Where Are the 5 Million Jobs, Mr. President?
It's clear that giving subsidies to 'green energy' companies is not the way to boost employment.
The Obama Administration has repeatedly claimed that green jobs will be our nation’s economic saving grace. Putting millions of Americans back to work while creating an industry that will “define the 21st century,” according to Vice President Biden. The president promised green energy government subsidies would create 5 million good-paying jobs.
The facts point to an alarming alternative. President Obama has spent billions of taxpayer dollars on solar subsidies, but has very little long-term sustainable job growth to show for it. We recently learned that Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturing facility, filed for bankruptcy after accepting a $535 million federal loan guarantee. As a result, thousands of workers lost their jobs, and the bankruptcy’s effect is still rippling across California’s economy.
As early as 2010, Solyndra was already having financial troubles and even violated the original loan agreement. The Energy Department responded by restructuring the company’s agreement to keep the flailing “green jobs” company afloat.
Adding insult to injury, private investors provided another $75 million in exchange for the right to be paid back before the government loan if the company failed. Since Solyndra did default, taxpayers are at the back of the line for repayment, after some other investors.
The story of Solyndra is just one example of the danger in government as venture capitalist. When decisions are made based on the political trends of the time, rather than economic principles, we can be sure American taxpayers will foot the bill. This loan was part of a $9 billion stimulus-funded program that allows government to pick and choose green energy companies for government financing.
The spending spree isn’t helping the U.S. to create the 5 million jobs that President Obama promised.
House Republicans continue to remind the White House that more government spending and higher taxes won’t help to create much-needed jobs. It is clear that now is the time to give America’s actual job creators — small-business owners and entrepreneurs — confidence in our economy again by reforming the tax code, reducing regulations, and controlling our national debt.
The House of Representatives is considering legislation to relieve some of the regulatory burden on American job creators. Two new emissions standards, called Boiler MACT and Cement MACT, would cost billions of dollars in compliance and thousands of jobs to comply with stricter emissions standards. The House legislation will not repeal these rules, but allow the Environmental Protection Agency 15 months to re-propose achievable admissions standards and allow facilities adequate time to comply.
Wisconsinites deserve better than President Obama’s tax-and-spend strategy. Green energy subsidies have not been the answer for the sluggish economy. It is time that Washington considers a strategy that helps to boost innovation, keeps jobs here in the U.S., and moves government out of the way.