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New York Democratic Senator Charles Schumer is asking the Obama administration to block millions of dollars in stimulus aid from going to a clean energy wind farm in Texas, because all of the turbines would be made overseas.
Schumer sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu calling the plan “quite troubling”: “The purpose of the Recovery Act was to jump start the economy to create and save jobs — American jobs. Yet the Texas wind farm project would create an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 clean energy manufacturing jobs in China.”The New York Times reports only about 30 permanent positions would be created in Texas along with 300 temporary jobs; a fact that the liberal Daily Kos Web site is not pleased about: “This is a problem… if we’re watching our tax dollars go to finance companies that set up jobs for people overseas I guarantee — guarantee — we’re going to see any current support for alternative energy dry up fast.”
The Obama administration has reportedly overstated thousands of jobs it claims were saved or created by the $787 billion stimulus bill. Accounts in the Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today give examples of questionable job figures.
The Journal estimates at least 2,000 of the 640,000 jobs the administration claimed to have saved or created do not exist.
USA Today reports that a Texas public housing authority manager told the government he had hired six people with the $26,000 in stimulus aid he was given. The government told him that was not correct. When he reported the total hours worked, 450, that figure ended up in the “jobs created” column.
The AP says 9,500 jobs claimed by the Health and Human Services Department weren’t saved at all, but were included when existing employees were given pay raises and benefits. HHS spokesman Luis Rosero defended the practice saying, “If I give you a raise, it is going to save a portion of your job.”
Many Head Start preschool programs also counted workers who got raises, as jobs saved. An administration spokesman says the problems with the Head Start numbers probably would be balanced out by other errors that under report jobs.