In his State of the Commonwealth address last night, Governor Beshear bragged about the federal stimulus. From the AP:
Beshear said his top priority remains job creation and retention, and he claimed some successes in the midst of the economic turmoil. He said federal stimulus money has created or saved 4,200 jobs in Kentucky...
Indeed, this is the same number that can be found at his ridiculous "Kentucky at Work" website, if you click on the 'jobs' tab on the lower-half of the page.
For perspective, the AP notes that Kentucky has lost 113,000 jobs since the recession began. If we assume that these 4,200 jobs actually were "saved", then stimulus spending has affected 3.5% of the jobs that would have been lost.
For better comparison, we can look at labor statistics that show there are about 218,700 Kentuckians unemployed out of about 2,064,300 in the labor force, for an unemployment rate of 10.6% (in November 2009). If 4,200 jobs had not been "saved" then 222,900 would be unemployed for an unemployment rate of 10.8%
This all seems a very insubstantial return for an estimated
$3,000,000,000 in spending! (See the 'total funds' tab.) In fact, that's more than $713,000 per job.
Taking it one step further, median household income in Kentucky in 2007 was $40,299 according to the Census. $3,000,000 in spending is enough to provide full employment for a year at Kentucky's median level of income to 74,443 households. By doing whatever wasteful nonsense the stimulus put forward, Governor Beshear and other leaders were able to reach out to over 70,000 fewer families.
OK, we're done with the analysis.
What a load of waste to talk about, Governor!