Not that we need more evidence, but here is a story from Los Angeles revealing that the city only created 55 jobs with $111 million of stimulus funds. This translates to a per-job cost of $2 million, which is a grossly inefficient rate of return. But this calculation is incomplete because it doesn’t measure how many jobs would have been created if the money had been left in the productive sector of the economy. Moreover, it’s also important to consider long-term costs such as the fact that Los Angeles now has more overhead, which will exacerbate the city’s fiscal problems.
The Los Angeles City Controller said on Thursday the city’s use of its share of the $800 billion federal stimulus fund has been disappointing. The city received $111 million in stimulus under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) approved by the Congress more than a year ago.
“I’m disappointed that we’ve only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million,” says Wendy Greuel, the city’s controller, while releasing an audit report.
…The audit says the numbers were disappointing due to bureaucratic red tape, absence of competitive bidding for projects in private sectors, inappropriate tracking of stimulus money and a laxity in bringing out timely job reports.