Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Tracking stimulus dollars gets tricky

There's useful information on Recovery.gov, but beware of a few errors in the data, too.
There's useful information on Recovery.gov, but beware of a few errors in the data, too.

The Obama administration has promoted its Web site Recovery.gov as a bold new step in government transparency and a convenient way for voters to see that the economic stimulus program is working. Some Republicans say the site is a bunch of unreliable propaganda.

Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller ridiculed the site in a newsletter Nov. 19, writing about how he looked on the Web site and found jobs created in Florida's 34th, 53rd, 86th, and "00th" districts.

"The problem is, these congressional districts do not exist," Miller wrote. "Florida only has TWENTY-FIVE congressional districts."

"We know that the Administration is pulling a 'jobs created or saved' number out of thin air despite the fact that the unemployment rate remains high," Miller wrote. "The people of Florida know. We know that although Democrats represent only 10 of Florida's 25 districts, their districts received 60% of the stimulus funds. These numbers reek of partisanship and potential corruption."

We checked of two of Miller's statements. He's right that Recovery.gov listed nonexistent congressional districts ; we rated that Mostly True. But the data has other problems, too. His statement that Democrats received 60 percent of stimulus funds is Barely True. Read our complete items for the full report.