5
p.m. at the Public Works Department.
Stimulus Jobs Really Cost $533,000 a Piece?!
by Christopher Flavelle, ProPublica
On Thursday, the government
released a flood of data about the stimulus,
showing how 9,000 federal contractors spent their
stimulus dollars including the value of
the contract, each projects status, and how
much each of the contractors five
highest-paid officers were paid.
But when it came to presenting
that data, Recovery.gov, the governments
official site for stimulus information,
highlighted one number in particular, posting it
on the sites main page in large font:
"JOBS CREATED/SAVED AS REPORTED BY FEDERAL
CONTRACT RECIPIENTS: 30,383." To make extra
certain of getting viewers attention, the
number itself appears in bright green.
As the economy continues to
shed jobs, its easy to see why the
administration is keen to highlight the number of
jobs created by the stimulus. When the numbers
were released, Jared Bernstein, the
administrations chief economist, said the
job count "exceeds our projections,"
adding that it supported the conclusion
"that the Recovery Act did indeed create or
save about 1 million jobs in its first seven
But do the 30,000 jobs
represent a good return? And since the federal
contracts for which data was reported this week
represent just a sliver of the overall stimulus
package, what do they really say about the impact
of the stimulus as a whole?
Lets start with the
30,000 jobs themselves. The federal contracts in
question represented $16 billion in stimulus
spending. Assuming the number of created or saved
jobs reported by each contract recipient was
accuratewhich, as weve reported
before, is still an open questionthat
breaks down to $533,000 for each job. Thats
more than five times the projection of the
presidents own Council of Economic
Advisers, which estimated in May that every
$92,136 in government spending would create one
job for one year.
Five hundred thousand dollars
per job might sound like a lot of money, but
wait: The data released this week covers only the
jobs directly created by federal stimulus money
so far. It doesnt cover indirect jobs
the people who make the materials that
contractors need to complete their project, or
make the sandwich when a construction worker buys
lunch from the proverbial roadside diner.
So, if the $16 billion in
federal stimulus contracts generated 30,383
direct jobs, how many indirect jobs were created
or saved? We asked the White House, which told us
they believe that for each direct job created or
saved, there is one indirect job. Assuming
thats right, that $16 billion created or
saved some 60,000 jobs which still clocks
in at $267,000 per person.
What about the second question
the relationship between the 30,000 direct
jobs reportedly created or saved by that $16
billion, and the job impact of the stimulus as a
whole? We asked the White House for the logic
behind Bernsteins statement that this
weeks numbers "point to the conclusion
that the Recovery Act did indeed create or save
about 1 million jobs in its first seven
Their response: Because the $16
billion in federal contracts represents about 5
percent of the $339 billion spent so far, they
multiplied the 30,000 jobs by 20. The result is
600,000 direct jobs; and, relying again on the
assumption that each direct job produces one
indirect job, the White House doubled that number
to 1.2 million.
Of course, that assumes that
for every part of the stimulus will have roughly
the same job-creating impact as federal
contracts. Thats contradicted by the
Council of Economic Advisers own report,
which said that while every $92,136 in government
spending creates one job for one year, it takes
$145,351 in tax cuts to achieve the same result.
As much as 28 percent of the stimulus is going to
tax cuts; if the Councils estimates are
right, then the White Houses assertion
that every part of the stimulus will
produce the same job impact as federal contracts
starts to look a little less certain.
The bottom line, it seems, is
that knowing for certain how many jobs the
stimulus is producing remains, for now, as tricky