Monday, February 1, 2010

What to believe?

The Patrick Administration pulled a weekend news drop on us - announcing that the stimulus money allocated to the Bay State has created 4,722 jobs. However, as we reported here on The Capitol View, last October, Governor Patrick claimed 23,533 jobs were "created or retained" in Massachusetts, thanks to the stimulus package. So, which is it? There’s a heck of a difference between the two figures and based on the Governor’s track record, it’s hard to know what’s true and what is a dressed-up press release. What is particularly frustrating is that Governor Patrick and his administration tend to be fast and loose with numbers. For example, remember the $1 billion Life Sciences bill that Governor Patrick said would create 100,000 jobs? Well, as of right now, according to available data, only 1,000 jobs have been created. Remember just last week the Governor saying at a press conference that Massachusetts’ economy was recovering faster than the rest of the U.S. economy? According to a report only days later, Massachusetts was actually trailing the national economy in recovery.

So how are we supposed to believe Governor Patrick now? Here is a fact/reality check for the Governor

• Unemployment Rate rose from 4.8% in 2006 to the current 9.4%

• Highest unemployment in 10 years was in December 2009 at 9.4%; the lowest was during 2000 when the average was 2.8%

• 105,000 jobs lost since Governor Patrick took office

• 58,000 jobs in 2009 alone

This is the grim reality of the past three years under Governor Patrick. Can the Commonwealth really afford another four?