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Short Term Jobs
Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone) defended Go Oregon stimulus bill on today's show by saying that from the very beginning he's been touting this as a temporary jobs program. A look back at the press release (pdf) his office released in February, 2009, when the bill passed the house, confirms this. Hunt was quoted as saying:
We chose these projects because they are both ready to go by April 1 and provide us
with both a short term job stimulus and a long term benefit to the state. [Emphasis added.]
The wording was slightly different in Senate President Peter Courtney's press release, in which Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn) announced:
Unemployment in our state is rampaging. These projects are an investment in our infrastructure that will create jobs in every part of the state.
The release goes on to specify the number of jobs that will be created, with no word about how long they'll be in existence:
According to the IMPLAN forecasting model the $176 million in projects will create 1,890 direct jobs and another 1,144 indirect jobs.
Governor Kulongoski was similarly mum on the time-frame when he signed the Go Oregon bill into law:
The plan authorizes $175 million in bonding to fund projects that will make needed repairs to schools, colleges, transportation infrastructure and address deferred maintenance projects across the state. The projects will create jobs for Oregonians at a time when the unemployment rate continues to climb.
One could make the argument that construction jobs are always temporary — that they disappear when the project is completed — so there was no need to highlight their short-term nature. But Oregonian reporter Harry Esteve argued both in his article and on our show that, in general, when we hear that a job was "created" we assume it refers to a permanent job.
What impression did you have about the goals of Go Oregon?