The White House fired back at reports that its initial stimulus projections overstated the jobs created using Recovery Act dollars by thousands on Thursday.
In a post Thursday afternoon on the White House blog, Coordinator of Recovery Implementation Ed DeSeve labeled the Associated Press's latest stimulus investigation as "misleading." He insisted administration officials warned both reporters and voters that the White House's preliminary estimate, that 2 percent of stimulus dollars had created about 30,000 jobs, would be tentative and partial.
DeSeve also stressed that the numbers in question were provided by "the very people putting Recovery funds to work," not the federal government, and he noted that a more comprehensive report, due Friday, would be both "sharper" and more indicative of the Recovery Act's effect and scope.
"Three business days into the review, the Board posted a preliminary portion of those reports — just federal contracts which represent less than 2 percent of the Recovery Act and are a sliver of the information collected — on Recovery.gov so that you could get a look at what had been turned in initially," DeSeve wrote.
"We support the Board’s act of transparency — but were clear that day that we considered the reports 'partial and preliminary' and noted that it was 'too soon to draw any global conclusions' from them," he added. "Our twenty-day review wraps up today and we can say with confidence that the full set of reports going up tomorrow — corrected versions of the reports posted on October 15th, and many more new reports being posted for the first time now — are far sharper than the initial ones you saw two weeks ago."
Interestingly enough, DeSeve did not dispute some of the specific inaccuracies the AP cited. Rather, he attributed the mistakes to confusions in reporting requirements, among other lapses, and he assured that the recovery board discovered many of those errors long before AP reporters did.
Nevertheless, the AP made clear in its original story that it did not believe the White House intended to inflate any of its data.