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September 22nd, 2010
05:45 PM ET

Only 55 jobs created with $111 million in stimulus money?

ALT TEXT

An aerial photo of downtown Los Angeles. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's yet another glaring example of government inefficiency:

Two Los Angeles departments that received $111 million in federal stimulus money have only created 55 jobs so far. 55.

Reports by the city controller show that the Departments of Public Works and Transportation moved too slowly in spending the stimulus money - partly due to all the red tape. These agencies say they plan to create or retain 264 jobs once they spend all of the money.

The Department of Public Works, which got $71 million in stimulus money, has plans for projects like resurfacing streets and bridges and rebuilding sidewalks and storm drains.

That all sounds good - but these reports show it took eight months to put together bids, review them and then award the contracts.

As for the Department of Transportation, it's received almost $41 million to buy new buses, upgrade railroad crossings and put in new traffic signals. But the controller's report shows it took nearly a year to get approval to buy some of these buses.

Almost a year. Meanwhile, unemployment in Los Angeles is above 12 percent.

According to The Los Angeles Times, city officials wouldn't comment on the audit - but pointed to newer figures they have showing stimulus dollars at work.

Just imagine what the private sector could do with $111 million. For a $50,000 salary, you could directly hire more than 2,000 people. Not 55.

Here’s my question to you: Should two Los Angeles departments have been able to create more than 55 jobs with $111 million in stimulus money?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Bobbi in Los Angeles writes:
Since I live in L.A. and am forced to drive on poorly renovated freeways and streets every time I leave the house, I think the city could and should have accomplished a lot more than it has with the money. It's poor management, I'm sorry to say... too many people taking too long to agree on decisions, and then actually implement what this city has needed for several years.

Craig in Scottsdale, Arizona writes:
That is about what I expect from government. That is why it is so alarming to see my fellow citizens calling for the confiscation of wealth from the producers in this country. It will all go to waste and to line the pockets of bureaucrats and government officials. The new rich in this country are likely to be your local government officials.

R. in Santa Rosa, California writes:
The private sector would hire 50 people in China and the CEO and his/her buddies would pocket the rest.

Lynn writes:
My husband is a general contractor trying to pick up any little job he can in many Florida counties with the funds from the federal government. The money has been sitting there and sitting there and sitting there and NOT ONE CONTRACT is being awarded to anyone! What the hell is going on?

Lameck writes:
This shows where our problem is: the good intentions and efforts of the federal government getting curtailed by the few charged with the duty to implement.

Bob in Long Island writes:
Where are the watch dogs? Hello, Joe Biden, are you home?

Jim in Colorado writes:
Some years ago, the French came up with the perfect solution to this sort of problem. They simply removed the heads of the people running the country.

Tom in Texas writes:
Name the 55 Democrats. You know Republicans wouldn't work for just $2 million a year.

soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Fred R DeLeon Sr

    Hey Jack!!! we are lucky........at least 55 jobs are better than the benefits of the so called STIMULUS. This is a grand larceny
    perpetrated by this administration. Good question sir. Good question.
    Fred
    Indianapolis

    September 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  2. paul -seattle

    depends on who is interpreting the definition of efficient.if shareholders skim off the jobs and get tax free money every 3 months (a corporate year), then pay off the politicians who invest to make certain businesses happy?.... we are on our way into the second rate nation...no funny! although some think it is...

    September 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  3. Iris in L.A.

    This city is run by incompetents! Our mayor does nothing but look good, dress well, date tv anchorwomen and accept free tickets to sporting events. Our city council does, well, I don't know what they actually do (aside from nothing) but they are good at it. Of course, only 55 jobs were created with the money. They are probably still arguing about what to do with it and, more important to them, whose department will get credit for it.
    Either that, or the crooks in charge of the City of Bell were in charge of the hiring and the entire $111 million has gone to 55 people!

    September 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  4. Mario (Phoenix, AZ)

    TIME magazine analyzed the record and concluded that under George W. Bush (96 months), on average, there were 80K jobs lost each month for a grand total of 7,680,000 jobs over the 96 months of "W"'s administration–that's 7 million-six-hundred-and-eighty-thousand jobs, Jack! Now, I understand the rich (like you, Jack) think that if we only cut their taxes, somehow jobs will be magically created, but the facts don't lie, Jack. So, to answer your question, I think it's a pretty good deal to gain 55 jobs rather than losing 80,000 jobs a month!!!

    September 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  5. Susan from San Diego

    Jack,

    I rest my case.... This is exactly why we (in California) need to clean house and get rid of the union loving democrats who have run not only our state, but our country to the ground....

    September 22, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Tom in Abilene, Texas

    I'll bet there have been hundreds of jobs saved as a result of that stimulus money.You know like policemen, firefighters,teachers,etc. However,I will concede it is impossible to know what America would have looked like today if we could rewind that clock and leave Republicans in charge with their laissez faire attitude.But wait, come Nov. we still might get our chance to see.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  7. Ed from Port Aransas, TX

    Not all of the stimulus was to create new jobs. It was also to prevent cash- strappedstate and local governments from laying off anymore workers, like teachers, policemen and firemen.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  8. Janne from NC

    This is the hope and change we can believe in.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  9. Bonnie from NJ

    You seem to be indicating that there is a government entity in this country that operates efficiently. I think that assumption may be your first mistake. Did it cost all of that money to create those jobs or is there still money left? Is there a plan for the remainder? Are those jobs government jobs that are going to cost taxpayers money or was the money given to the private sector small businesses to do some hiring?

    September 22, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  10. Jim S

    Jack, this just poiint to another critical problem that exists in this country now. Poor oversignt! It extends from Wall Street to the Banking and Mortgage Industry to the health care industry and beyond. Look at the waste and corruption within the medicare system, the military, the health insurance industry and other government programs. If you can afford to provide stimulus money, then you should be able to afford adequate oversight and controls to insure the money isn't wasted. I don't think our government is ever going to learn that.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  11. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: They could have created upper management positions at about 2 million per job--. This stimulus reconciliation is a farce!!! What they want to do is cut our programs so they can put together the money for the tax cut they want to do next.”

    September 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
  12. Paul in New Port Richey, Fl

    Where were those jobs created? Bell, California, I'll bet.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Al

    When did Los Angeles become an exemplar of government efficiency in the United States?

    September 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  14. Joe CE

    We know LA is inefficient and corrupt, just look at the potholes. The head of their DPW was found to be an illegal and he is probablly still employed.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  15. Paul Round Rock Texas

    Ah those two words how efficient. The government be it federal, state, or local have never been efficient and most likely never will be. I am sure most of these jobs are just jobs to insure several already on the payroll are able to stay on so I would bet most if any are true real new jobs at all.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  16. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    Stimulus spending is probably an extremely inefficient way to fund projects. For one thing, it takes a lot of time to plan a project to the stage where it can be built. Also, the ruling party can improperly use the stimulus money for political gain, targetting big donors or key districts. Finally, oversight is going to be non-existent. The opportunity to be fraudulent is too high.
    I view the stimulus money as a huge trough of pork in which the pigs have been encouraged to dine, and dine quickly. The image of being seen to do something to help the economy has far exceeded the results.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  17. James in North Carolina

    Well, Jack, that's what governments do.......spend money foolishly. I guess we should be happy that we got at least 55 jobs from the $111 million. This story is par for the course and is proof that less government might mean less waste.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  18. Andrew Wede Grand Island, NE

    And these are the same people we want running our health care.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  19. Paul P.

    Of course they should have. Seems evident that inefficiency is everywhere in government, local, state and national. Although I don't think the answers are simple. With bureaucracy, there is slowness, waste and inefficiency, without it, there is corruption, greed and theft.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  20. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    I know the "55 jobs" is a fun talking point, but you also have to ask how many jobs would have been cut if the stimulus money hadn't been there. I'm sure that the number of jobs in those departments would have been more than 55 jobs lower without the funding they were given.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  21. Ken in California

    Not much bang for the buck. Kind of rings like a bell, City of Bell, California that is, stimulating a few.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  22. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    I find this is entirely reasonable. Someone has to pay the salaries of the elected officials of Bell, CA.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  23. katiec Pekin, IL

    Of course they should have, Jack.
    You see, it depends on the political affiliations of the counties, etc involved. The republicans do not want any improvement, advancement in the economy until after this next election.
    They can blame red tape etc but is all about winning an election.
    You most certainly cannot blame this irresponsible activity on the stimulous plan. Just your republicans, Jack.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  24. Peg from N.Y.

    Well, Duh! It is time to stop blaming red tape and assorted shenanigans for the reasons this money was not well distributed. Over 2,000 people could have been given jobs and they were not. We, the people, deserve an honest explanation. Fat chance we will ever hear one true word about this snafu!

    September 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  25. Kevin in CA

    Jack, your figures are wrong about private industry employment. That should be $5,000 annual salary and 20,000 hired – in China.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  26. Mike, NH

    Don't worry Jack, these are the same people who think government can run health care. Just for the record, even if they do eventually create or retain 264 jobs, that works out to be $420,454 per job. Can I get one of those jobs?

    September 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  27. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    The obvious answer is yes. But if you take the time to peel this onion, you will discover all of the red tape involved with spending public money. Red tape that was put in place to ensure that tax payer monies are spent efficiently and effectively. Those efficiencies and effectiveness come at the cost of "Timeliness". It seems prudent that the American people should have been told of the time lines required to fully utilize these stimulus funds if compliance with the existing public spending regulations were going to be enforced. Further, due to the critical state of our economy, perhaps it would have been a good idea to relax some of those regulations to expedite the process of getting those funds into our economy more quickly.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  28. Steve

    Yes, of course they should have. I have a question for you Jack...In your opinion, has anything positive come out of either TARP or the stimulus package?.....Just curious thats all.

    Steve

    September 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  29. ToGetherWeStand

    Jack,

    Yes, however, they had to clear the bureacratic hurdles to be able to proceed with the necessary work. Again, the stimulus money was meant to create jobs, which it has and will, plus to improve infrastructure and foster Research and Development.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  30. Victor from Westchester NY

    Those people in LA are clearly incompetent but that is not the real problem. The problem overall with the stimulus is that too much had be spent to stop the bleeding leaving less available to produce jobs. That is why so many economists felt the stimulus was too small. Obama needed to level with the public. It is obvious why he couldn't scare peolple more than they were, but it would have been the RIGHT thing to do.

    As a CEO, I can tell you that the private sector would not have hired 2000 people. You don't hire anyone unless the demand for your product is there. Otherwise you lose money, because more people means more overhead, more unsold product means inventory costs, oversupply may mean lower pricing on future sales. Not to mention Jack, the unemployment insurance you will have to pay when you lay him or her off when demand doesn't pick up.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  31. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    Yes, they should have. Someonce could, and should, have passed an emegency measure so that the stimulus money could have been used for proejcts that would employee more than 55 people.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  32. Dennis north Carolina

    was there fraud or corruption? if not, than we should look at the projects that was completed with this money.

    September 22, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  33. CATom

    All the republicans need to do is let the democrats be themselves.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  34. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    I'd like to see your reaction if they had hired 2000 new employees at $50,000/each. What would they be doing and for which department? Jack, these questions needed to be answered before a penny of the money was spent otherwise you'd be raising a different kind of stink altogether. There is just no pleasing you. You must be a Republican.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  35. d settle salisbury nc

    I am sure after they bump managment salaries to 1 mill each and add a few perks for all the supervisors and department heads we should feel lucky thay managed 55...

    September 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  36. Craig from Scottsdale, Arizona

    That is about what I expect from Government. That is why it is so alarming to see my fellow Citizens calling for the confiscation of wealth from the producers in this Country. It will all go to waste and to line the pockets of bureacrats and government officials. The new rich in this Country are likely to be your local Government Officials.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  37. thom richer

    The stimulus money went to the wealthy corporate execs and right into their pockets without any sharing with workers. The wealthy do not support the economy with their spending practices. It is the middle and lower class that puts money into the economy. It would have been much more productive if the stimulus money was put into the hands of the working class. It would have eventually wound up in the corporate pockets and the economy would have actually been "stimulated" instead of merely pretending to and jobs may have actually been created. There were and are no "real" job creations and any numbers thrown at us are false and are the only thing created by the stimulus fiasco.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    September 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  38. Rick McDaniel

    That should not come as any surprise at all. The Dems have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars, in the stimulus, that accomplished absolutely nothing worth mentioning. Many billions cannot even be accounted for, at all. They just "vaporized".

    For this, the Dems want accolades?????

    September 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  39. Scott Stodden

    Um Here's A Hint Yes Jack! They Should Have Been Able To Create More Jobs If The California Politicans Weren't Pocketing The Money Just My Opinion Cuz We All Know Its True And That's What They All Do!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  40. Rob in NC

    a. Since we have been told we are moving out of the recession everything should be fine anyway.
    b. Your forgetting the 2,000 hands the money moved through and the "contributions" that are being made along the way. As with all government spending, what actually makes it to the people usually doesn't look like what you started with. Rob in NC

    September 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  41. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Salary is only a small part of a construction project. Concrete, re-bar and asphalt aren't cheap anymore. Granted the delays seem unconscionable, but the bidding process is designed to be fair and open. I suppose it would go faster if the public works director just let his brother-in-law have the contract.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  42. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Of course! The Federal government needs to get back whatever money is left with these agencies and put it up for grants that have a plan already and can show how they will create jobs and state how many. Too much bureacratic red tape. And, I wonder-How many hands were in this pie lining their own pockets? $111 million and only 11 jobs. Something is fishy!

    September 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  43. Bonnie in Arkansas

    It sounds like the problem is the strangulation caused by red tape.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  44. Jim - Michigan

    Jack, come on be fair. Yes they created only 55 jobs, true enough, BUT they also "saved" 3 to 5 million. For all of those democrats that voted for the stimulus and now running as far away from it as possible, I would give my vote if just one of them would go on the record and tell us it was a mistake and that it failed. Honesty, that is what I would love to hear from a politician.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  45. Chris

    This looks brutal as a sound bite but if the money is going to energy efficient buses for example not a bad idea but will only create jobs were the bus is built. Plus when is government efficient?

    September 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  46. Andrew Eden-Balfour- Regina, SK

    No; but this isn't all that surprising now is it?

    September 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  47. Pete from Georgia

    The majority of any jobs created were and continue to be..................government jobs. Just what we DON'T need.................more useless bureaucrats.
    What the left wing socialist loonies don't understand, and never will , is that the simplist way to bring jobs back is to drastically and PERMANENTLY reduce taxes and restore CONFIDENCE in corporate America, something that has disappeared.
    Reducing taxes with zero threat of restoring them.............ever.............is the strongest tonic we could employ to put America back to work.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  48. Kevin of SD CA

    That is right; Mexicans in charge can't count in U.S. Dollars? That is why all this stimulus money should have went back directly to the individual tax payers! What did you think was going to happen when the Foxes in charge of the Hen House pass out money to mafia government and glorified welfare corporations that put us in the hole in the first place? Wake up Media!

    September 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  49. Deborah Ballweg Seibert, co

    This just proves that the stimulus money was a joke and possibly a hoax. And yet, the Democrats keep touting the success. Just business as usual

    September 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  50. Angie

    Just how many of those jobs are over paid positions for administration jobs.

    In other words, may be there are too many boss positions that are not need, and not enough worker positions that are needed, being filled.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  51. Ralph Spyer

    The red tape that you talk about is called accountabilty; there was none in Iraq. Millions spent to buy prople off , millions for building were our service men were electrocute, millions for soldiers of fortune who kill wpmen and children.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  52. Steven V

    Yes they could (and should) have. "Red tape" is code for 'the bureaucrats are getting almost all the money' and they'll cover themselves by not appearing stingy and give enough of the money left over to bring on only 55 pitiful, broke, jobless souls to work for the city. That's what red tape means, in this case.

    Steven V.
    Pensacola, FL, USA

    September 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  53. Nancy in St. Louis

    Absolutely! The reason why jobs are not created is because of lack of money. They got the money and this proves they need good employees that can get the work done. In addition to the $111 million they can surely save additional money by eliminating current salaries when a good house cleaning rids them of their dead weight. With unemployment high in this country, there are good replacements ready and willing to go to work.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  54. Rose

    Stimulus money for creating jobs. I thought that was a great thing and would help millions. I myself was unemployed and looking for any job I could find in the rural area I live in. I got an interview with a governmental organization for a position, I was very excited. I showed up ready to wow everybody. I was then told that the position was only going to be a temporary one lasting 6 months... Ok... But that's OK I can deal with that. The salary was great more than I would have ever expected for the area. It was easily 2.5 times better than the average. I was thrilled! Then I was told the reason for the higher than average pay and shorter assignment. They told me they had extre stimulus money they needed to spend before the end of the year, which explains why the short term at a much higher rate. I thought to myself why didn't they actually hire someone at the normal rate for a longer time and help a family out that way? So why do you think?

    September 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  55. Bob in Florida

    DUHHHH, YYEEEESSSS!!!!

    Just goes to show ya, the federal government is NOT THE ONLY inept government in the country. Of course it is NOT just Obama. Remember when the T.A.R.P. money was dolled out BY BUSH??? No rules, no restrictions, no directives, no direction on THAT TRILLION DOLLARS EITHER!

    September 22, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  56. Dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    I'm not sure about that. The example does not count for how much money is used for "stuff". You can't hire a bus driver or install railroads without the buses or materials. It also doesn't account for the employees they already had who were underworked. Are we factoring in added salary expense, or just new jobs? They may be paying their workers full time with benefits now instead of part time. Also, you cannot employ 2000 workers with the same money in the private sector. You need buildings, computers, supplies, benefits, and so on. I think this article is lacking in a couple fundamental areas of the cost of business. Hiring masses of people is really inefficient. Your "2000" number only employs people for one year. I think the money was better spent on supplies that will in turn bolster those suppliers, rather than hire a bunch of people with nothing to do and then get fired in a year.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  57. Brett from Denver

    They are creating more than 55 jobs. Sounds to me like they're going to spend a lot of that money on material, and somebody else has got to make all the stuff they're ordering. The ripple effect could be huge. Although as usual with government projects, the ripple is slow.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  58. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    If only 55 jobs were created, lets have the peoples names. Check your arithmetic, those numbers don't qualify to call it math.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  59. Mari, Utah

    Wow....... Jack, talk about a headline to enflame the Far-right! Most people do not read the article, they react to the headline.

    Millions of jobs have been created. This is just ONE story, about the Dept. of Public Works in LA!

    September 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  60. Mark, Oklahoma City

    I think taking the money to make 55 Lottery winners of $2 million each is a pretty good deal, the rest of us got screwed, but a great deal for those 55 blessed souls.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  61. Bobbi from L.A.

    Since I live in L.A. and am forced to drive on poorly renovated freeways and streets every time I leave the house, I think the City could and should have accomplished a lot more than it has, with the money. It's poor management, I'm sorry to say... too many people taking too long to agree on decisions, and then actually implement what this city has needed for several years. We need to stream-line the projects, not fight about them in City Hall meetings behind closed doors, while idiots with pitchforks and stupid signs march back and forth outside on the dilapidated sidewalks and streets. We were all better than this, 40 years ago... and we need to get back to the idea that working together is much more productive.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  62. Steve

    This just proves that the american people expect instant results. With the internet, facebook, twitter, most anything is done instanley except job creation. The best people need to be interviewd and trained for the job and this takes time.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  63. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    Name the 55 democrats, you know republican's wouldn't work for a just $2 million a year

    September 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  64. Mya

    Every govt project is like that esp in CA. So we hate liberal and big govt trend ,irresponsible and wasteful, even 8th largest economy in the whole world is broke.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  65. Bob in Kansas City

    I suspect most of it went down the proverbial rat hole, yes they should have created at least 1500 jobs but given the propensity of rules, regulations and special interests complaining they didn't get their "fair share then 55 sounds about the norm.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  66. katiec Pekin, IL

    Yes, they certainly should have utilitized this money but it all boils down to politics. Some, and many of those on the right do not want the American people to see any improvement, advancement in the economy until AFTER this next election. They are playing games with our lives.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  67. Jeff In Minnesota

    Come on Jack. Bureaucracies cost money. We've created red tape to protect endangered species, make sure were not polluting waterways and water sheds, and a whole host of other things to protect ourselves and the environment. All of that costs money. As a result, you only get 55 jobs created, but you also saved countless bureaucrats their jobs.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  68. Anne, Shamokin, PA

    Jack, you have to wonder how much it cost the taxpayers to fund the addidtional government jobs required to find the jobs for the 55 people who eventually got them.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  69. ken, atlantic city nj

    It says that the so called smart old men in washington are truly idiots for allowing this to happen. Rather than give out 111 million dollars with no strings just have them submit a voucher when each job is created. If you provide 2,000 jobs @50k each then you get the 111 millon. Congress gave out trillions of dollars to banks and wall street with no strings attached, and still no jobs or loans for job creation. All we have to show for the bailouts is billions in bonuses for wall street and bank executives.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  70. Gigi Oregon

    What do you want? we still have the same officials in office that where there five, ten years ago. We need to vote out the local corruption first not start at the top and work down. Start at the local level and work up to the top.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  71. Allen in Hartwell GA

    September 22nd, 2010 3:01 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Now Jack, don't play along with the children. They don't know what they're doing.
    What if LA spent $110, 999, 999 on infrastructure, and only $1 to create the 55 jobs. Would anyone be saying anything? Doubt it.
    We know there's more to the story, and it is pandering to the right-wingers to promulgate their punch lines.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  72. Ken in NC

    55 jobs for 111 million is about par for the way California and L.A. operate. The only problem with this is they don't see this part of the reason they are as broke as the rest of the country

    September 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  73. sickandtired

    Are you Kidding Me ???? Did they pocket the rest of the money, OOPS I answerd my own question, of course they did. Heck I Very good a stretching a dollar in this economy, hire me instead to distribute the funds more efficiently.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  74. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    Looks like the wrong people have the car key's again .

    September 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  75. Annie, Atlanta

    Well, those are either some good paying jobs, or someone pocketed the rest. Where can I sign up for some of that?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  76. Nini

    Could you please scream this so maybe the President would GET IT.
    And maybe only maybe they would stop wasting our money.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  77. Jerry Driskell

    That's bad by most standards but probably not so bad by Bamastandards.
    Jerry in Blairsville, GA

    September 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  78. fran Virginia

    $ 111 million is chump-change compared to TARP and stimulus monies taken from taxpayers and given to Wall street and government dead-end burocreacies. When wll taxpayers wake up ?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  79. RI Santa Rosa CA

    The private sector would hire 50 people in China and the CEO and his/her buddies would pocket the rest.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  80. mitch from calif

    they probably did, only they gave them to illegals and pocketed the money.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  81. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    This stimulus money is nothing but a huge trough from which insiders and friends of the administration can gorge on oodles of easy pork. It will be years before the fraud and other abuses are discovered. Nothing could be less transparent or so hopelessly ineffective as the federal government doling out a trillion or so tax dollars to their pals with virtually no strings attached.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  82. MacFab From Nacogdoches, Texas

    Jack whether you and your Tea Party allies like it or not stimulus has really helped a great deal, even though the economy is not still where patrotic American want it to be. It is unfortunate that facts do not matter in this country anymore. What about the indirect jobs. 30% of the stimulus package was Tax Cut for Americans. How many times have you mentioned that? Pathetic, isn't it?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  83. Alex

    Why should people tolerate this incompetency in the system? I mean it's just ridiculous...

    September 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  84. Bob fom Long Island

    where's the watch dogs? Hello, Joe Biden, are you home?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  85. jim

    Your right Jack. Maybe it's time to eliminate Government and let the Private Sector take over. I'm sure the Bernie Madoff's of the world will do a much better job of making use of all that money than our Government.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  86. Gadisa

    Calfornia was like a house on fire. you have to kill the fire off before you start building.They could have lost all their work if not for the stimulus.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  87. Lameck

    This shows where our problem is. The good intention and effort of the Federal government getting curtailed by the few charged with the duty to implement.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  88. Jim Blevins

    Some years ago, the French came up with the perfect solution to this sort of problem. They simply removed the heads of the people running the country.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    September 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  89. Karl from SF, CA

    Of course they should have and most likely will eventually. Most cities have procedures to put out bids and award contracts that protect the city from fraud and overspending, called red tape in polite society. They don’t just go out and “DO STUFF”. For starters, you don’t go out and just buy buses like you do cars. No company has a lot full of buses for sale. They are ordered and then built. That too puts people to work and takes time. I worked in transportation and a new fleet of buses can take a year or more to get delivered. Had they ran out and overdid stuff recklessly, we would be commenting on why they didn’t take their time to do it right.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  90. Ok Connett

    Doh ! They must have an entire staff of Homer Simpsons !
    But then...Isn't that what we saw with the Banks we bailed out and those that paid for that can't get a refinance or loan?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  91. Barry

    They did 55 better than I thought they would.

    Barry
    New York

    September 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  92. Bob Wardrep

    Is misappropriation of funds illegal there? If so, they deserve the maximum penalty. They have taken food from many mouths.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  93. KT

    Its complicated. Look back and you will see:
    Shipped millions of jobs overseas.
    Shipped millions of Production units overseas.
    Shipped millions of dollars taxes to overseas govts.
    Borrowed huge amounts.
    Printed a lot of money.

    And you are complaining about 200 jobs

    September 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  94. Kim Stevenson

    I am NOT suprised by this AT ALL!!! Its a farce(the stimulus). This is but one example of mis-managment of tax dollars!!!
    Send me the money!! I could employee tons of people with that much money!!!!

    September 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  95. Dan Radakovich

    Imagine what the private sector could do with $155 million dollars? Most likely buy 2 private jets...and a "retreat" in Tahiti for the bigwigs. Anyone thinking that a big corporation would use the money to hire people directly for slary equivalents has not worked in the real world. Bureaucracies are bureaucracies whether public or private.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  96. MIke in TX

    Jack take a look at what any government body has to do in order to purchase something. Awhile back I saw a bid on one Jack one small office phone system available at any dealer for $30K take a year and a half to buy. The office needed it right away. The holdup was all the telecommunications companies, their lawyers and watch dog groups causing delay after delay with questions and challenges. Someone figured it cost over $500K to buy that $30K system. We do have to look at the 256 job figure and realize and count in the jobs of all the suppliers, contract maintenance people, concrete and steel producers and so on that contribute to getting those projects done. It's not just the published number for the purpose of a sound bite. You could probably cut the cost of all govt purchase by half if you got rid of all the special interest groups and lawyers.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  97. Pat. Virginia

    This just shows how poorly government uses our money. Reduce taxes and spending. Let the private sector use the money and we will get a lot more jobs created. I wonder how many of these government bureaucrats, that say they want to create jobs, are driving cars not made or even assembled in the US.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  98. Claire, Melbourne FL

    How much of this money is left? I'm sure they didn't use it all up on 55 people – it's red tape, so to speak, that causes such slow release of the money. I see how it's helped us here in Melbourne – at least our roads are finally being repaired and they have a long way to go yet.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  99. Sharon

    DUH!!!! It shouldn't take anyone with a brain or maybe half a brain to figure out that more than 55 jobs should have been created with$111 million dollars. But as anyone who has ever tried to deal with a federal,state or city government agency, it seems par for the course to have it taken so long to get approval. We have created such beaucracy in all areas that nothing can get done in an acceptable amount of time. If private industry moved at the snail's pace that most government agencies do – our economy would be non-existent.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  100. Ronette from South Dakota

    No because the money was given to the state government. Government spends money on the red tape process and makes the private sector jump through the hoops too. The only thing that is red in my budget is my bank balance when I try and pay all the monthly bills on time. Let's have a do-over of the stimulus and give every American who filed a tax return a big stimulus check and we'll spend it and pay off our bills.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  101. George Wray

    This is so unreasonable that additional investigation is needed to find out exactly what the $110,000,000 was spent for or being spent. This warrants a thorough investigation and answer. Can you determine the departments and get their explanation.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  102. Scott Brisco

    Because the money is feeding the top dogs. The government has learned from big corporations to pay the heads big, stupid salaries and bonus's in lieu of paying the workers. When we get rid of all the thieves at the top (corporate & government) and replace them with untrained thieves we will get this country back under control.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  103. Bob Spads

    OH YES! Absolutely! What are you kidding me? The money left over from creating those 55 jobs was badly needed in neighboring Bell for long awaited civil servant pay raises.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  104. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    Hey Jack, Give me the $111 million!! I'll hire more than 55 people just to be in my entourage!

    September 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  105. mike

    white collar people are eating all the stimulus money. they get paid to talk the more they talk the longer they get paid at the end of the day you have twenty bucks left to build the bridge with. cut these people out and just do the work

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  106. Allen in Hartwell GA

    September 22nd, 2010 6:01 pm ET
    September 22nd, 2010 3:01 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Now Jack, don't play along with the children. They don't know what they're doing.
    What if LA spent $110, 999, 999 on infrastructure, and only $1 to create the 55 jobs. Would anyone be saying anything? Doubt it.
    We know there's more to the story, and it is pandering to the right-wingers to promulgate their punch lines.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  107. Jim Flynn

    What is obvious is that the stimulus money was really diverted principally for political return on investment rather than the tax payers return on investment. Davis Bacon compliance for construction, union labor requirements for contract awards... It seems the principle purpose was to provide political payback and additional funding of union coffers for donations to the democratic party.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  108. Mark from Michigan

    Gov't inefficiency? Should be happy any jobs get created. With the culture developed in the first 8 years of this decade. No bid contracts, Halliburton, Cheney and the energy industry setting energy policy.

    Let's just hope the roads you use are getting fixed.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  109. Lou Marinos

    Hi,Jack
    Why not ask the same question to the Tea Party, the Republican Party and all the conservative bloggers and pundits?
    All they talk about is too much federal government in our lives. I suppose the local government in Los Angeles is doing a great job.
    Local and state government has its place, but bailing out the mistakes of the Bush Administration is going to require federal leadership.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  110. deb

    This is exactly what scares me about government taking over more and more industries. More red tape, bureauracracy, less outcome.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  111. Jeremy

    from Traverse City, Michigan.

    Hello again Jack,

    The government wastes money like it's fun or something. Here in Michigan the exact same thing is happening, but instead all the money went to Lansing with a ridiculous job to money spent ratio. Now that I finally have a job poring coffee even though I have a Bachelors degree, the hundreds taken out of my paychecks for taxes are still going to waste. The government doesn't need to act as the giant re-distributor, most money doesn't get where it belongs.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  112. aliousalam Florida

    All those who got their jobs thanks to GW Bush are still holding us hostage. They are praying that America should fail so that they who have the money idling somewhere should buy it all out as they are doing.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  113. Ralph Sato

    OK, so the economic stimulus was implemented in a helter skelter unimaginative way but you have to admit there was an emergency at the start of the Obama's first year in office with unemployment gathering speed and credit drying up in alarming fashion. The unemployment numbers went up to 12% I believe in the months following January 2009. It is still high at 9.6% but stable. I prefer to see the glass as half full than half empty as too many fickle independent voters seem to prefer. Obama inherited the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression but as you know even the New Deal was not successful until WW II. We need to be more patient – not a common trait in difficult times but no one should feel nostalgia for the sorry record of the previous Bush administration.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  114. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Giving away money to stimulate the economy is probably much more difficult than it appears. If $111 million in greenbacks had been dumped out of a bomber at 5,000 feet above LA, the cash would entered the economy within minutes, but the city would most likely have been burned to the ground in the celebration that followed. At least this way, the city will eventully end up with some new streets and storm sewers, and 55 families with food on the table.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  115. Fran O'Rourke

    Jack, I think that the answer to your question regarding whether or not Los Angeles should have been able to create more than 55 jobs with $111 million in stimulus money is obvious. Of course they could have created more than that! i have no idea where that money went, but on the other hand, you did ask what the private companies could have done with that money to create jobs. My answer is that they most certainly would have been able to create probably a hundred times more jobs than those in LA–the question is, are they creating jobs here in the U.S. or overseas?
    It is very unfortunate that many companies who did receive stimulus monie(s) still continue to send their jobs overseas. While everyone is complaining about the government these days, why is so little said about the large corporations who are the true culprits, in my opinion, of the state of our economy? They're putting people out of work by the tens of thousands, but meanwhile, they're still profitable, and able to pay their CEOs 20 or 30 million per year in salary, options and bonuses.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  116. Linda

    Jack They should have been able to create tons of jobs with that kind of money. Has the money gone into some crooked person pocket or do they still have it?.This is a sham and the money should be returned. Is anyone watching the store?Is there anyone in Washington watching over this money. This reminds me of all the truck loads of money that became missing in Iraq when Bush was in charge.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  117. Jeff Reding

    Wanna know where all the jobs are hiding? They're sitting in the bank vaults of the states and the banks. The states are not spending the stimulus money they were given to create jobs, so there are no jobs. The banks are not lending money to small businesses to create new jobs, so there are no new jobs. Once these two entities start spending the money they were given for the reasons they were given that money – there will be jobs.

    BUY AMERICAN – CREATE JOBS

    September 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  118. Robby Bowling

    Why should they. One for you four for me the way government has alway run.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  119. tom minervino

    It depends on who's being paid off.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  120. Nick In Detroit

    Here in Michigan, stimulus money is being spen to put mile-markers every two tenhs of a mile on I-75.

    Meanwhile, Dixie Hwy is undrivable in the right hand lane for several miles.

    Nick in Detroit

    September 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  121. Andrew B.

    The money is going to more than just salaries. You have to pay for buses, and asphalt, and steel for bridges. Oh and guess what, all of these businesses you are buying the buses and steel from have employees, so the 111 million has probably created more than 55 jobs. Please think before you distribute useless statistics.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  122. Jay in mich.

    55 jobs 111 million dollars at 2 million a job ... no wonder i cant get a job .

    September 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  123. Alan

    I find it interesting that you only report the government jobs created with the $11 million, when most government services I work for have more people working as private contractors than those working as government employees. My question is, how many total jobs were created or saved by the $11 million, not just the ones the LA comptroller knows about?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  124. Gary H. Boyd

    This is a classic example of governmental FAILURE TO PLAN AHEAD. When money became available there were simply no plans to utilize it responsibly - it became a typical governmental boondoggle. My wife and I have a list of what we plan to do when money is available. It's called prioritizing our future. I doubt anybody, at all levels of government , are prioritizing our country's?

    Gary H. Boyd in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  125. Alan

    Perhaps the comptroller needs a new job in politics? Or maybe the press needs to dig a little deeper and find out exactly were the money went and how many private companies had their hands out for a share of the money in government contracts. Is a government contractor a private or government postion? You decide!

    September 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  126. Alan

    Governments don't manufacture concrete or asphalt. They don't make paper or computers, and they don't make steel, aluminum, or plastic. I think your story and the comptroller need to go back to school and learn about economics! 55 jobs? No wonder you're not a investigative reporter!

    September 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  127. Steven

    Absolutely! And here's the solution: Donald Trump for President in 2012! In his interview with Wolf airing this hour, I am seeing more wisdom, experience, honesty, determination, and love for his country than we've seen from a high-profile, highly influential person in years. We need our politicians to stop thinking about how to keep their offices in Washington and to start thinking about how to keep their country! Trump in 2012!

    Steven G
    Los Angeles, CA

    September 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  128. Robert

    I have always felt that the best and the brightest normally do not flock to the beurocratic confines/limits of federal, state, city, or local government. Those who do and wind up at the top end seem to be ruthless egoists while those at the lower levels seem to have the survival habits of staying power and tunnel vision – venturing from paycheck to paycheck trying to do as little work as possible while making no serious mistakes that could get them fired.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  129. Shervin

    That amounts to more than 2 million dollars per person (jobs) created. I am sure they are not paying 2 million-dollar salaries. So where is the rest of the money?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  130. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Yes, if you're a thief. Sounds like only 55 people were informed about a job and I bet they were all friends and family members who have been paid hush money which is probably only a drop in the bucket.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  131. spicyaliengirl

    They rather pocket the money instead of hiring people. well i guess they figure they do that so in the recovery they hire just enough people too keep question from begin ask..I say take part of that Money back untill they start hiring more peoples.they should not be Allowed too KEEP that Money if they don't need IT. they want our President too look bad.Sad case.

    September 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  132. Sandi-Phoenix

    Figures never lie and liers never figure. How many jobs were saved? How much did all the materials cost? A Blanket statement doesn't tell the whole story. At least the government is creating or retaining jobs. That's is more than can be said of the top 3% income earners that have gotten all of the Bush tax cuts and we have lost 14 million jobs. The repugs say we shouldn't let the tax cuts expire because this 3% create jobs. Where's the proof?

    September 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  133. Marty

    Oh Jack, while only 55 jobs were created, we ask the White House how many (thousands and thousands) of jobs were "saved." Lets be fair!

    September 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm |