The following is cross-posted at

Vice President Joe Biden, tasked by the president with overseeing the "stimulus" efforts yesterday issued a "progress report" to the president.  As was to be expected, he calls the effort a success – and he included a set of press clippings to prove it.

Interestingly, Biden’s report comes on the heels of the New York Times reporting on Tuesday that so far only less 6% of the Recovery Act funds had been paid out, largely in the form of welfare payments.

So how does Joe Biden claim success?

For one, he is using the new and arbitrary metric of counting "jobs created and jobs saved" which, as we have frequently pointed out is a bogus and terribly misleading metric as Sen. John Ensign pointed out during a hearing:

You created a situation where you cannot be wrong. If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would’ve lost 5.5 million jobs. If we create a million jobs, you can say, well, it would have lost 2.5 million jobs. You’ve given yourself complete leverage where you cannot be wrong, because you can take any scenario and make yourself look correct.

Yeah, never mind that there is no way of knowing what would have happened absent the "stimulus."

Secondly, the report is moving the goalposts saying the goal is now to spend 70 % before FY 2010 runs out. That is 5% less than what was originally set as the goal by the administration when the trillion dollar spending and debt package was under consideration earlier this year. And of course the same people who said when called out about the size (or lack thereof) of President’s $100 million spending cut proposal amounting to less than .003 of the FY2010 budget :

I’m not making jokes about it.  I’m being completely sincere that only in Washington, D.C. is $100 million not a lot of money.  It is where I’m from.  It is where I grew up.  And I think it is for hundreds of millions of Americans.

– the same people are now saying regarding the five percent difference between stated goal and current goal:

There’s not that much difference.

But as the Washington Times points out, the difference between 70 percent and 75 percent of the package amounts to $39.4 billion.

Beyond that, Biden’s report claims victory by press clipping.  More than half of the report consists of press snippets – so-called "reports from the field."

However, we could easily put together a clip book of press reports that tell a different story.  Talk about skateboard parks, art walks and the infamous John Murtha Airport, or checks sent to dead people because fourty years were not enough for the agency to clean up their records.

Consider us underwhelmed, Mr. Vice President.