Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced that the stimulus money had already "saved or created" 150,000 jobs and could potentially "save or create" 600,000 more this summer. An earlier promise by the president assured us that 3 to 4 million jobs will be "created or saved" over the next two years.

But how will we know about all these "created or saved" jobs? We'll count, of course. Beginning in October, governors, mayors, and contractors must report job numbers to the federal government in order to gauge the effectiveness of Obama's stimulus magic. Rob Nabors, deputy director of the White House budget office, clarified the process:

Just count the people being paid out of Recovery Act dollars....This whole thing is tricky. I'm not going to pretend it's not. This whole effort is virtually unprecedented.

This complicated head-count method does depend on honesty on the part of the states. But the White House has that taken care of too. According to Nabors, the numbers will be analyzed for signs of inflation:

If governors or mayors or contractors make up numbers, it's not going to take long for that to come to light.

That's right. No way a small town mayor can fool the federal government.