It certainly pays to go green. Well, at least until the greenbacks stop flowing – and bankruptcy kicks in.
Last year, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner estimated that the $30 billion green handout in the stimulus bill cost taxpayers roughly $475,000 per job created. According to the Wall Street Journal, that's quadruple the cost of creating a job in a nonsubsidized private firm. It turns out that Horner was right on the money, even for non-energy related "green" jobs.
Yesterday, Fox News reported on the results of a tree planting stimulus program in Nevada – and it's not pretty:
In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service awarded $490,000 of stimulus money to Nevada's Clark County Urban Forestry Revitalization Project, aimed at revitalizing urban neighborhoods in the county with trees, plants, and green-industry training.
According to Recovery.gov, the U.S. government's official website related to Recovery Act spending, the project created 1.72 permanent jobs. In addition, the Nevada state Division of Forestry reported the federal grant generated one full-time temporary job and 11 short-term project-oriented jobs.
Supporters of the program claim that there was an unspecified amount of jobs created from "Spanish-language training for Hispanics in the landscaping and tree care industry." After all, these are probably jobs that Americans won't do anyway.
To be fair, at least tree planting won't go out of business, thereby providing these 1.75 individuals with permanent jobs. The same cannot be said for stimulus-subsidized Big Solar jobs.
Last week, the Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar filed for bankruptcy, after laying off 800 workers in March. Now, they are slated to dump another 65 workers by closing a plant in Michigan. This, after receiving an undisclosed amount of stimulus cash, in addition to $58 million in state aid.
So much for Obama's 2008 promise to create 5 million well-paying green jobs!
While Obama's corporate cronies are seeing green, we are all incurring red. Obama's stimulus helped contribute to his $4.247 trillion addition to the national debt. Following the latest $2.5 trillion increase in the debt ceiling, the debt has already increased by $345 billion, from $14.294 trillion to $14.639 trillion.
Let's put that figure in perspective for a moment. As part of the deal to increase the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion, Congress agreed to cut spending by $6.67 billion next year. Well, at a clip of $3 million per minute, we blew through that amount of savings in the first 37 hours of the new borrowing regime!
I've always viewed environmentalists as watermelons; green on the outside, but ruby red on the inside. I guess you can view the red as the embodiment of socialism or perennial debt.