President Obama promises a “new” jobs program when he gets back from vacation. But he won’t change his central idea that only debt and higher-tax-fueled government spending can lead the economy out of recession. Obama’s existing jobs program was based on the same premise, and it is a failure.
The new Obama jobs program has already been leaked. Infrastructure investment, extending unemployment benefits, extending the reduction in withholding, and reflating the real estate bubble by more government mortgage subsidy.
This is more of the same old, same old “government knows best” approach that has prolonged the recession and brought us 16.1% un(and under)employment and a tsunami of public debt.
What happened to the infrastructure investment from the stimulus bill? Not “shovel-ready.” Fannie and Freddie have been losing billions of dollars trying to reflate the busted balloon of real estate since Obama was inaugurated. Why are home values still declining everywhere but in Washington, D.C.? Withholding was reduced last January—where are the jobs? Nancy Pelosi said that extending unemployment benefits was “the best way” to stimulate jobs—that was two years ago. The benefits were extended—there are more unemployed Americans than ever.
Americans are demoralized as the purchasing power of their hard-earned dollar shrinks before their eyes while the government maintains, with a straight face, that there is no inflation. Business owners are demoralized by having to comply with myriad new federal regulations imposed by Obama appointees that eat up their time and money while the President calls for cutting regulations.
The “old” Obama jobs program promised a cornucopia of new jobs from going green. Green energy projects and companies got massive injections of capital from the stimulus bill. Government Motors, flush with taxpayer cash, pushed the Volt electric car as the wave of the (nonpetroleum) future, while Obama simultaneously promised to “skyrocket” electricity rates to cut carbon emissions. The Obama Pentagon promised biofuels grown by LGBT sailors would power half the Navy’s energy needs by 2020.
The yellow brick road of change led straight to the Emerald City of hope.
Now even the small man behind the curtain admits that “the shovel-ready jobs were not shovel-ready” and begs American voters to understand that the transformation to a prosperous green economy creating jobs will take a little longer than he thought. Maybe a lot longer.
I have a solar power plant on the roof of my house. I recently replaced a dozen 170-watt-rated solar panels installed five years ago with new state-of-the-art 320-watt-rated panels. Made in China. Because they are not made in Obama’s America.
The market for solar panels is exploding. Solar panel production worldwide doubled from 2009 to 2010. Obama policies are driving those jobs overseas.
Evergreen Solar was the poster boy company for the new Obama green economy. Its government-subsidized solar panel manufacturing plant in Massachusetts once employed 800 workers. The plant is closed, as is Evergreen’s Midland, Mich., plant. Evergreen has opened a new plant in Wuhan, China.
Solyndra, a California-based solar manufacturer that benefited from a $535 million government loan guarantee, has closed its doors too. SunPower has closed U.S. operations to move to the Philippines. First Solar has moved to Malaysia.
While there are complex reasons for this exodus of green jobs, across the industry there are common concerns.
For these companies, Obama’s promotion of green jobs came with strings. Unionized workforce. Compliance with expensive environmental technology in the manufacturing process. Promotion of politically correct benefits (e.g., gay partners). Uncertain cost of electricity. The conflicting parts of the Obama Agenda doomed these companies as they competed against countries with competitive workforce costs, minimum permit processing and government regulation, easy credit, and cheap land, water and electricity.
My family owns three hybrid cars, all built by Toyota. I’d love to buy American—but there isn’t one to compare. The Volt is a joke, requiring eight hours of battery charging to go 25 to 30 miles on electric power. The Toyota-made hybrids charge the battery while the car is in operation and get better overall mileage. And don’t criticize me for buying foreign—even the Obama “Magical Misery” bus was made in Canada!
All of what remains of America’s manufacturing base (once the “Arsenal of Democracy”) is poised to flee as Obama makes good on his promised jihad against coal, which produces about 50% of the nation’s electricity. Under Obama’s plan, either these plants would undergo retrofits costing billions of dollars or shut down. Because no new plants will be built, or if they are built, will cost significantly more, the campaign promise to skyrocket electricity rates looks like a promise that, unlike closing Guantanamo or stopping the wars, will be kept.
Finally, I don’t really know if only LGBT sailors will produce biofuels for the Navy. I do know that millions of dollars will be wasted, and many around the world will go hungry, as Obama sticks ethanol in Navy gas tanks.
“New” jobs plan same as the old jobs plan. Time for a change.