Stimulus Gold Mine

The news reports about the mountains of errant information on the government's recovery.gov quickly ricocheted through the halls of Congress yesterday, as Republicans gathered evidence for what they claim are bogus claims of job creation under the economic stimulus law.

"This Just In: Florida Now the Largest State In the Union," said one GOP press release, which heaped scorn upon the numbers on recovery.gov.

"I was alarmed to see that Democrats have spent $3,582,587 to create 5 jobs in Florida's 86th Congressional district," said Rep. Ginny Brown Waite (R-FL).

Of course, there is no 86th district - if there was - Florida would be bigger than California, which has 54 seats in the U.S. House.

"How can we expect the administration to run Stimulus when they can't even run a website?" asked Brown Waite.

To the north of her in Georgia, the news from another GOP lawmaker was much the same.

"$2.2 million to Create One Job in GA Congressional District 00?" was the headline from the office of Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA).

"In Georgia's 14th, 19th, 21st, 25th, 27th and 86th Congressional Districts, a total of $3,929,394 was spent to create zero jobs," Gingrey said.

And you guessed right - Georgia doesn't have a 14th, 19th, 21st, 25th or 86th House district - at least not in Washington, D.C.

How about over in Ohio?

"Guess what we found," chirped a press release from House GOP Leader John Boehner of Ohio, "TEN congressional districts in the Buckeye State that DO NOT exist received stimulus money."

"How many more mistakes have been made? How are Ohioans supposed to take the Administration seriously on the economy when its own Web site credits jobs saved or created in districts that don't even exist?" said Boehner.

Over at recovery.gov, there was no sign of reaction to the stories about the errant data.

"The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 makes it clear that taxpayer dollars spent under the Recovery Act will be subject to unprecedented transparency and accountability," read the line on the "Accountability" page.

That will surely get a chuckle from Republicans.

In the end though, this is nothing to laugh about for Democrats, because something like this could take on a life of its own.

Anytime Democrats - or the President - talk about how many jobs have been "saved and/or created" by the stimulus law, I can hear GOP lawmakers asking (with a big smile) how many jobs were in the 86th district?

I would love to be on the inside of some of the meetings over at recovery.gov to see what they're up to on this one.

The news reports about the mountains of errant information on the government's recovery.gov quickly ricocheted through the halls of Congress yesterday, as Republicans gathered evidence for what they claim are bogus claims of job creation under the economic stimulus law. "This Just In: Florida Now the Largest State In the ...

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