We don't know how many jobs the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) temporarily saved between April and May and, in fact, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has not kept track of how many jobs the funds supposedly saved. We won't actually know how many jobs the program saved until after the election in December when businesses that received funds will have to document the jobs they used funds for or repay the loans if they didn't use them to preserve jobs.
With all of that said, members of the Trump regime are now writing their own fan fiction about the number of jobs the program supposedly saved.
Applicants were not required to say how many jobs the PPP loans would save when they applied for them, but some companies chose to self-report and the Trump regime is now claiming the program saved 51 million jobs based on a selective reading of self-reported figures.
Some companies that supposedly saved hundreds of jobs under the program according to the White House say they didn't actually accept any loans and other companies have made absurd claims about the number of jobs they retained.
For example, a Reuters analysis of the data found that 827 companies reported saving at least 400 jobs with a loan smaller than $150,000. Two hundred of those companies reported saving at least 400 jobs with a loan of just $5,000 or less.
“I’m skeptical of the total number,” said Philip Mattera, a director at Washington-based non-profit Good Jobs First, which focuses on government accountability.
“My guess is there wasn’t much rigor that went into the reporting of these jobs figures.”
Even if companies weren't making such ridiculous claims -- and to be clear, saving 400 jobs with a $150,000 loan would mean you only paid each employee about $375 total -- the idea that this program saved 51 million jobs doesn't pass the laugh test.
For that to be true, it would mean the program saved more jobs than the total (over 41 million) that have been lost during the pandemic up to this point.
The deadline for applying for PPP loans passed last week with about one sixth of the program's total (about $100 billion) remaining unclaimed. Reuters also reports that nearly 20 percent of applicants have made no claims at all about the number of jobs they saved.
No, I'm sure there "wasn't much rigor" that went into this report, but I'm also sure that was the point. This is political fan fiction.