08.30.2010 0

The “Green” Stimulus Fails in More Ways than One

June, July and August were supposed to be the months. Democrats clinging to re-election hopes just knew that between the artificial job gains from Census Department hiring, the impact of their almost $900 billion in “stimulus” spending, and the tens of billions spent in other programs, that the economy would be roaring, people would be working, and the path to November would be made easier. Their so-called “Recovery Summer” was going to save the day.

Now, as we approach Labor Day, the results are in. Big Government has failed.

Gross Domestic Product, which is the standard measure of economic growth in the country, was revised downward in the second quarter of the year from 2.4% to an estimated 1.6% as private sector employers are opting against expansion in favor of a cautious course.

It’s no wonder. Companies are staring in the face of a basic cost of business increases anticipated in 2011 due to the passage of the health care law.

Unemployment remains at 9.5 percent, with 45 percent of the unemployed having been out of work for 27 weeks or more. To put these numbers in real terms, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 6.6 million Americans or the entire population of Indiana have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.

Americans for Limited Government’s Adam Bitely has been tracking state by state “Recovery Summer” data releasing a daily report on a different state with California, Nevada, Colorado, Florida and Delaware being already covered. South Carolina and Ohio are slated to covered this week before Labor Day.

The startling results show the economy in virtual free fall over the past 18 months, as Obama, Pelosi and Reid have opted for propping up state and local government spending instead of engaging in private sector job creation measures.

The Bitely reports track “Recovery Summer” programs and list federal government estimates of jobs “impacted” by this spending. The word “impacted” is significant as the White House admits in a Time magazine article that the “stimulus” wasn’t really about job creation, but instead it was about “transforming America”.

Really. That’s news. On January 8th, 2009, selling his “stimulus” plan, Obama said, “If nothing is done this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits.” For Pelosi, it was all about “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

Time continues, calling the stimulus plan, “the most ambitious energy legislation in history,” citing some $100 billion in spending that went to “green” energy in the legislation. Taking the economic crisis and using it to transform the Department of Energy into the world’s largest venture capital firm using taxpayer dollars to fund various green energy projects that presumably were not economically viable enough for private, profit-motivated venture capitalists to fund.

And there is the big problem with Obama’s entire economic program — they confuse social policy with economic policy. Rather than encouraging the private sector to create economic growth, Obama, Pelosi and Reid are spending taxpayer money in a make believe world where they can create markets for products that “transform” America, all the while lying to the public that their policies are net job creators.

The Time magazine article is a refreshing change in that it for the first time admits that the economic stimulus plan was less about the economy and more about making green investments that would never have withstood public scrutiny if not for the false veneer of promised job growth.

Interestingly, former Vice President Al Gore, Jr. is also a leading green energy venture capitalist, who has been projected to become the first “green billionaire.”

One wonders how much Mr. Gore’s economy was stimulated by this misguided government spending. You can be assured that he benefitted far more than the 6.6 million people who have been unemployed for 27 months or more. For them, the term Recovery Summer is just another joke played upon them by the hucksters at the Obama White House.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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