Los Angeles: Home of the $5 Cup of Coffee, $2 Million Job

Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel audits ARRA stimulus spending by two important city agencies and finds that the American people have spent $111,450,000 to retain or create a mere 54 jobs in La La Land.

The Controller's reports on the L.A. Departments of Transportation [pdf] and Public Works [pdf] breaks it down as follows:

Out of the city's total $549,000,000 ARRA award, the LADOT received $40,800,000, which it has so far used to create or retain nine jobs.

The DPW did considerably better with its $70,650,000, retaining or creating a suspiciously precise 45.46 jobs. Of those all but 6.89 were public sector jobs retained. Less than one job was actually created.

Greuel's report contains many variants on a phrase familiar from previous reports on ARRA spending: "The Department’s processes need to be strengthened to ensure transparent, accurate and segregated tracking of ARRA funds and related expenditures." In one section, Greuel notes that the LADOT's record-keeping is so poor that the department may have undercounted some jobs. So don't be surprised if the department's crusade to install new left-turn signals ends up creating as many as ten jobs.

Courtesy of Charlotte Laws.

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  • Latter Day Taint||

    So where is all this money really going?

  • ||

    The bank accounts, investment opportunities, and rainy-day funds of these companies.

  • ||

    *agencies' heads*

  • ||

    Hey, somebody might be really grateful to get that .46 of a job!

  • ||

    Yeah, 1/2 jobs are great. You get to fill out twice as much paperwork for the same amount of pay, woot!

  • Bingo||

    Yeah, this is totally a sustainable and workable system...

  • ||

    Don't worry. Joe Biden is managing the whole stimulus tracking thing.

    I tell you, the man is fucking invaluable.

  • ||

    "Why is the stimulus unpopular?" asks James Surowiecki.

    This is the new "let them eat cake."

  • Bingo||

    But, by any reasonable measure, the $800-billion stimulus package that Congress passed in the winter of 2009 was a clear, if limited, success. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it reduced unemployment by somewhere between 0.8 and 1.7 per cent in recent months. Economists at various Wall Street houses suggest that it boosted G.D.P. by more than two per cent.

    Gosh, using that logic we should make the next one even bigger!

  • ||

    Too bad "voting out the incumbents" is the new guillotine.

  • ||

    Give it time.

  • cynical||

    It's plan A, you mean.

  • Jerry||

    At least UCLA is doing something positive with their stimulus money:
    Feds Spent $800,000 of Economic Stimulus on African Genital-Washing Program

  • ||

    If someone else is applying the soap, genital washing fits the definition of stimulus quite well.

  • ||

    I can't even imagine what the curriculum must look like for the African Genital-Washing Program.

  • Bingo||

    I'm told its a very long and very hard course.

  • OO=======D||

    It boggles the mind.

  • ||

    African Genital Washing.

    Where have I seen those initials before?

  • skr||

    Greuel is great. She doesn't really pull any punches with her audits. Now if only something would come of them.

  • BlueBook||

    I thought Seattle was the home of the $5 cup of coffee. Though with all that stimulus money, the prices in LA will undoubtedly be rising, creating or saving ones of jobs in the vital barista sector of the economy!

  • K.T.||

    When did the Borg invade Los Angeles?

  • truth in acctg||

    Finally, someone is admitting to the true cost of govt jobs.

  • the power of one||

    We are the Borg! Resistance is futile!

  • ||

    $5 dollar coffee? That's just hot water and coffee beans, right? They don't put bourbon or anything in that?

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