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« Explain This to Me | Main | NYT Agrees with Lasting Liberty on Green Jobs »
Sunday
Sep042011

Doubling Down on Failure

As I noted a few days ago, the press is finally admitting the failure of Obama’s “Green Jobs” agenda. Apparently, taxing the productive sector of the economy to fund the pipedreams of big labor and the Huffington Post is not a good idea.  Here is the latest on the failure of the Green Jobs Con:

From Seattle Pi: 
Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization…McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.  But more than a year later, Seattle's numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.
That is $1.5 million per job if anybody is counting.  At least that’s better than what happened in Michigan and Massachusetts:

From the Washington Times
The president recently toured Johnson Controls Inc., a Michigan company that received $300 million from “Obama’s stash” to create - drumroll, please - a whopping 150 jobs. Do the math: That’s $2 million per green job. And this is the company the White House chooses to showcase? Evergreen Solar, a Massachusetts company, also received stimulus money, but the White House that is “the most open and transparent in history” won’t say how much, only that Evergreen is “hoping to hire 90 to 100 people.” Instead, it declared bankruptcy and shipped 800 jobs overseas. Well, so much for green jobs.
Here’s more from Stephen Moore at the Wall Street Journal:
In the 2009 stimulus, the feds gave nearly $3.2 million in green-energy grants to my county of Arlington, Va., with almost $300,000 used to install solar paneling on the roof of our local library. (Don't ask why the feds are giving one of the five wealthiest counties in America free money.)
Arlington officials boast the project will save $14,000 in annual electricity costs, but the solar panels have a life span of no more than 10 to 15 years. So the feds spent $300,000 to shave at most $150,000 off the net present value of Arlington's electric bills. Some 3,000 counties across the country received federal funds for the same kind of negative-return energy conservation "investments." This is the kind of "clean energy" program the administration wants to expand.
As if the news couldn’t get worse, Solyndra, a solar energy company praised by the Administration (and coincidentally backed by a billionaire Democrat campaign donor) recently announced plans to file for bankruptcy.  The company’s bankruptcy is despite a $535 million loan underwritten by the American taxpayer.

It may be news to the dear taxpayer that his investments are doing so poorly.   But hope and change—like everything else on earth—must answer to the laws of economics.  From the results of the Green Jobs failure, it now should be clear the state cannot create a sustainable market by fiat.  Obama, however, has not gotten the message nor retreated from his mystical belief in government interference. Here’s White House spokesman Eric Schultz doubling down:

"While we are disappointed by (the bankruptcy of Solyndra), we continue to believe the clean-energy jobs race is one that America can, must and will win."

There is no clean-energy jobs race in this country—only a race to see who can waste money the fastest. Instead of throwing good money after bad, let’s focus on growing our economy and expanding free enterprise and let the Europeans and the Chinese waste money on unproven green technologies.  In the unlikely event they develop something we don’t have or can’t produce, it won’t be a loss to us.  We can use the money we saved from debacles like Solyndra to buy the technology while our private sector catches up.