Phony Green Jobs, a $2.3B program, $135K per job, and 30% taxpayer subsidies

02/03/2010 10:30

by Alan Caruba
Issue 149 - February 3, 2010

After wasting months on a health plan that no one likes, President Barack Obama now says he will concentrate on creating jobs. He says it intends to relieve the job shortage by creating “green jobs” in the sectors of wind and solar power and biofuels. His program will cost $2.3 billion, costing approximately $135,000 per job.

“Show me one other industry that requests and receives a nearly 30 percent taxpayer subsidy,” says Thomas J. Pyle, president of the market-based Institute for Energy Research. “If the President really wants to create an environment that will foster economic growth and job creation, he need not look any further than the domestic oil, gas and coal industries.”

In November 2009, a Washington Times editorial said, “’Green energy’ is proving to be no miracle solution to the nation’s monumental unemployment problems, and it is doing little to help the economy emerge from its deepest recession in decades, economists say.”

A large part of the administration’s $786 billion dollar stimulus bill was devoted to green or renewable energy projects, but the rate of unemployment continues to rise, the cost of gasoline and heating oil continues to rise in the face of the coldest winter on record in decades, and real jobs in energy industries are thwarted by Obama administration restrictions on the exploration and development of our national energy reserves.

Similar green jobs programs in Spain, Germany, and other nations that signed onto the UN Kyoto Protocols limiting carbon dioxide emissions have demonstrated that such jobs cost too much to create and eliminate other jobs in the process.

So-called Green jobs depend on two of the most impractical and unreliable sources of electricity generation. Solar and wind farms require backup by coal-fired and nuclear power sources for the blatantly obvious reason that the sun does not shine full-time, nor do the winds blow full-time. These, plus biofuel producers, are parked on the doorstep of Congress to secure the subsidies they need just to be in business; subsidies that are derived from our taxes.

Biofuels divert valuable crops like corn to create ethanol, driving up the cost for a gasoline additive that incongruously produces less mileage and increases the cost of the many food products that utilize corn.

Here are some facts worth considering every time President Obama calls for an expansion or intercession of the federal government as an answer to the current financial crisis:

  • Social Security, the cornerstone of every progressive’s plan for welfare state government, was established in 1935. After 74 years it is on the brink of insolvency because Congress gave itself access to its funds.
  • Fannie Mae was established in 1938 to facilitate home ownership. It has been around for 71 years. Congress has had to seize control of it and of Freddie Mac, established in 1970. Together, they presently own or guarantee about half of the United States’ $12 trillion mortgage market.
  • The War on Poverty started in 1964. One trillion dollars has been transferred to “the poor” and it has not worked.
  • The Department of Energy was established in 1977 to lessen dependence on the import of foreign oil. With 16,000 employees and an annual budget of $24 billion, the United States has imported more oil with every passing year while denying U.S. oil companies access to vast national reserves in ANWR and off our continental shelf. It is an abysmal failure.

All of these programs were put forth by liberals, now calling themselves “progressives”, initiated by Democrat administrations to advance what they call “social justice.” They do not work and neither will creating jobs at a cost of $135,000 each.

Alan Caruba writes a daily post at An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.

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