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Is tracking stimulus jobs going to get easier?

By Ed O'Keefe

The head of the federal agency tracking economic stimulus dollars says his job should get easier now that the Obama administration has dropped plans to track the number of jobs "created or saved" by the program.

In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board Chairman Earl Devaney said the government's stimulus-tracking Web site Recovery.gov will now only report the number of jobs funded with economic stimulus dollars, in line with new guidelines issued by the Office of Management and Budget in December.

The guidelines instruct recipients of stimulus dollars to report the number of jobs funded with the federal assistance -- instead of seeking to determine how many jobs were "created or saved." The revisions are in line with recommendations from Devaney and the Government Accountability Office, who had found recipients were confused by the more subjective "created or saved" measurement.

The second batch of quarterly stimulus reports will be available on Recovery.gov by the end of the month. Critics of the economic recovery program, including Issa, have blasted the administration for various mistakes found in the reports, including incorrect Zip codes and Congressional districts.

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs did not use the revised OMB guidelines on Sunday when appearing on network talk shows and continued to refer to jobs "created or saved" by the economic stimulus program. During Monday's regular press briefing, Gibbs explained his language by saying he was referring to a recent Council of Economic Advisers report.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 2:42 PM ET
Categories:  Oversight, Tracking the Stimulus  
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Comments

To create stimulus jobs we should be giving the unemployed a tax break by taxing the banks so they can pay for it. A new legislative bill called the "JOBLESS STUB 2009 TAX FREE ACT" (STUB meaning - Stop Taxing Unemployment Benefits) is being launched. A new web site at Unemployment Gone Mad http://unemployment-gone-mad.com/ serves a community of activists and supporters for the unemployed. Cutting taxes on the unemployed will certainly guarantee the money is spent on necessities giving immediate return to improve the economy and build small business confidence. Supporters for the bill want more than the current $2400 deduction. This injustice and insanity of paying taxes on unemployment benefits when there are so many long term unemployed, 5.8 million is an issue worthy of tax reform and new job stimulus funds. When you consider the 6 digit bonus money for bank executives and mangers, an added tax on banks who used our bail out money for profits and survival is warranted. The fact that the banks who created this financial crisis in the first place can finally help the unemployed would be a positive turning point that needs IRS legislative action.
Thank again, Country Carl, for considering.

Posted by: countrycarl | January 26, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

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