You remember that one, right? That was Rahm, speaking before the stimulus passed in early 2009.
Well, the crisis didin’t go to waste, but the stimulus did. Such thinking is at the heart of why this country remains stuck in an economic rut. It’s not George W. Bush who’s holding us back.
I bring this up because yesterday, Darrell Issa staged one of those dramatic moments on Capitol Hill that slices through the buttery rhetoric and gets right to the reality beneath.
Part of the reason the stimulus didn’t work is that it wasn’t wholly a stimulus bill. It was a a fat cash cow stocked with the delayed dreams of Democrats.
Within the legislation was a marbly section of fat that called for taxpayers to devote massive funds to President Obama’s green jobs fantasy.
Here’s how that worked out, according to a September story in that rabidly right wing organ, the Washington Post.
A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show.
The program — designed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans — has directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to Energy Department tallies.
President Obama has made “green jobs” a showcase of his recovery plan, vowing to foster new jobs, new technologies and more competitive American industries.
Many economists say that because alternative-energy projects are so expensive and slow to ramp up, they are not the most efficient way to stimulate the economy.
Now, Issa finds, even that was an underestimation of the failure of the program. Because the Obama administration, desperate to ensure a successful outcome, redefined a successful outcome: It made everything a green job!
Check this out. It’s pretty compelling.
President Obama habitually claims that he devoted stimulus money to longer term projects like clean energy because he wanted to ensure that once the economy gets on a sound footing, it will remain there by producing the “jobs of the future.”
But everybody knows that the stimulus bill, dryly named the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” should have been called “Christmastime for Democrats.”
The green jobs debacle illustrates the dismal result of trying to pick favorites and social engineer yourself out of an economic crisis. This wasn’t about the country’s economic future. It was about the Democratic agenda.
Rahm tipped the White House’s hand. And Americans are literally paying the price.