Straight Talk
EZRA LEVANT - Obama’s counterfeit concept: US president’s fake-work make-work jobs scheme a real bust for taxpayers

US President Barack Obama speaks at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) annual conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida June 22, 2012.

Credits: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

EZRA LEVANT | QMI AGENCY

A shocking new study by the U.S. government's National Renewable Energy Laboratory shows the Obama administration's $9-billion solar power program created just 910 long-term jobs.

That's $9.8 million per job created.

Even if you add in all possible "indirect" jobs that could be attributed to this subsidy flurry, it still works out to $1.63 million in subsidies per job created, according to the report.

Just to be clear, this isn't some taxpayers federation or Republican Party group writing this scathing review. This is the US government itself.

That $9 billion was taxpayers' money - wrung out of the hides of Americans with real jobs. Or, to be more accurate, it was borrowed by Obama, from the Chinese government, and will hang around the neck of taxpaying Americans like an unpaid $9-billion credit card debt.

How many jobs will that kill?

Why are Obama's fake jobs - in counterfeit industries, like solar power and wind power, that could not exist without handouts - more important than real jobs for which there is a real demand in the economy?

Why do people who have modest real jobs - not ones that cost $1.63 million in subsidies to prop up, but ones that maybe eke out $50,000 a year in profit - have to carry these fake solar jobs on their backs?

And could there possibly be a stupider thing to do to your own country in the middle of the deepest and most prolonged recession since the 1930s?

The solar panels and wind turbines built with this $9-billion slush fund are probably still operating. That's not to say they're doing any good - even when wind turbines are working as planned, they don't replace coal or nuclear or hydroelectric power plants. Each of those need to be kept because wind turbines just don't work when it's not windy. And even when the wind picks up, you can't just "shut down" a coal-fired power plant for an hour or two.

The whole concept is counterfeit.

But there is another level of fakeness to it. It's not like the actual factory workers building the solar panels were pocketing the $1.63 million. Vast amounts of money go to a meta-industry of lobbyists, lawyers and grant-writers who game the system and find out how to liberate that money from politicians in the name of "green jobs."

Sometimes they take the money and run - like the US solar panel maker called Solyndra, which took $535 million from the Obama administration to support its 1,100 jobs, and then declared bankruptcy.

But here's the biggest scam involved with wind and solar power. It's like those little hamster wheels. Once you subsidize them - once you build them with handouts - you've got to keep giving them handouts to operate. The moment you take your foot off the taxpayers' gas pedal, they just shut down.

You can subsidize the companies that build them. You can subsidize the companies that set them up in strange places. But unless you keep subsidizing their operation, like Ontario does, with jacked-up power prices, they just don't work.

There is literally no place on Earth where solar panels or wind turbines are a profitable business.

You can see this with your own eyes. From California to China to Nunavut, when you drive by wind farms, look to see how many wind turbines are actually spinning vs. how many are stalled or just plain broken.

Unless you keep shovelling good money after the bad, there is no sense in maintaining them because they're unprofitable even when they are spinning, without subsidies.

Until last year, Spain was called the world's leader in solar energy. Then the euro crisis hit. So six months ago they cancelled $31 billion in green subsidies.

The schemes are ending. The shiny wind and solar machinery will rust and become expensive junk.

As Obama staggers his country deeper into recession, expect the same with his fake-work, make-work million-dollar green jobs too.

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