Out of Control Policy Blog

At What Point Does the Government Admit the Recovery.gov Errors Are More than Just "Data Errors"?

New Mexico Watchdog broke another Recovery.gov story on Sunday:

First it was phantom Congressional districts. Now it is phantom zip codes. Last month, we reported on federal stimulus money credited with creating jobs in nonexistent New Mexico Congressional districts. Further examination of the most recent report on the recipients and uses of New Mexico’s share of the $787 billion stimulus shows jobs created and money going to zip codes that do not exist.

[...] Closer examination of the latest recovery.gov report for New Mexico shows hundreds of thousands of dollars sent to and credited with creating jobs in zip codes that do not exist in New Mexico or anywhere else. Moreover, funds reported as being spent in New Mexico were given zip codes corresponding to areas in Washington and Oregon.

The recovery.gov site reports that $373,874 was spent in zip code 97052. Unfortunately, this expenditure created zip jobs. But $36,218 was credited with creating 5 jobs in zip code 87258. A cool hundred grand went into zip code 86705, but didn’t result in even one person finding work. None of these zip codes exist in New Mexico, or anywhere else, for that matter.

These "data errors" or "human errors" according to government keep piling up. And it is certainly understandable that people around the country could report false information. But shouldn't the federal government and management of the Recovery.gov website be held accountable for verifying the information? Especially if the president is going to cite the data to try and gain political favor by using it to "prove" the stimulus has "worked."

Read the whole story here.

Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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