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Steve Chiotakis: The Obama administration promised transparency like never before when it unveiled its stimulus package. Businesses that got money would have to report how many jobs they created.
But there are reports some of the information isn’t on the mark. And today, the House Oversight Committee holds a
hearing to try to sort out fact from fiction. From Washington, here’s Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: Some of the stimulus jobs reports include jobs allegedly created in congressional districts that don’t exist. One company used the stimulus money to give out raises, counting them as new jobs. The White House says these were simple mistakes.
But Marvin Kosters says the Obama administration is attempting the impossible with its jobs count. Kosters is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.
Marvin Kosters: Economists are best at making a judgement about, will this lead to more jobs or fewer jobs. They’re very poor, really, at making an estimate how many more or how many fewer.
John Irons disagrees. He’s an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, scheduled to testify today. He’ll tell the oversight committee the White House might have actually undercounted jobs because people hired with stimulus money indirectly create more jobs.
John Irons: And that construction worker then goes out and spends money at a local diner, at a local McDonald’s or the local movie theater. That could very well mean an additional job.
As the debate continues, Congress is considering more legislation to create jobs. Nobody’s saying how many.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
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