Obama Promotes More Failed Green-Jobs Schemes, More Job-Killing Regulations

by Hans Bader on September 2, 2011

in Blog, Small business

No net jobs were created in America last month (even as the people needing jobs increased), as the Obama Administration drafted a host of new job-killing regulations and threatened costly lawsuits against employers.  But rather than rethink his failed economic policies, Obama is planning to spend billions more on green-jobs fantasies and boondoggles, in his upcoming “stimulus” proposals.  Forbes describes some of the past green-jobs fiascos promoted by the Obama Administration that cost taxpayers billions while creating no lasting jobs:

even as the president claims he is now laser-focused on job creation, he wants the public to forget all of his previous taxpayer-funded efforts to create those “green jobs” of the future, many of which have been abject failures. Like the $20 million federal grant given to Seattle to weatherize houses.  The promise?  To create “2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.” . . . The reality a year later: “only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.”

The much-hyped company Solyndra, which manufactures—um, make that “manufactured”—solar technology, has closed its doors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Only a year ago Obama gave it $535 million in low-cost loan guarantees, touting the company “as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs,” according to an NBC-affiliate report.  Now another 1,000 people have become unemployed victims of Obama’s job-creating skills.  And taxpayers have become victims of another half-billion dollars sucked down the Obama job-creating drain. . .

Perhaps the best example of the president’s job-creation failures is his “green car” efforts.  Talk about driving the economy into the ground!  The president has set a goal of 1 million plug-in cars by 2015.  And so he started doling out taxpayer money, announcing a $2.4 billion program in March 2009.  Since the government was a majority stakeholder in GM at the time, the Chevy Volt became a model to be emulated.  Except … well, nobody wants it.  GM only sold 125 Volts in July—and that’s with the government buying some of them.  At that blistering sales pace we could hit, oh, maybe 4,000 on the road by 2015.

Journalist Rich Lowry called the Solyndra debacle and its unemployed workers “Obama’s Enron.” Obama last year predicted that “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.” But if that were true, it never would have needed half a billion of our tax dollars in the first place — tax dollars now lost due to Solyndra’s bankruptcy.

As The Washington Examiner has noted,

At the time Solyndra received its grant, Vice President Biden said that the Solyndra investment is “exactly what the Recovery Act is all about.” Now that events have proven Biden right — that is, now that Solyndra is a demonstrated failure like the stimulus package as a whole — the Obama administration is wholly unrepentant and plans to continue the waste. “The project that we supported succeeded,” Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said Wednesday. So a bankrupt firm lays off all of its workers after blowing through half a billion in private venture capital, then consuming half-a-billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans, and this is a “success?” What would failure look like?

The $800 billion stimulus package was indeed a failure.  It contained ill-conceived provisions that ignited trade wars with foreign countries such as Mexico, wiping out jobs in our export sector and aggravating America’s trade deficit.  The stimulus package’s green jobs funding, nearly 80 percent of which went to foreign firms, effectively outsourced thousands of American jobs to foreign countries, at taxpayer expense.  Two economists concluded that the stimulus wiped out 550,000 jobs.

More corporate welfare for “green energy” will do nothing to fix the overall bad business climate, which is discouraging job creation.  Democratic businessman Steve Wynn called Obama “the greatest wet blanket to business and progress and job creation in my lifetime,” saying that “the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.”  The Obama Administration has threatened lawsuits against major employers for hiring based on merit.  For example, the Obama Administration is trying to force trucking companies to hire alcoholics as interstate truckers, and to make some businesses hire felons.

Boston business owner Terry Catchpole noted in The New York Times that economic uncertainty due to Obama administration policies has wiped out jobs at companies like his:

Two years ago our executive communications company had 17 employees. Today it has seven . . . like many small businesses, we are dependent on big businesses as customers. And the big businesses that we would ordinarily depend on to become clients are sitting on their cash, because they are deathly afraid of an Obama administration that has been hostile to business . . . They have no idea where the administration’s next attack is coming from, and how much it is going to cost them to defend. So businesses do not spend money; they do not hire my company; and we cannot hire back those 10 good people we had to let go.


RogueOperator September 17, 2011 at 7:48 am

Outstanding job putting this all together. Thanks.

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