How gullible are we?

by Julie Walsh on January 15, 2009

Scrolling through the $825 billion dollar monstrosity, my first question is–how many unemployed construction workers do they think there are? Don’t they realize that they will be competing with the private sector beyond those currently unemployed?

We signed our name to a blank check. (CEI opposed it.) Now they want us to sign again and again—bailout, stimulus, whatever they’re calling it today.  But as Martin Hutchinson said, “Stimulus plans also raise the chance of a Great Depression because of the deficits they cause.”

The Wall Street Journal reported today that Americans are in favor of Obama’s stimulus with 89% in favor of deficit spending to create more renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Here’s some hard questions that should be asked about those “green” projects, though:

1. How long will it take the projects to break ground?

2. How many permanent jobs will be created and at what cost?

3. Of those permanent jobs, are they sustainable without government subsidies? EIA has reported that solar energy is subsidized to the tune of $24.34 per megawatt hour, wind $23.37 and “clean coal” $29.81. By contrast, normal coal receives 44 cents, natural gas a mere quarter, hydroelectric about 67 cents and nuclear power $1.59.

4. What is the current unemployment rate of the industry to be “stimulated?”

5. You won’t catch me signing up to build a wind turbine or highway, so who will you be employing?

6. Is that national electrical grid going to bring inexpensive coal-fired power to needed US industries? E and E reports that Frederick Butler, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, acknowledged that “strategically sited” transmission lines could bypass power plants in coal states, while running through countryside laced with wind farms to promote clean energy.

Finally, as environmental economist John Whitehead cautioned yesterday in Salon:

“The Wall Street Journal’s economic forecast survey concludes that a big fiscal stimulus will lead to positive economic growth by the third quarter of 2009. But without the fiscal stimulus positive economic growth will be restored by the beginning of 2010. Speeding up the recovery is important in the short run, but there are also long-run risks associated with excessive government spending. At some large debt to gross domestic product ratio, lenders may no longer buy our government bonds and interest rates could spike.”

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