Why you can’t trust government statistics

It is because the incentives are to please the bosses of the political party, not the free market.  Take a look at this story ripped from today’s headlines:

Exclusive: Jobs ‘Saved or Created’ in Congressional Districts That Don’t Exist
Human Error Blamed for Crediting New Stimulus Jobs to Nonexistent Places
By JONATHAN KARL
Nov. 16, 2009

Here’s a stimulus success story: In Arizona’s 15th congressional district, 30 jobs have been saved or created with just $761,420 in federal stimulus spending. At least that’s what the Web site set up by the Obama administration to track the $787 billion stimulus says.

There’s one problem, though: There is no 15th congressional district in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.

And ABC News has found many more entries for projects like this in places that are incorrectly identified.

Late Monday, officials with the Recovery Board created to track the stimulus spending, said the mistakes in crediting nonexistent congressional districts were caused by human error.

“We report what the recipients submit to us,” said Ed Pound, Communications Director for the Board.

More…

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