Stim Tracking: Let’s Get This Part Right

You’ve probably seen the reports that highlight some pretty ridiculous inaccuracies on the federal government’s very own virtual stim-tracking tool,, including listing 440 non-existent Congressional districts, and other geographical errors in highlighting the successes of the $787 billion stimulus.

While the administration credited human error resulting from unintentional faulty reporting from stimulus recipients, and while it says the errors in crediting proper districts do not reduce the tally of jobs created, the errors nonetheless elicited a good ol’ lambasting from David Obey, the chairman of the House appropriations committee — and rightfully so. With the stimulus so politically touchy, any distraction like this, even if it’s inconsequential in the proverbial grand scheme, can prove to be negatively consequential in the long-term.

Tracking the stimulus: this needs to be done right.


Editor’s Note: Vice President Biden appeared on The Daily Show the day the story broke and addressed the miscalculations, saying they would be corrected.

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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