Obama administration’s attempt to “create jobs” didn’t turn out so well
First, the good news: President Barack Obama has finally created some “green jobs.” Now for the bad news: They are not in the United States, but in Finland.
Over the last several months, radical environmentalists along with Hollywood celebrity activists descended on the White House in protest, urging President Barack Obama to block the construction of the $7 billion pipeline that would bring in more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf coast. Last week, they got their wish.
The creation of environmentally friendly jobs has been at the top of Barack Obama’s policy agenda since coming into office. With the first of his now many jobs plans, the President set out to fulfill his campaign promise of spending $150 billion to create ten million green jobs. Alas, things didn’t quite work out as planned.
Though the White House is loath to admit it, a recent analysis of the administration’s stimulus program found that for each job created, taxpayers coughed up a stunning $278,000.
There is a reason why libertarian economists want the government to stay out of the business of business – it’s because government is not good at it.
Opposition to Obama’s latest stimulus boondoggle his so-called “jobs bill.”
OBAMA: “If it turns out that there are Republicans who are opposed to this bill, they need to explain to me, but more importantly to their constituencies and the American people, why they’re opposed, and what would they do.”
In its report on the job-creation impact of the $787 billion program, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisors – handpicked by the president himself – said they used “mainstream estimates of economic multipliers for the effects of fiscal stimulus” to reach their conclusions, noting that the stimulus added or saved just under 2.4 million jobs at a cost of $666 billion.
We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative – not political clout – determines who succeeds.
Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise – but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.
Consider that when the stimulus measure was passed, the national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent. As of this month, the nation’s jobless rate is 9.1 percent, an increase of nearly 2 percent, and after more than half-a-trillion dollars have been spent to “create jobs.”
But there are larger lessons from this sorry story. First, the U.S. government shouldn’t be playing venture capitalist. It’s not merely that government bureaucrats are bad at picking winners. The very process invites cronyism and outright corruption.
Such government spending schemes – it takes tax money to create tax money – have long been discredited. The concept was first introduced in the 1930s by John Maynard Keynes, who posited that “market economies can get stuck in a deep rut and that only large infusions of government stimulus can revive growth,” writes economists Ike Brannon, a former U.S. Treasury Department advisor, and Chris Edwards of the CATO Institute. But it’s a myth, and the administration’s stimulus failure was foreseen nearly two years ago.
The Obama Administration on Thursday announced that it would delay a decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 election. In siding with his leftist environmentalist, big Hollywood base, President Obama’s ambition is nakedly apparent, as is his total disregard for the 14 million unemployed Americans sitting on the sidelines, waiting for Washington to get out of the way so they can get back to work. And it also shows that for him, politics is more important than achieving true energy independence for the United States.
“The Obama administration’s claim that its stimulus package will create up to four million jobs is outlandish,” Brannon and Edwards wrote then. “The current stimulus plan would impose a large debt burden on young Americans, but would do little, if anything, to help the economy grow.”
Seems they were right. The current Keynesian “stimulus” package has given Americans more debt without creating more jobs and improving the economy, just like they have done in the past.
Some things – and some bad ideas – never change.