Obey slams administration for stimulus reporting errors

House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) called on the Obama administration to fix any further mistakes in stimulus reporting following a report that federal agencies submitted suspect data about how many stimulus jobs were saved or created.

“The inaccuracies on recovery.gov that have come to light are outrageous and the Administration owes itself, the Congress, and every American a commitment to work night and day to correct the ludicrous mistakes," Obey said in a statement Monday.

Obey's remarks came in response to an ABC News report that found that the White House deleted 60,000 jobs from its hard count of stimulus jobs saved or created because they were based on "unrealistic" data. A dozen agencies had reported a number of jobs that was too high for the amount of stimulus money they had spent, according to the report, based on an internal memo by the White House Office of Budget and Management.

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The data on the stimulus reporting website, recovery.gov, found that a total of 640,329 jobs had been directly saved or created by the $787 billion stimulus, which Obey helped write.

“Credibility counts in government and stupid mistakes like this undermine it," Obey said. "We’ve got too many serious problems in this country to let that happen.

“We designed the Recovery Act to be open and transparent and I expect the the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, who oversees the recovery act web site and data to have information that is accurate, reliable and understandable to the American public," he added. "Whether the numbers are good news or bad news, I want the honest numbers and I want them now.”

The administration and independent economists at the Congressional Budget Office and Moody's have said that the stimulus has saved or created a total of about 1 million jobs when accounting for the indirect macroeconomic effects of stimulus projects and tax cuts. But Republicans have pounced on reports suggesting that the administration's hard count of stimulus jobs overestimates its effect.