Another 'Stimulus' Failure: Where Are The (Green) Jobs? |
As the Obama Administration prepares to push another ‘stimulus’ plan, new questions are being raised about one of the centerpieces of the original, failed ‘stimulus.’   Under the headline “Number of Green Jobs Fails to Live Up to Promises,” The New York Times reports that “the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned. President Obama once pledged to create five million green jobs over 10 years. … But the results so far suggest such numbers are a pipe dream.”  The paper concludes that “federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed.”  It’s not hard to trace the cause of the problem when one key ‘green jobs’ program “was initially delayed for seven months” due to bureaucratic rigmarole. 

The ‘green jobs’ flop is an embarrassment in the making for the Obama Administration, which has portrayed the industry as a panacea of sorts:
  • “The administration is wagering that green technologies will create the jobs of the future.” (NPR, 6/13/11)

  • “Obama touts green jobs as key to recovery” (UPI, 3/5/10)

  • “…Biden hosted a series of panels on why the administration believes green jobs will result in a resurgence of the middle class.”  (POLITICO, 2/25/09)

  • One of the centerpieces of President Obama's agenda has been fulfilling the promise of green jobs…” (White House Blog, 2/25/09)
The Times piece is just the latest in a series of revelations surrounding ‘green jobs.’  Earlier this week, a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story declared “Seattle's 'green jobs' program a bust” after uncovering that “only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.  Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers.”  The program was originally slated to create thousands of jobs in the Emerald City.  A recent Investor’s Business Daily editorial recounted the case of Evergreen Solar: “The Massachusetts company that the White House once said ‘is hoping to hire 90 to 100 people’ thanks to stimulus money has $485.6 million in debt.  Evergreen closed a factory in March, reports the Boston Herald, and cut 800 jobs.”

Even the president’s allies in Congress are speaking out about the ‘green jobs’ flop.  “The green jobs have been about a lot of talk, not a lot has been happening on that,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said yesterday

A Plan for America’s Job Creators.  The ‘stimulus’ was a plan for Washington’s job creators – who, per the above, aren’t very good at it.
  Republicans are working to implement a Plan for America’s Job Creators, especially the entrepreneurs and small businesses who are looking for government to get out of their way.  The solutions contained in this blueprint aren’t one-size-fits-all or Washington-centric cure-alls, they’re just common-sense ideas, like reining in job-crushing regulations and opening new markets to American-made goods.  Many of these reforms have already passed the House and are awaiting action in the Democratic-led Senate. 
Instead of staying stuck on ‘stimulus,’ President Obama should listen to the American people and work with Republicans to focus on creating a better environment for private-sector job creation.