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Tags: Green Jobs

Washington Suddenly Notices the Economy Still Stinks for Most People



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President Obama pivots to the economy . . . arguably for the second time this month. The RNC collected these “pivots” for a while, until they became as numerous as his statement expiration dates.

Sure, the unemployment rate is down to 7.6 percent, after peaking at 10.1 percent; of course, that’s a slow decline since the beginning of 2012 (8.3 percent). This is still high by historical standards (the unemployment rate was below 7 percent from June 1993 to December 2008) and the unemployment rate’s drop is fueled in part by a steep decline in the labor-force participation rate, from 66 percent of all Americans over age 16 to close to 63 percent.

If you’ve got money in the stock market, you’re enjoying a bullish run. About 30 percent of American households have $10,000 or more in stocks. But for most of the folks who suffered the biggest fall in the Great Recession’s start, back in autumn 2008, economic security is hard to find. Wages are stagnant, and actually slightly less than at the end of 2009.

Asked about the issues that will dominate the 2014 races, the heads of the NRCC and DCCC tell Chuck Todd the economy first, before Obamacare and immigration (admittedly related to the state of the economy), gun control, social issues, etc. The issue of our continuing economic troubles never went away; it’s just that the narrative-setters lost interest. To the political class of both parties, the pain is far away (Washington’s economy is comparatively thriving, even in the Age of Sequester) and their preferred options are blocked by the opposition’s role in government.

White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer assures us, “Over the next several weeks, the President will deliver speeches that touch on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America: job security, a good education, a home to call your own, affordable health care when you get sick, and the chance to save for a secure, dignified retirement.”

What holds back the economy?

These problems are not likely to be solved by another big-spending “jobs” bill; some of them are probably beyond the capacity of Washington to solve. But the president needs to say something about it — so he will give more speeches, and assure his followers that “if those mean House Republicans would just pass another version of the stimulus I passed in 2009, everything would be fine.”

Tags: Economy , Barack Obama , Taxes , Jobs , Stimulus , Green Jobs

We Can’t Swallow This Kind of Green Jobs Plan



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In today’s Morning Jolt, an obscure company’s name might become quite familiar to us all:

Solyndra Green Doesn’t Employ People! They Don’t Employ People!

Before yesterday, I thought “Solyndra” as a food additive*. But now I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot more about that company:

President Obama faces political catastrophe in the form of Solyndra — a San Francisco Bay area solar company that he touted as a gleaming example of green technology. It has announced it will declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy. More than 1,100 people will lose their jobs.

During a visit to the Fremont facility in spring of 2010, the President said the factory “is just a testament to American ingenuity and dynamism and the fact that we continue to have the best universities in the world, the best technology in the world, and most importantly the best workers in the world. “

It’s not his statements the administration will regret; it’s the loan guarantees. The President was celebrating $535 million in federal promises from the Department of Energy to the solar startup. The administration didn’t do its due diligence, says the Government Accountability Office. “There’s a consequence if you don’t follow a rigorous process that’s transparent,” Franklin Rusco of GAO told the website iWatch News.

Brutal tone in the coverage, huh? Yeah, Ed Driscoll noticed, too: “Wow, which radical right-wing deathbeast Obama-hating Rethuglican Web site ran that headline? Err, NBC’s Bay Area affiliate.”

“You will be shocked to learn that Solyndra’s majority owner, Oklahoma billionaire George Kaiser, was a major fundraiser for the 2008 Obama-Biden campaign,” observes Karl at Patterico’s Pontifications.

At the Moderate Voice, Logan Penza concludes, “If massive federal spending does actually succeed in permanently creating or saving large numbers of jobs (an assertion which is often long on rhetoric and short on evidence), it must rely on targeting companies based on their ability to compete rather than merely their participation in a political effort like ‘green energy.’ If we are going to saddle our economy with huge new debts in the hope that we can stave off another recession, we really need to be more sure that the investments we make are cost-effective instead of merely politically convenient. The Obama Administration appears to have neglected that imperative the first time around.”

At Michelle Malkin’s site, Doug Powers ties this development to the Big Obama Speech That Will Save the Economy: “During President Obama’s upcoming job speech, if you do a shot whenever you hear the words ‘invest in clean energy’ you’ll be asleep before the teleprompter’s internal cooling fan kicks into action. Not that it was necessary, but here’s yet another reason to be extremely wary of that repeated green clarion call.”

*Suggested slogan: Solyndra Green is people! It’s people!

Tags: Barack Obama , Green Jobs

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