It would be an excellent use of time if any one investigates just one of the “grants” in depth and writes it up. The thousands and thousands of self-reported success stories is a gold mine of absurdity as well as illustration of how government thinks, and if anyone is so inclined to dig into the details of any particular grant, send them along to me in an e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The larger point is that the rhetoric of “created or saved” is rapidly becoming iconic in the way Joe Isuzu and Jon Lovitz are iconic. Jobs “created or saved” is already recognized as a laugh line in an era of 10% unemployment, and the politically toxic combination of amusement and bitterness at the spin deepens every time the president or one of his representatives uses it.
The truth is that nearly a trillion dollars that could have been used to generate jobs via robust tax cuts was instead largely wasted. The president could have done many many things with a trillion dollars. What he chose to do was pass out political payoffs. The only lasting thing he has created with the stimulus is scorn for the phrase “created or saved.”