So How’s That Stimulus Working Out For LA?

According to the hyper-partisan, stridently Right-Wing and anti-Obama hatemongers at Huffington Post (sarcasm off), its working like a charm – for 55 lucky individuals. Actually, that’s 54.46 individuals, but it’s nice to know the LA municipal government is in strict compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Details like last week’s Dallas Cowboys Halftime locker room follow below. Here’s the Huffpo source document for their expose.

“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million in ARRA funds. With our local unemployment rate over 12% we need to do a better job cutting the red tape and putting Angelenos back to work,” said City Controller Greuel. “While it doesn’t appear that any of the ARRA funds were misspent, the City needs to do a better job expediting the process and creating jobs. We’re going to continue to audit how these funds are spent, to ensure that they are expended quickly and correctly. I’m pleased that since our auditors completed their field work, the Departments have begun to implement the changes we identified to help get this money out the door faster.”

(HT: LA City Comptroller)

I was profoundly saddened to learn of her deep disappointment and angst. It’s nice when sensitive and caring people are in charge of the municipal fisk.

The Cost ORSA/ Econ Nerd immediately wants to know a wrap rate. We take $111M and divide it by 54.46. Congratulations, Mayor Villagorosa, for every $2,038,193.17 that the Federal Government gives your city, you save or create 1.0 additional jobs. Using Fedgov.com’s estimate that the median salary of a government worker is $64K, (this may be problematic for extrapolation to municipal employees, but it’s the best number I have handy for blogging), we get that 3.14% of this pi (you WILL laugh at my awful puns) goes to the workers in the form of direct salary. 96.86% of the payout is overhead.

Dividing the total cost per job created, saved or bull-sheeted, minus the cash salary, by the median Federal Employee Salary, gives you a wrap rate of 3,084.68%. In a nation with a non-partisan media industry, should be more or less equivalent to a Teapot Dome Scandal for an appetizer; with an Iran-Contra Hearing thrown in as a feature entrée.

By way of comparison, Senator John McCain went ballistic upon learning that Boeing had some wrap rates that went above 350% on certain defense procurement projects. As much as I like to dog John McCain out, he properly went ballistic when Boeing’s wrap rates went above 350%. If an hour of machinist labor costs $75, and the wrap-rate equals 350%, the taxpayer pays $337.50 for the privilege of putting that person to work for any given hour.

At this point, if it were 1982, Patricia Schroeder would have indignantly waved around the $500 Commode Seat. We would have seen the infamous bumper stickers about the USAF holding bake-sales to buy B1 Bombers. But this is stimulus, and this is social spending so the standards are different.

Ah, but the current account deficit is $1.4T. The 2 Billion Red Chinese, who we expect to buy the debt securities to make this stellar performance possible, truly don’t give a kfucing kfuc. If the damn, dirty Communists heard about this one before our next treasury auction, I wouldn’t blame them for wondering if Americans could still operate a profitable lemonade stand. What’s with those crazy Tea-Partiers anyway?