During the heyday of the “Stimulus plan” I met a gentleman who worked for a large city’s public work’s department. He told me that the city submitted their request for stimulus money, and had filled out the paperwork truthfully. They said no jobs would be created by this particular project, because if the Federal government stimulus money was not around, they would have done the work with city money anyway. So no jobs were created at all. The source of the funds just shifted.
They got a call back from the government: Either say jobs are created or you might not get the money. So, they changed the paperwork, and said those jobs were created. So, the government is now able to magically say that jobs were created when jobs were not created.
With that in mind, read this article in the WSJ.