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TheStreet Open House

Jobs From Obama Stimulus Spending Don't Come Cheap: Today's Outrage

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jobs are being created, or at least saved, thanks to President Obama's stimulus spending, and the administration seems pleased to take credit for 650,000 state and local positions after burning through $150 billion.

That's it? That's the best we can get for $150 billion? I'm starting to understand the stimulus naysayers because when you do the math, it's costing an average of more than $230,000 to save a job with this program.

I seriously doubt we're creating six-figure income jobs. Granted, the investment is intended to create long-term employment opportunities, so the cost per job should diminish over time if the companies keep all the stimulus-related positions.

There should also be a compounding impact as companies in the supply chain boost employment to keep up with potential growth by the recipients of government grants.

At least that's the hope. For now, all we know is that the government is spending more than four times the median household income of $52,029 to create or save jobs.

The Obama camp is quick to point out that this initial job assessment covers only a small part of the $787 billion in planned spending. The White House puts the stimulus-job tally at 1 million when other spending is factored in and says it expects to see 3.5 million jobs credited to the stimulus package when all is said and done, according to a report on CNN.

Looking at the data available so far, the number of positions created or saved directly by federal contracts is only about 30,000 to date, according to the official government stimulus Web site, Recovery.gov.

So the rest of the stimulus jobs must be coming from the trickle down impact of spending at the state and local level.

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