As the stock market sinks today in the face of news that no jobs were created in America last month (even as the number of people in need of jobs rose), the Obama administration is preparing to spend billions more on green-jobs fantasies and boondoggles as the latest snake-oil “cure” for the bad economy. At Forbes.com, Merrill Matthews chronicles some of the past green-jobs failures that cost taxpayers billions while creating no lasting jobs and leaving creditors on the hook for unpaid loans:
even as the president claims he is now laser-focused on job creation, he wants the public to forget all of his previous taxpayer-funded efforts to create those “green jobs” of the future, many of which have been abject failures. Like the $20 million federal grant given to Seattle to weatherize houses. The promise? To create “2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods,” according to the SeattlePI. The reality a year later, “only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.”
The much-hyped company Solyndra, which manufactures—um, make that “manufactured”—solar technology, has closed its doors and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Only a year ago Obama gave it $535 million in low-cost loan guarantees, touting the company “as a prime example of how green technology could deliver jobs,” according to an NBC-affiliate report. Now another 1,000 people have become unemployed victims of Obama’s job-creating skills. And taxpayers have become victims of another half-billion dollars sucked down the Obama job-creating drain. . .
Perhaps the best example of the president’s job-creation failures is his “green car” efforts. Talk about driving the economy into the ground! The president has set a goal of 1 million plug-in cars by 2015. And so he started doling out taxpayer money, announcing a $2.4 billion program in March 2009. Since the government was a majority stakeholder in GM at the time, the Chevy Volt became a model to be emulated. Except … well, nobody wants it. GM only sold 125 Volts in July—and that’s with the government buying some of them. At that blistering sales pace we could hit, oh, maybe 4,000 on the road by 2015.
National Review calls the Solyndra debacle and its unemployed workers “Obama’s Enron.” Obama said last year, “The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra.” But if that were true, it never would have needed half a billion of our tax dollars in the first place — tax dollars now lost due to Solyndra’s bankruptcy.
As The Washington Examiner notes,
At the time Solyndra received its grant, Vice President Biden said that the Solyndra investment is “exactly what the Recovery Act is all about.” Now that events have proven Biden right — that is, now that Solyndra is a demonstrated failure like the stimulus package as a whole — the Obama administration is wholly unrepentant and plans to continue the waste. “The project that we supported succeeded,” Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera said Wednesday. So a bankrupt firm lays off all of its workers after blowing through half a billion in private venture capital, then consuming half-a-billion in taxpayer-subsidized loans, and this is a “success?” What would failure look like?
The Examiner was right to criticize the $800 billion stimulus package as a failure. The stimulus package contained misguided provisions that ignited trade wars with foreign countries such as Mexico, wiping out jobs in America’s export sector and aggravating the U.S. trade deficit. Its green jobs funding, nearly 80 percent of which went to foreign firms, effectively outsourced thousands of American jobs to foreign countries, at taxpayer expense. Economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor say that the stimulus wiped out 550,000 jobs.