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Friday, February 13, 2009

It All Makes Sense Now

Anyone want to guess why so many members (and potential or former potential members) of the Obama Administration have trouble with their taxes? Evidently, they can't add...
A White House estimate of the number of jobs stimulus legislation will create includes some sharp discrepancies between state and local jobs claims.

Those differences -- which the document suggests are large rounding errors -- was spotted by the office of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, which assembled the chart above. It comes as the White House is seeking to define the stimulus package as a jobs bill, and to focus locally on the jobs it will create.

The White House document (.doc) projects job creation both by state and by congressional district.

"State totals may not sum due to rounding," the chart says at the bottom, though in some cases -- most dramatically, understandably, in small states -- the rounding error represents a large share of the projected jobs. In small states with just one congressional district, which represents the whole state, the difference is particularly striking, presumably a result of different methods of calculating the job figures for the same set of residents.

The differences sometimes give larger jobs figures for the states, sometimes for the districts.

In California, the difference is 25,900 jobs.

The figures illustrate the roughness of economic estimates that are being promoted energetically to local press around the country.

A White House spokesman didn't immediately respond to a question about the differences.

A spokesman for Cantor, Brad Dayspring, emails, "I don't think that the 4600 people in Nevada or 1900 people in Wyoming – not to mention thousands of other Americans – will understand not getting a job due to a 'rounding error.'" He added, Dayspring also asked, “How there could be a rounding error in places like Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, or Washington, D.C., where there is exactly 1 state and 1 congressional district that encompass the exact same area and population?” (copied in its entirety because it's a really good piece by Ben Smith- B)

So... they can't just add? Is there some reason why the Average Joe, who has to add correctly on his taxes and even to balance his checkbook, should just accept this plan? I mean, I'm sure Average Joe has a calculator (I bought mine at Wal Mart for about $4)... President Obama's advisor's can afford one?

Oh, yeah... this stimulus package is our nation's economic salvation... sure, it is...

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