Remember when President Barack Obama acknowledged that the shovel-ready jobs created by the stimulus weren’t so shovel-ready?
Well, it turns out, it’s even worse than that. Five years after passing the bill, Obama’s still handing out shovels.
In today’s edition of his newsletter, Morning Jolt, National Review’s Jim Geraghty reveals that the Obama administration is CONTINUES TO PARCEL OUT STIMULUS MONEY. Lots of it.
A search of the Recovery Act opportunities list shows 1526 projects in the queue, with one or two being added every day. Well, every business day. This is government we’re talking about.
Here’s a look at the most recent award, a $219,000 contract to remove a dumbwaiter at a Department of Veterans’ Affairs facility in Miami.
You knew it, didn’t you? You knew this wasn’t about stimulating the economy. BECAUSE THE ECONOMY DIDN’T GET STIMULATED. Gosh. All those Summers of Recovery that led to nothing but chilly autumns of disappointment and despair.
The stimulus act was really just good, old fashioned, debt-financed government spending. By a good, old fashioned liberal who has used the country as a giant Mastercard for his leftist social programming schemes.
Prime the pump. Even after the well has run dry. That’s the domestic Obama Doctrine.
Oh no. The ruling class squandered some more of our money. That’s okay, we’ve all got endless sums of it. We’ll keep sending our taxes to Washington until they CHANGE CENTURIES OF PRECEDENT AND START OPERATING EFFICIENTLY.
Nearly half of those trained under a $501 million stimulus-funded green jobs training program didn’t get any job at all! Any many of those who landed employment didn’t get jobs that one might actually consider “green.”
At least the White House minted a new group of people who feel thankful to the government. It turns out they weren’t training people to be green workers. TheY were training them to be Democrats!
From Fox News:
The findings — released in a June report by the Government Accountability Office — showed that only 55 percent of those trained were able to place in a new job, many of which were not technically green jobs. The $501 million in funding came from the 2009 stimulus law.
The report also uncovered that the Department of Labor created a framework that led grantees to broadly interpret the program’s definition to include any job “that could be linked, directly or indirectly, to a beneficial outcome” which led to the gap between training programs and available green industry jobs.
That is, are you the bathroom attendant at a solar power company? Are you their slimy lobbyist? Then YOU are performing a green job!
Meanwhile, according to the Democratic-leaning Brookings Institution, the Obama administration didn’t know what it was doing, but spent money anyway! Who ever heard of government doing such a thing???
“Basically, this is what can happen when you fund large programs amid much uncertainty and when there’s too little data available,” Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director for the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, told FoxNews.com.
“In 2009, there was very little hard, detailed, metro-by-metro data available about the particular size, nature, and growth rates of the so-called ‘green economy.’
That is, there weren’t any green jobs, but the Five Year Plan called for green job training, so that’s what happened!
This is why the stimulus should have been structured as tax breaks instead of gifts to President Obama’s friends and favored industries.
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.
Vice President Biden Thursday made the remarkable claim that the stimulus, which many thought was created to rescue the economy, actually wasn’t.
Here’s what he said at a White House event celebrating the second anniversary of the law, according to a pool report.
“The Recovery Act wasn’t designed to bring back the economy,” Biden said. “We never advertised” that it would bring back the economy considering how deep of a hole the U.S. economy was in, Biden said.
Well, with unemployment still at 9 percent two years later and the stimulus under withering fire from Republicans, Biden – who was in charge of trumpeting the measure – might be excused for wanting to retroactively ramp down his sales pitch. But he has made clear statements in the past touting the law by suggesting it was indeed bringing back the economy
In March 2010, citing news that GDP had grown 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, Biden said, “a significant portion of that is attributable to the Recovery Act.”
There’s general consensus among most economists that a significant portion of the growth in the [gross domestic product] as well as the job growth is attributable to the Recovery Act . . . The pace on the ball continues to increase, not decrease, as the act rolls on in this final summer.
What’s more, in their infamous January 2009 manifesto – which wrongly forecast the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8 percent – soon-to-be White House economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein said that the measure would boost GDP by 3.7 percent while shaving about 2 percent off the unemployment rate.
Sounds like reviving the economy to me.
Poor Biden. He had to go to all kinds of events where he would announce the construction of a new off ramp on I-247 or whatever in some God forsaken corner of the country. He had to make excuses for a 9 percent unemployment rate prevailing amidst what is basically a massive jobs bill.
And now, after two years, Biden’s had it.
The job officially belongs to OMB Director Jack Lew, Biden announced yesterday. Lew already has the thankless task of explaining why Obama isn’t making a serious attempt to reduce the long term deficit. Or, in the view of many Republicans, the short term deficit.
Lew is a dutiful, serious type who is perfect for this stuff. Might have been better to have put a square like Lew rather than the colorful Biden on the case in the first place.