A Current Events Commentary Blog from a Public Relations/Marketing Perspective.
Donald Tremblay, a PR/Marketing specialist who has been “making it rain” for over a decade reviews today’s news, sports, entertainment, etc . . .

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome to the Land of Oz

Perhaps www.recovery.org exists in a parallel universe, one where jobs can be created in districts that don’t exist. How else can federal stimulus money be credited with increasing jobs in phantom locales? Then again all things are possible in the Land of Oz—otherwise known as Washington, D.C.

An ABC News exclusive has exposed data errors on www.recovery.gov, a website created by the Obama administration to “foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of money spent through the stimulus program”. According to the site Puerto Rico’s 99th congressional district logged an increase of 291 jobs after receiving a whopping $47.7 million in federal stimulus money. Arizona’s 15th congressional district reports 30 jobs saved or created thanks to an infusion of $761,420 in federal money. Similar job growth has been reported in various Oklahoma and Iowa districts. The problem is that many of these districts, including the two just mentioned, don’t exist. So where are the hundreds of millions of dollars that are said to have been spent in these districts?

The Recovery Board was created to keep tabs on the federal stimulus money. The Board’s communication director claims that the mistakes on www.recovery.org are nothing more than accounting errors caused by recipients who don’t know their congressional districts. Ok, that’s possible. I confess that when I vote I have to be reminded by election workers of what district I reside in. So maybe the federal money has been spent legitimately and maybe those created/saved jobs are not figments of the imagination. In that case once the accounting discrepancies are resolved, the data will line up properly. Sounds reasonable.

However, considering the track record of Congress and the Obama administration’s convoluted explanations of where the stimulus was being spent, would anyone be surprised if much of the recovery.org data was merely smoke-and-mirrors? Would anybody be shocked to discover that the money allocated to these “districts” is in actuality unaccounted for? And how will an American populace that is confronting a 10.2% unemployment rate respond when it discovers that the federal government is boasting about creating/saving jobs that may not even exist?

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”.

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