Green jobs boondoggle

Green jobs, green jobs, green jobs.

For almost three years, that has been the incessant mantra from the Obama administration — from the president to his Labor secretary to his minions around the nation, the hope of a green jobs recovery has been the lynchpin of this president’s economic policy.

Toward promoting this agenda, the Labor Department is scheduled to spend $500 million of taxpayer money on training workers for this green economy.

Now the Department’s Inspector General has pulled the green jobs training program from behind the poorly lit halls of the Frances Perkins Building and put it out in the open, revealing what had been whispered for almost a year around D.C. among those who follow the Labor Department — the program is a bust.

The scathing report by the Inspector General flatly states that “there is no evidence that grantees will effectively use the funds and deliver targeted employment outcomes by the end of the grant periods.”

And in a rebuke of the program, the IG recommends “that the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training evaluate the Green Jobs program; and in so doing, obtain an estimate of funds each grantee will realistically spend given the current demand for green job-related skills and the job market for green jobs. Any of the remaining $327.3 million of funds determined not to be needed should be recouped as soon as practicable and to the extent permitted by law so they can be available for other purposes.”

Quite simply, the Labor Department’s green jobs training program is just one more example of the Obama administration spending taxpayer money in pursuit of its green ideological agenda, rather than pursuing real, sustainable job growth.

Doubters are not surprised by the colossal failure of the entire Obama green agenda, and its disastrous impact on the 14 million unemployed. Unfortunately, after three years of selling economic quackery, there is no evidence that Team Obama is even considering a change in direction.

Now that the presidential election is in full swing, expect the Obama medicine show to bus into your town and try selling the same elixir. The only question is whether the American public will fall for the same con job twice.


Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Labor. He can be followed on twitter @rmanning957.